I’m constantly striving to find alternatives to sugar and I’m taking you for the ride. I hope you don’t mind. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with apple butter and so far I’m quite pleased. Sure, the end result is never as sweet as sugar or honey, but that was never the goal anyway. The goal is to create treats that are as healthy as can be. That’s my agenda.
In this week’s vegetable box, there was a massive zucchini. It was described as such, and I understood why when I saw it. As this recipe only used about a third of it (!) I’m debating what to make next. Got suggestions? Perhaps I’ll make the zucchini-feta squares again. Those are always a hit.
For those of you starting school this week, good luck! Shawn, je pense à toi qui commenceras l’école secondaire. Il n’y a pas si longtemps, je te tenais dans mes bras! Tu grandis vite. Je t’aime fort et je suis fière de toi. Ta marraine xo.
Zucchini Spice Loaf with Toasted Coconut
- 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted + 1 tbsp for the topping
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup unsweetened apple butter* (or honey if you must)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
* You can find apple butter in natural food stores, farmer’s markets and / or directly at orchard stores.
Preheat oven to 350 F, and lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan. Drain grated zucchini in a colander for 15 minutes. Press down to remove excess water.
To toast coconut flakes, heat a skillet over medium heat until warm. Add the flakes and toast, stirring constantly for 4-5 minutes until they are aromatic and a bit darker in colour. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices).
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, apple butter / honey, eggs, yogurt and vanilla.
Add the grated zucchini and lemon zest to egg mixture and combine well.
Combine the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Stir in the toasted coconut.
Pour batter into the greased loaf pan and sprinkle with (non-toasted) coconut flakes.
Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool completely before slicing. That should be a good test of your patience.