It’s that time of year again. The time of year when zucchini runneth over the garden.
Even though we didn’t plant a vegetable garden this year – I decided to temporarily turn my raised beds into a perennial garden because with all of the kids’ activities I just don’t have time to keep up with my gardening and I’ve noticed that perennials are much more forgiving than vegetables – it seems we are still swimming in green and yellow squash.
I, for one, have no problem with this turn of events. Zucchini is so mild and versatile it is perfect for sweet and savory dishes alike. Most preparations are super simple and a plateful of zucchini is, to me, the quintessential summer dish.
Despite all the ingenious ways I can think to serve zucchini, it seems the first recipe we always make when our bounty arrives is some variation of zucchini bread or muffins. I posted Kelly’s favorite Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffin recipe here a long time ago this is a great one of you have veggie-phobic kids or husbands and really need to hide the zucchini – trust me when I tell you know will know these muffins are healthy, and please don’t judge the photos that was a very early blog post) and this Lemon Zucchini Loaf is my hands down favorite zucchini bread (could definitely also use some new photos).
However, today’s recipe, Delicious Zucchini Bread with Yogurt and Flax Seeds is pretty excellent too. Don’t let the name scare you – this healthy bread is every bit as delicious as those traditional “breads” packed with oil and sugar that, let’s be honest here, are really more dessert than bread.
This recipe uses a number of nutritious swaps to create a yummy bread that you can feel good serving for breakfast or a healthy snack.
In this bread I use Greek yogurt (I used the leftover 2% yogurt from my Redskin “Ranch” Potato Salad and it came out perfectly, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand) and some olive oil for moistness. Because there is only 1/8 cup of olive oil in this bread you don’t have to worry about an obvious olive oil flavor. And, even better, this bread isn’t heavy or greasy like some zucchini breads have a tendency to be.
I use a combination of whole wheat flour, oat flour and ground flax seeds to pack a nutritional punch and limit the amount of refined grains we eat. You really can’t tell that this is a whole grain bread. In fact, I find the slightly tougher flour a good balance to the moistness that comes from the zucchini, Greek yogurt, and sweeteners that I chose.
In order to reduce the amount of sugar typically called for in zucchini bread, I added in some melted raw honey and a 1/3 cup of natural applesauce. I also love the richness of flavor that vanilla extract brings to baked goods, so I added 1 tablespoon of vanilla as well.
After preheating my oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, I started by sifting together my dry ingredients: 1¼ cups of whole wheat flour, ¼ cup oat flour and ½ cup ground flax seeds, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
Then in a large bowl I combined the wet ingredients: 1 large egg, beaten, ½ -¾ cup of Greek yogurt (the amount depends on how thick your Greek yogurt is), 1/8 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup of applesauce, 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract and 1/3 cup of melted raw honey. Then I stirred in ½ cup of brown sugar and mixed well.
I added the dry ingredients to the bowl and mixed just until combined. If your batter is too thick at this point you can add additional Greek yogurt or milk by the tablespoon until you get a consistency that is still thick but stirrable. Then I added about 1 ½ cups of grated zucchini.
I left his recipe pretty basic, but you could jazz it up a bit and stir in some toasted pumpkin seeds or chocolate chips at this point if desired. I do love the combination of zucchini and chocolate.
Of anything and chocolate really….
I transferred the batter to a 9 X 5 loaf pan lined with parchment paper and baked the bread on the bottom oven rack at 350 degrees for about 45-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center came out clean. In my oven, this was about 52 minutes. It’s important that you don’t skip the testing step with this bread because zucchini bread is naturally moist and it may appear to be done on the top before the bread is cooked all the way through. If the top or edges of your bread are getting too brown you can cover the bread with foil and continue baking.