Hey everyone! It’s Christine checking in for Sweet-Tooth Friday. I have the perfect recipe for your over-brimming summer garden: Lemon Poppy Zucchini Bread! This vegan treat is delightfully easy to make.
My brother was just talking about how his Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats really got him started in cooking. For me, it was totally my “Big Red” Betty Crocker cookbook. To be more accurate, it was actually my mom’s copy that inspired me.
Growing up, I remember her tattered cookbook being waterlogged to twice its original size from years of spills. The crepe recipe was smudged with real crepe batter and the pie section was covered in pumpkin fingerprints. In the margins there were doodles and notes. And there were magazine tear-outs stashed between the pages. For any dish, this book held all the answers and it was well loved.
Soon after I got my first apartment my mom gave me my own Betty Crocker cookbook. I was clueless, but this book taught me the very basics of cooking from simple steamed broccoli to mashed potatoes to homemade salad dressing. My first instinct for any cooking question I have is to “ask Betty.” It’s one of the few books I still consult before checking the internet.
So when I decided to make zucchini bread, I headed straight to “ask Betty.” It’s not an avant-garde publication, but the newer editions are a lot more health conscious and vegetarian friendly. In the recipe for zucchini bread,whole wheat flour is even listed as a Betty-approved option!
I obviously went for the whole grains and supplemented it with flax seeds. Then I cut back on the oil and sugar. To make up for the lost sweetness, I went out on a limb and swapped out the 4 eggs for an equal amount of crushed pineapple! I added extra leavener to give it the rising action that the missing eggs would have. And to really make this zucchini bread stand on its own, I ditched the traditional spices and threw in fresh lemon and poppy seeds.
Poppy seeds are actually chock full of calcium. They also contain two essential fatty acids. But wait! Don’t waste your money on that tiny overpriced spice jar in the baking aisle! Swing by the actual bakery section of your grocery store and see if they have any of their bulk ingredients packaged for sale. My local Giant packs up sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sprinkles, croutons, and more at a fraction of the spice company’s cost. My local natural store also has a bulk section for spices that is significantly cheaper.
The pineapple, lemon, and poppy accents in the moist zucchini bread result in a quietly elegant taste of summer. Here’s my version:
Vegan Lemon-Poppy Zucchini Bread
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
4 tbs flax seed, ground
1 tbs baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 cups shredded zucchini (about 2-3 medium- I didn’t bother to peel mine but you can if you want a more uniform color)|
1 cup drained crushed pineapple, 1/4 cup juice reserved
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup raw sugar
2 lemons, zested and juiced (about 6-8 tbs of juice)
1/2 cup poppy seeds
1 tsp powdered sugar, for optional garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the dry ingredients, set aside. Pour the pineapple, pineapple juice, oil, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice over the shredded zucchini and stir together. Mix the dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture, then stir in poppy seeds.
Spray a tube or Bundt pan with Pam and toss with flour to coat. (Instead of a Bundt pan, Betty says use two 8×4 loaf pans or one 9×5 loaf pan). Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. I didn’t make it in the loaves, but Betty recommends 50-60 minutes for the smaller sizes and 70 to 80 minutes for the larger size. The loaf times may vary for my version since it doesn’t have the eggs, so if you do it in a loaf pan start checking after 30 minutes. When it’s done the top should be domed and cracking in the center while the edges pull away from the sides. Check to see if a knife comes out clean. If the top is browning too much before the center is done, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
When the cake is cool, invert to unmold. Put the teaspoon of powdered sugar in a fine mesh strainer and gently tap over the bread to garnish.
I hope you enjoy this simple and wholesome zucchini bread. It’s such a nice versatile snack—perfect for breakfast on the go, tucking into a lunch bag, or presenting whole as a sweet hostess gift.
That’s it for this week, see you next STF!