Sunday, September 16, 2012

Paleo Zucchini Bread

Just look at that gorgeous, tall loaf of bread.

One thing that I struggled with about Paleo (and being gluten-free) was the nasty bread alternatives.  Gluten-free breads are typically dry and crumbly.  Okay for toast or bread crumbs but I never found one suitable for a sandwich. 

Paleo bread recipes do not rise the same as traditional breads.  There is no gluten in them to help the molecules hold together but there are other ways to achieve baking magic.  Cooking is an art, but baking is a science.  Once you learn the science, the recipes become managable.  I realize not everyone is a science-of-baking nerd like me, so I will do a whole other post about the science of Paleo baking some other day.  Let's just talk about this pretty loaf right here.

Zucchini bread.  Healthy, right?  Traditionally, no.  My original recipe calls for lots of sugar, flour, and a little zucchini.  My improved recipe has less than 1/2 tablespoon of honey per slice which makes it very low carb.  I don't feel guilty eating this bread.  It is moist and delicious and since it's not very sweet, I might even use it to make a sandwich.  But really, it's so good all on its own, it'll probably never make it to sandwichdom.

After shredding, squeeze some of the liquid out of the zucchini.  Just simply take a small handfull and squeeze it before measuring and pack it lightly in the measuring cup.
Or you could do this method.   Place the shredded zucchini into a fine mesh strainer over a larger bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, place a smaller bowl on top and put into the bowl a weight of some kind. This is a 1-pound jar. Then let it sit for one hour.

Low Carb Zucchini Bread

1 cup almond butter (toasted, unsweetened)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
3 eggs
1 cup shredded zucchini (squeezed)
1/2 cup golden flax meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon allspice)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare a bread pan by coating with coconut oil and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper, then coat the parchment with a little more coconut oil.
In a large bowl, mix together almond butter, coconut oil, honey, and eggs then stir in zucchini.  In a smaller bowl, mix together flax meal, salt, baking soda, and spices then stir the dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture.  Add vanilla. 
Place into parepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
After removing from the oven, allow the bread to sit in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and allow it to cool on a rack. 

Slice and wrap the cooled loaf in plastic and store in the refrigerator for 1 week (if you can keep it around that long) or store in the freezer wrapped in plastic and placed in a zipper freezer bag with most of the air squeezed out.  This loaf will keep in the freezer for 4 or 5 months.


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