Saturday, May 21, 2011

Carrot Zucchini Banana Bread

The sun FINALLY came out and it is absolutely GLORIOUS! I guess Mother Nature got the message I was a force to be reckoned with.

Funny thing about me. First sign of great weather and I suddenly have this need to eat healthy. It's weird really. I'm pulling out the whole wheat flour, using recipes that call for fruits and/or vegetables, substituting butter for applesauce. Okay, perhaps I'm going a bit far there, but you get the idea.

This is one on my most favorite feel good recipes. My daughter loves it and I don't ever feel guilty about giving it to her anytime of day.

Or eating half the loaf myself. Oops.


2½ cups whole wheat flour (You can also use all white flour or half white and half whole wheat!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
¼ cup ground flax seeds
½ cup oatmeal
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup grated unpeeled zucchini
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup ripe bananas, mashed

OPTIONAL: ½ cup raisins or ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 325º F. Grease two 8-inch loaf pans with non stick cooking spray. You can also use a 9x5 loaf pan, but you'll get a larger and denser bread. I opted to use the 9x5 loaf this time to show you what you'll get.

Sift flour(s), baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, flax seeds, oatmeal, and salt in a large bowl until well blended.

Mix eggs, bananas, applesauce, brown sugar, vanilla until until well combined.

Add flour mixture, stirring just until blended. Stir in zucchini and carrots until just combined. (Mix in raisins and walnuts/pecans if using).

Divide batter into prepared pan(s). I like to sprinkle oatmeal on top just before baking for visual effect once loaf is baked. It just looks healthier too.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour for the 8-inch pans and 1 hour 20 minutes for the 9-inch loaf pan. Cool bread in pans for 10 minutes, then remove, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Yield: Two 8-inch loaves or One 9-inch loaf.

Happy Baking!

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