Sunday, November 7, 2010

{Zucchini-Chocolate-Chip Bread, or Heaven}

I've been making breads lately, seems the season to do so. Still on my pumpkin bread kick, but decided to made some zucchini bread. Woah, wait a tick...bread with veggies included? Yes please! I adapted this recipe from Taste of Home and added some extra "stuff" to flavor it up a bit. Glad I did!

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil**
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)
optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake in 2 loaf pans for 55-65 minutes.

I added extra: 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 cup of chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon flaxseed (more on this in a second)
**I substituted 1 cup vegetable oil for 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1/2 cup unsweet applesauce. So much better for you!

For some reason I just am not a huge fan of adding nuts into my breads, I like it but when I make it on my own I just don't add it in. I think the nutmeg added a great deal of flavor.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sift together. Here I added the flaxseed. In another bowl add eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat eggs well and mix in with the dry ingredients. Mix well. Add in the zucchini and mix, add in chocolate chips and mix. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pans and put in the oven. Be sure to test for doneness, I usually put too much into one pan. I think the chocolate chips were a great addition! Enjoy!

Alright, now about flaxseed. I think I first heard about this on a cooking show. So I bought some and decided to see what difference, if any I could see. So far I've put it in all of my bread recipes (pumpkin, banana) using just a teaspoon or a tablespoon here and there. Its got a texture similar to flour, but darker brown. No taste difference. In the batter I can visually see a difference, but it looks more like whole wheat than anything. Not weird, I promise. So upon researching I've found that flaxseed is actually good for you. According to WebMD   :

"Although flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its healthy reputation primarily to three ingredients:
  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
  • Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75- 800 times more lignans than other plant foods
  • Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.
Lignans may help protect against cancer by:
  • Blocking enzymes that are involved in hormone metabolism.
  • Interfering with the growth and spread of tumor cells.
Some of the other components in flaxseed also have antioxidant properties, which may contribute to protection against cancer and heart disease."

And from

"Flax seed is made from flax which is a plant that’s been among us for thousands of years"

"Flaxseed oil can be used to help treat skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis like fish oil does."

"Many nutritionists recommend the regular consumption because of all the flax seeds benefit which have been shown to prevent or reduce the symptoms of arthritis, colitis, cancer , heart disease and even acne. The oil contained in the seeds is also a known natural estrogen balancer that if used regularly can help prevent and reduce symptoms that arise during menopause. It’s also a great source of fiber which can help especially in relieving constipation." 

While this may all sound jibberish, it sounds to me like there is a pretty good health benefit from using this in your cooking. I like to use Wheat germ as well, another great product. What types of things do you use in your cooking that are better for you?

Have a wonderful week!


Merut said...

Interesting. Where does one find flaxseed? Is it expensive? At this moment I wish I had a fresh-from-the-oven slice of zucchini bread!

Kristin said...

Actually I've been using flaxseed in every bread I bake--ok mostly the apple cake/bread I only make. I find that it gives it a nutty flavor. I use the one that is in a yellow package--I think "Old Red Mill" brand. It's very inexpensive considering a small bag is about $6, but lasts you a while. It's in the organic aisle usually (well at King Soopers here in COlorado).

I will have to try this recipe Char! YUM!!!

kristindewey said...

As I mentioned on the other post--
try flaxseed on the monkey bread.