Saturday, 19 May 2007

Healthy Zucchini & Apple Loaf: An experiment

Adjusting savoury recipes to make them healthier and lower in fat is usually never a problem because the flavours are not compromised. However, low fat baking is more challenging. Quikong doesn’t like me baking low fat cakes or muffins. However, once in a while I succeed in converting him to the light side, such as a reliable muffin recipe I have been using that uses low fat yogurt (more about that in a future post).
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I love zucchini and use it frequently in Chinese stir-fries, grilled or with pasta. I was curious to see if I could make something sweet with it. I came across this recipe, which is supposed to be healthier because it is low in fat uses whole-wheat flour. I’ve made low fat cakes before and I worry about the texture, so I added chopped up apple and some walnuts. Since I added walnuts, I reduced the oil to ¼ cup. The loaf looks a little flat because the pan I used was too big.
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The Verdict: Lovely flavours! I would make this again but with some changes. The cake was overly moist (almost wet – I noticed some water dripping underneath the cooling rack!). So next time, I will squeeze the excess liquid from the grated zucchini. I’m glad that I added in the apple and walnuts because it improved the texture. Adding raisins instead of apple and reducing the amount of sugar could also be a good adaptation.

Zucchini and Apple Loaf

3/4 cup whole-wheat flour

3/4 cup white flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

2 eggs

1/2 cup soft brown sugar, lightly packed

1/3 – 1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 1/2 cup grated zucchini*, lightly packed

1 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped into small cubes

1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

(* I peeled the skin, but you can leave it on)

1

Preheat oven to 160°C (fan-forced).

2

Sift all dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix well.

3

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until foamy, about 1–2 minutes.

4

Add oil, zucchini, apples, walnuts and vanilla and beat to combine.

5

Fold in dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until combined. Batter will be thick and a little lumpy.

6

Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for 45–50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool loaf on a cooling rack.

9 comments:

Anh said...

Good try Nora! For me though, I prefer to bake less than compromising the flavours. Having said that, some baked healthy recipes are really nice. I guess I just have to be more open. :D

Janet said...

Hi Nora, I'm with you on the light baking. I love baked goods so much and I am always looking for light versions that don't compromise taste and texture. I'm thinking that recipe would make good muffins for my kid's lunch bags!

Freya and Paul said...

Sounds great! I love the combination of the apple with the courgette (zucchini)! Some coconut thrown in there would be yummy too!

Nora B. said...

Anh, there are just somethings I won't compromise though, like when making molten choc cakes or brownies. I rather go for the real thing! :-)

Janet, if you do try this recipe & make adjustments to it, do let me know how it turns out. I think the rcipe is still a work in progress. Making it into muffins is a good idea.

Freya, yes - coconut - that would have been a good addition. I'll give that a go for next time, thanks!

Em said...

Delicious!
I really liked it! Especially as a treat after the half-marathon!
Thanks!

Nora B. said...

Glad that you liked it, Em. But I'm sorry that we had to share that one slice... I should have brought more.

Eva said...

I think that's something to try with my new heart-shaped mini-tins - thank you so much, Nora! And I'd love to think that it's something a little bit healthy...;-)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Nora, I think the cake looks yummy! The color and the flavors... really good.
You're quite a scientist! ;)

I love zucchinis too but have never used them in baking.

Nora B. said...

Eva, hmmmm, I think that your new sillicone mini cake pans deserve a chocolate destiny ;-)

Patricia,I've had some disasters with my cooking/baking experiments. Still edible, but I wouldn't serve it to anyone. It's all fun though!