Saturday, November 21, 2015

Choco-Bean Zucchini Loaf {ReDux}

It's been a 'busy' month due to a quick family holiday and our little girl's first birthday. I only looked at this month's theme earlier this week, so it was a bit of a rush to try to get it all together - where did November go?

The theme was Creative Quick Breads: The holiday baking season is upon us. And this month we’re going way beyond grandma’s banana bread. From sweet to savory and whole-grain to gluten-free, show us your new quick bread creation fresh from the oven. And if you have a tip for wrapping and giving your lovely loaf, please share that too!

I have heard the term, I've seen it in cookbooks, but quite honestly, I looked it up first to make sure I was on the right track! Webster's defines quick bread as "bread made with a leavening agent (as baking powder or baking soda) that permits immediate baking of the dough or batter mixture" - so, many things fit into this category.

As I often do, I considered what I already had in the house, thus I landed on zucchini, as I haven't used it in baking even though it's a common moisture enhancing ingredient. I have also been thinking about trying black bean brownies (another fairly common one these days), so I landed on chocolate and black beans. I still wanted to make a loaf, as that was what I first considered with "beyond grandma's banana bread". So here is my November creation - don't forget to check out the collection below. I did attempt to see what my Vitamix could handle, but have changed the directions since it wasn't powerful enough for all the dry ingredients I attempted (lesson learned). It is a fairly dense loaf, but moist and flavourful without being too sweet. My husband said that it looks like a giant Clif bar, and I know it isn't the most beautiful loaf I've ever seen.

Choco-Bean Zucchini Loaf
Makes 1 loaf

1 - 540 ml (about 18 oz) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I like camino)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 cup white flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp espresso grounds (optional)
1 cup zucchini, grated/shredded
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Grate or shred zucchini, I used my food processor to make quick work of it. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a loaf pan.
2. Combine beans, eggs, oil, and cocoa in blender until smooth.
3. Combine baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and espresso in a large bowl.
4. Fold in bean mixture.
5. Add zucchini and chocolate chips.
6. Spread into loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 2-5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm or room temperature.

Other quick breads I considered were biscuits or scones as I do love breakfast items or those that go well with tea or coffee.

Stay warm,
Steph Langdon, RD