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Monday, September 16, 2013

Vegan Zucchini Bread

Vegan Zucchini Bread

You know what I love about this recipe? (No, I can't just write a recipe. As soon as my fingers touch the keyboard, it feels so good.) I love that if you make it exactly as it is written here, it requires you to use three of my favorite items in the kitchen.

1) Apple Cider Vinegar - you should have one bottle in your pantry and one bottle in your medicine cabinet. This is a miracle substance. When eaten, this acid has an alkalizing effect on body ph, (I know, sounds confusing but acids have the opposite effect in the gut) so if you're trying to stay alkaline then add this one to your daily diet. In this recipe, we're using it to replace buttermilk and in fact it's universal. One teaspoon ACV to one cup water replaces one cup of buttermilk. Go Vegans!

2) Coconut Oil - A wonderful, non-hydrogenated saturated fat! Don't demonize saturated fat, it's trans-fats that you want to avoid. Coconut oil gives the body a boost of monolaurin, an indispensable immune system soldier. This rich oil is a solid at room temperature, and makes a wonderful vegan butter replacement. The flavor is relatively strong, heating calms it, but I prefer coconut oil for sweet recipes or savory recipes in which coconut would be a welcomed guest.

3) Flax Meal - Flax has gotten alot of attention lately for it's omega fatty acid content, and evidence linking consuming flax seed to lowered risks of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Flax meal is my favorite way to have it in the kitchen because it's just so versatile. Throw it into pancakes, breads, sauces, pizza, smoothies...whatever! Also, in baking, Flax meal fulfills the binding role that normally we would use eggs for. 

And, voila! You've just replaced three animal based, potentially artery clogging ingredients: Buttermilk, Butter, and Eggs...with three ingredients known to improve heart health and body vitality. I'm not one to normally preach against butter, eggs or buttermilk and if you have a local, organic source of these foods then please, eat them! But, I do have vegan friends and I like to be able to feed them too! Plus, any excuse to stick all those great fats together in a recipe.

Finally, the bread: Makes 2 loaves

2 Cups grated Zucchini (there it is!)
1/4 Cup coconut oil (melted)
1/4 Cup oil (I use grapeseed; see below!)
1 Cup Sugar
2 Cups water and 2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
2-3 Tbsp. Flax Meal
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Baking Soda
3 1/2 Cups Bread Flour
2 Tbsp. Cinnamon (or to taste)

Coat two loaf pans with coconut oil. If you've got an apron on that can take a bit of grease, don't wash your hands after touching the oil! (Please, do wash them prior to starting recipe) Coconut oil is one of the best for chapped skin, hands, feet, and face. Let your hands work with the ingredients and soak in some healing fatty acids at the same time. 

Melt coconut oil and combine with grapeseed oil in mixing bowl. Blend into oil: sugar and water with ACV. In separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, and flax meal. Add dry mixture to wet mixture in small increments while constantly stirring. Last, stir in zucchini. Batter should be lumpy, but does not form stiff peaks and settles into pan. 

Baking: I bake mine in a bread maker for about 1 1/2 hours at 300 degrees. I'd give it about 1 hour in a 350 degree oven. Set your timer for 40 minutes and check it. When the top looks done, let it bake for another 10 minutes. Insert wooden dowel to be sure it's done before pulling it out. (You've got to feel the bread, be the bread, lol)

Quick note on grapeseed oil. 
I will not advise people to use vegetable oil. The truth of the matter is that most stuff titled veggie oil out there is genetically modified. Stay away from generic vegetable oil, canola oil, and soybean oil that isn't organic. Grapeseed has not yet been defiled by the mutilating hands of Monsanto, and is still a safe, available, and affordable cooking oil. It doesn't have as strong of flavor as olive oil, and performs wonderfully in a bread or a frying pan. 

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