So, if you recall, I made this amazing vegan zucchini-banana bread from Post-Punk Kitchen last year, and served it to everyone who crossed the threshold of Downton Cabin. I even rushed a batch of mini-loaves to Johnny in the hospital (in the hopes of whetting his appetite). It’s one of those recipes that’s so good that I get a little obnoxious whenever I serve it (as in, “OH MY GOD, THIS ZUCCHINI BREAD IS SO GOOD–YOU’LL LOVE IT!!! after which I stand creepily watching them eat it with a big smile, eyebrows raised, nodding and waiting for their verdict). And, indeed, everyone does love it…or they simply don’t have the heart to watch my creepily nodding, smiling face crumple in disappointment.
Anyway, I subsequently tried to make it healthier (according to the McDougal plan) by cutting out the oil and replacing it with almond milk, increasing the apple sauce, and cutting the sugar by 2/3 and replacing it with maple syrup. The result was very close to the original, but James deemed it missing a certain “mouth feel,” so I’ve never made that version for company (though I maintain that if I hadn’t told him, he wouldn’t have noticed).
Anyway, I’ve been reading Dr. Michael Gregor’s book (How Not to Die), and listening to his daily podcasts, during which he has, of late, been praising the value of nuts (and seeds), in particular, pecans and walnuts:
He also lauds cranberries:
So I decided to take my McDougalified version of the bread and Gregerize it with a variety of nuts and seeds (pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds) in place of only walnuts in the original AND dried blueberries and cranberries in place of only raisins in the original.
So this new version contains four different fruits (apples, bananas, cranberries, blueberries), three kinds of nut (pecans, walnuts, almond…milk), two kinds of seed (pumpkin and sunflower) and one vegetable (zucchini).
Gregerized Zucchini-Banana Bread
2 large very ripe bananas
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup maple syrup (I know, I know, BUT it’s the only non-Greger-type ingredient in the recipe)
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 F. Use a silicone no-stick or spray a pan with cooking spray. This recipe makes 12 huge muffins, 2 loaves, or one large bundt. Your cooking time will vary based on which type of pan you use.
In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas . Add the applesauce, almond milk, maple syrup, and vanilla and mix well. Mix in the grated zucchini.
Sift in 2 cups of the flour, the cinnamon, allspice, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine. Add the nuts, seeds, dried berries, and final cup of flour, and mix just until no visible flour is left.
Transfer batter to the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick or knife. It will more than likely need more time, so turn heat down to 325 F and bake an additional ten to fifteen minutes. Check every five minutes for doneness.
The loaf looks impressive in the pan….
But the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, and the verdict is….
…for an oil-free, vegan zucchini bread……it is delish!!
Seriously, 20/10: would do again…it’s the-bomb-dot-com UH-mazing.
And heeere’s lunch–broccoli soup and zucchini bread (note the slathering of vegan margarine–James still likes a dab occasionally!):
In future, I may try replacing the maple syrup with date sugar or molasses, which (apparently) are sweeteners that actually have nutritional value. Who knew?! Well, I do now…that I’ve watched this video:
Apparently date sugar is super easy to make. I just may try this for my next batch: