This is the time of the year when everyone starts to feel pretty over the surplus of summer veggies and fast forwards to fall. My favorite farmer at the farmers market gave me an oversized zucchini a few weeks ago because they weren’t selling. Everyone was starting to go for the winter squash instead.
My mind immediately went to creating a hybrid summer/fall zucchini bread. I also picked up carrots that day at the farmers market so I got to work on creating a fall spiced zucchini carrot bread. I have been all about recipe development lately so I did tons of reading and research on zucchini bread recipes and then wrote my own based on what seemed to be tried and true ratios along with my ideas for what I wanted in the bread.
The first batch I made turned out good but not great. The texture was a little bit off, it wasn’t quite sweet enough and it needed a lot more spice.
I knew exactly what modifications I wanted to make to my recipe and my second test turned out more perfectly than I could have hoped. I packed this bread with tons of cinnamon and nutmeg, carrots, zucchini, orange zest, dried cranberries, walnuts and coconut oil. The mixture of all of these flavors is so delicious and I swear this bread would also be delicious in cupcake form with cream cheese icing! The orange zest really took it over the top and added so much brightness and kick to the flavor of the bread.
The batter starts out a little dry when you’re mixing together the dry and wet ingredients but as soon as you add the carrots and zucchini it reaches normal consistency due to the amount of moisture they’re holding. FYI, I didn’t “wring out” my veggies before adding them to the batter.
This bread didn’t last three days in my house. It’s one of the top 10 things I have ever baked. I did share a few slices with a friend who just had a baby and she agreed that it gets two thumbs up. It’s a great “transition” baking project for summer to fall.
Zucchini Carrot Bread
(Recipe developed by Jen DeCurtins, Peanut Butter Runner)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup coconut oil (softened or melted, can also sub vegetable or canola oil)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Zest of one orange
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan with butter or cooking spray. Note, you can also make this into muffins. Prepare a muffin tin with cooking spray or liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. Combine wet ingredients with dry. Mixture will be thick and hard to stir.
Add in zucchini and carrots and stir until incorporated into batter. It should become more mixable at this point. Add in walnuts, dried cranberries and orange zest and stir to combine.
Bake for 50-60 minutes (loaf), 18-22 minutes (muffins), or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Start checking the bread early. Baking times will vary depending on your oven. Let cool in pan for 10-15 minutes and then invert and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Yield: 1 loaf