Thursday, September 4, 2014

Rosemary Orange Zucchini Bread

If it's even possible to get zoodeled out, I have on more option for you to use up the farmers markets' seemingly endless zucchini supply. A loaf for late-summer loafing, try this Rosemary Orange Zucchini Bread: a truly delightful, savory twist on the beloved baked good.



We all know what to expect in a standard dessert bread—eggs, sugar, flour, and butter or oil lay the foundation for the added shredded veggie of choice; an appurtenance of nuts and/or chocolate chips are always well-received. As if to counteract the presence of produce, these breads are generally cloyingly sweet—a firm reminder that despite the presence of nutrition, this bread is meant to serve your sweet tooth.

All that changes with this recipe.  After halving the sugar, adding wholesome nutty flax seed and whole wheat flour, and using heart-healthy olive oil and yogurt to ensure proper moistness, I was left with a perfectly versatile bread: sumptuous enough for dessert, yet also hearty enough for breakfast or snack without going into a sugar coma—or the associated guilt.  Food 52 (are you familiar with this site? If not, check it out—it's my go-to cooking blog for likeminded kitchen enthusiasts; and the community is fantastic) describes it the best: "a rosemary and orange-scented loaf cake that feels both indulgent and virtuous."

Oh, it does. The rosemary, pointedly sophisticated outside of its usual Thanksgiving milieu, balances the earthy zucchini wonderfully; a pleasing savory opposition against sunny orange juice and zest. You can hardly taste the olive oil, but the barely there hint of grassiness is just right. This loaf is truly best describes as the sum of its parts; individually, the ingredients are slightly curious. But it works, ebulliently hearty and delicious—and freezes well too!

Rosemary Orange Zucchini Bread (adapted from Food52)
Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients:
2 large eggs + 1 flaxseed egg (1 tbsp flaxseed meal stirred with 3 tbsp water)
1/2 cup of plain yogurt (preferably low-fat)
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 cup of sugar*
2 cups of zucchini; shredded
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary; finely minced
Zest of one orange (preferably Valencia)
Juice from 3/4 of the orange 
3 cups of flour (I used 2/3 whole wheat; 1/3 white)
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of toasted pecans; chopped

*I eliminated 3/4 cup of additional sugar from the original recipe. This cut may be drastic for some, so if you are sugar-inclined, add 1/4 cup more (you can taste the batter as you go.)

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans and set them aside.
2. In a large bowl beat the eggs (plus flaxseed egg). Mix in the yogurt, oil, and sugar. Then mix in the shredded zucchini, rosemary, orange zest, and orange juice. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add toasted nuts.
5. Once the batter is well combined divide it evenly between the two loaf pans.
6. Bake the loaves for 45 minutes to 1 hour. (Start testing if the loaves are done at 45 minutes, and every 5 minutes after that until a tester, such as a knife, comes out clean.)

7. Remove the loaves from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes inside the loaf pan before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Serve plain, or with your favorite jam.

3 comments:

  1. Yum! I have some zucchini and eggs that I need to use up and this looks like the perfect recipe to do that with. Can't wait to try it!

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  3. Just made this! Half muffins, half loaf. They came out perfect- super moist and fluffy and not too sweet. Will definitely be making them again!

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