Before the summer is ending (in other words, while zucchini is still on the market), I want to share with you about my zucchini muffin/bread! This recipe can be used both for making zucchini muffin and bread
I never knew about or ate zucchini bread until I moved to the United States. Using shredded fresh vegetables for baking sweets such as carrot cake or zucchini bread were an absolutely foreign concept to me, and it fascinated me very much—eating sweets, and yet you are also eating vegetables! What a nice idea.
One meal in a slice of cake
This actually brought me the perspective to always break down the recipe for sweets that I am developing and ask: what I am actually going to eat? And which ingredients do I want to eat together? In fact, when eating in the form of cake, everything is mixed and transformed into a baked shape, which is not easy to distinguish each ingredient inside.
So, here are the ingredients of the zucchini cake recipe I developed. And I would love you to imagine in such way…
With cooked spelt grain or whole spelt bread/cracker,
I eat zucchini sautéed with the coconut oil, some lemon juice squeezed on the top.
On the side, I have some toasted almond and apple sauce sweetened with a small amount of maple syrup, adding some vanilla.
Using whole grain spelt flour for baking is definitely different from the cooked spelt grain or while spelt bread/cracker. Also, in the menu above, there is no mention of baking soda. But still, I trust you get the idea. Seeing the cake as an entire meal/dessert on the plate, where each ingredient is more distinguishable in its shape and taste, I ask the question: what is the compatible combination? What ratio feels more balanced and makes my body happier? To me, I felt the almond can be a very nice addition to the combination of zucchini, apple, lemon, and some maple syrup. Also, making the ratio of apple sauce bigger than maple syrup felt more gentle to my body.
Zucchini, the magical binder!
In the summer of 2018 when I toured for concert performances in the Czech Republic, we were invited to a festival in the beautiful countryside. All food in the festival was made by local people from sustainable ingredients. And there was a vegan vendor providing gluten-free, vegan brownies. I was very curious and had one, which was very delicious. I asked the chef what the ingredients were, and she told me that she baked with buckwheat flour, cacao powder, oil, sweetener, and shredded zucchini. I was surprised that she used no flax meal or any other vegan binding agent that I had known, but zucchini! Especially, buckwheat is one of the flours that has quite a poor binding ability. This was the time that I had learned how zucchini can put other ingredients together when it’s heated. This binding characteristic of zucchini can be utilized both for baking sweets as well as cooking savory dishes. In one of the chocolate cake recipes I bake with often, I use a good amount of shredded zucchini to substitute for eggs. Also, when I make savory sprouted mung bean pancake, shredded zucchini can bring the dough together very beautifully.
Zucchini is indeed a wonderful summer vegetable that has a versatile usage: sautéing, grilling, making creamy soup through puréeing, also eating raw in salad or making raw zucchini hummus, and even in a cake! I would love to hear your creative ways of cooking/baking with zucchini!
Vegan Whole Grain Zucchini Muffin / Bread
- Dry Ingredients:
- 210g whole spelt flour or buckwheat flour
- 80g almond meal
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Wet Ingredients:
- 4 Tbsp maple syrup
- 125g apple sauce
- 1Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 50g coconut oil
- 240g zucchini
- Step 1 Measure each dry and wet ingredient and put them in two separate bowls—dry and wet. If you are baking a loaf, dust the baking form or put parchment paper.
- Step 2 Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Step 3 Mix dry and wet ingredients in the bowls.
- Step 4 Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients’ bowl and mix together well.
- Step 5 Put the batter into the muffin or rectangular baking form and put the form into the oven once it reaches the temperature.
- Step 6 Bake for 25-30 minutes if you are baking muffins, and if you are baking the loaf, bake for about 45 minutes. Check always with the cake tester before you take the cake out from the oven!
- Step 7 Enjoy!!