Spiced Zucchini Nut Bread (gluten free)

Zucchini Bread

It’s a summertime cliche, I know, but at this time of the year most people are up to their ears in zucchini. Much to my chagrin, I don’t currently have space for a garden, but I still choose to make the most of the zucchini glut by frequent trips to my local farmer’s market. Zucchini noodles are probably my favourite way to use them – add a little homemade pesto  and some diced tomato and you’ve got a meal on your hands – but I’ve been inspired to keep developing my own baking recipes, and zucchini is a star in this regard. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but truly, adding zucchini to bread or muffins does not make them taste like zucchini! All it does is add incredible moisture and increase the nutritional value. Win win!

I wanted to set this recipe apart from the many zucchini breads out there, so I made the spice profile really fragrant, added just a hint of orange to lighten everything up, and then added nuts and seeds for some crunch. The end result is super moist, hearty, and not too sweet. This is definitely a “have with my morning espresso” kinda bread.

Zucchini Bread 2

30 (okay more like 20) minutes later, that first slice… oh my goodness the smell!

Zucchini Bread 3

With Conor hovering expectantly over my shoulder, it’s time to enjoy!

Spiced Zucchini Nut Bread

Recipe barely adapted from Ashley McLaughlin’s Gluten Free Banana Bread

~ Gluten free, dairy free ~

Ingredients

Dry

  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 3/4 cup light buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 3 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/4 cup sucanat
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, crushed
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Wet

  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • * 1/4 – 1/3 cup cold-pressed sunflower oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • zest from one orange
  • 2 tbsp orange juice (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a standard (8×4) loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients except for the walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs.
  4. Whisk in the applesauce, honey, sunflower oil, and almond milk. Add the zucchini, orange zest, and orange juice (if using).
  5. When the oven is preheated, mix together the wet and dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Gently fold in the walnuts and pumpkin seeds, and then pour the batter into the pan.
  6. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. The bread should have a crisp golden crust and a toothpick should come out mostly clean but not dry.
  7. Let sit for at least 30 minutes before slicing. This will prevent the bread from crumbling (though I will admit to sneaking a little slice off the end a bit earlier!).

Notes

1. I used 1/3 cup of oil to make this bread, but I am pretty positive you could get away with just 1/4 cup without sacrificing flavour or moisture. I will do so next time and update here, but if you’re concerned about the oil, go ahead and reduce it. The applesauce and zucchini itself more than makes up for it.

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