Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Eat five to seven servings of veggies each day.

My mother always taught me to to eat my vegetables. I mean, I know they are important, and they can be delicious when prepared well. But really, seven servings a day!?!?!? That is hard to fit into my preferred diet of carbs and sugar. That is why I am pleased by the zucchini bread I made over the weekend. It fits vegetables into my diet right where I prefer them, in a sweet and tasty bread!

Quick breads are one of the ultimate impulse bake. The ingredients are almost always on hand. The require no special technique or tools. And they are so quick and easy to whip up. Better yet, the recipe is usually very forgiving, meaning I can forget the vanilla or over measure the salt and still have a tasty final product. Plus, they smell so, so good as they bake. And they bake quickly. If you work quickly, you can be eating a warm and steaming piece of zucchini bread within an hour and a half of your initial craving!

My last batch came from a recipe from Cooking Light magazine, and I like it because it provides a more healthful way to consume my vegetables as a dessert. It is cheating, I know, to mix veggies with sugar and flour and still consider it a serving of produce, but at least it my Cooking Light version is a more healthful cheat than the alternative oil and fat laden breads.

The cinnamon flavor in this recipe is tasty, and I added a bit extra because I hear cinnamon is an aphrodisiac. I used one zucchini and one random green squash that came in my CSA basket last week. It seemed to function as a zucchini would, and I feel proud of my squash flexibility. I also one and a halfed the recipe, because my loaf pans are 5 x 9.5, and the recipe calls for smaller 4 x 8 pans. The end result was great. The bread texture is firm and a bit chewy. It does not crump when sliced or bitten into. The bread held its moisture and texture for several days (it might have gone longer, but we couldn't help ourselves and ate it all). The recipe goes into my "keep" pile and I hope to make it again next weekend.

Speaking of, do you think I can make dessert breads with my yellow summer squash too? I have about 30 of them refrigerating in my produce door right now, and I would love to eat them as a piece of hot-from-the-oven bread.

Zucchini Bread
by Lorraine Warren , Cooking Light, JULY 2005

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups shredded zucchini (12 ounces)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through baking soda) in a large bowl.

Combine egg substitute and next 4 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl; add sugar, stirring until combined. Add zucchini; stir until well combined. Add flour mixture; stir just until combined. Stir in walnuts.

Divide batter evenly between 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

2 loaves, 12 servings per loaf (serving size: 1 slice)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 150(26% from fat); FAT 4.3g (sat 0.4g,mono 2g,poly 1.6g); IRON 1mg; CHOLESTEROL 9mg; CALCIUM 21mg; CARBOHYDRATE 25.3g; SODIUM 96mg; PROTEIN 2.7g; FIBER 0.6g


lorrwill said...

This sounds too yummy. I have to get some zucchini so I can try it!

Anonymous said...


Here is a recipe that will make you delighted to be eating your vegetables and have a cool dish for a no-cook day. As I recall, you used to like this a lot!


Gazpacho from Colorado Cache

3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 C chopped celery
1/2 C chopped green onion
4 C tomato juice
2 avocados, chopped
5 T red wine vinegar
4 T olive oil
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

1 container plain yogurt
curry powder to taste

Be sure all vegetables are finely chopped. Combine all ingredients in a large non-metallic bowl and chill overnight. Serve soup cold with a dollop of curry yogurt.

Makes 8 servings