Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mommy's Zucchini Bread

So, I grew up in Santa Cruz in the 1970's. Suffice it to say that this was a peak time of hippiness. There were topless women protesting beauty pageants parading just blocks from my house. There was a lady who wore all rainbow clothing and free-style danced to live jazz music for hours every day. There were free spirits a'plenty. And, in keeping with this general ethos, there were health food stores too!

longing glances at the junk food

I remember going with my mom to the health food store and grinding our own peanut butter in the grinder machine. It was such a thrill! While my classmates ate yogurt cups and Capri Sun drinks and cookies in their lunches, my mom packed us healthy lunches with carrot sticks and fruits and PB&J sandwiches with that natural peanut butter. At the time, I was quite envious of all those sugary packaged treats and sandwiches made with white bread that my friends had in their lunch boxes. They all seemed so alluring! But now, years later, I'm really grateful to her for raising us with such healthy foods.

That said, I was born with sugar in my veins, and I had a crazy sugar tooth as a kid. My mom, on the other hand, really is a salty gal... and could sorta give or take the sweeties. The fact that this attitude is even possible is a total mystery to me. So, I think that might have been one reason for all the healthy eating... it just didn't occur to her that we might be jonesing for some treats.

happy moment!
Happily, we got lucky sometimes! I've already posted about our family's masochistic annual zucchini planting + harvesting phenomena, and each summer we would be inundated with more zucchini than any family could be expected to eat. In addition to stuffed zucchini for dinner... there would usually be a loaf or two of Zucchini Bread coming out of the oven at some point. Oh, joy!! Delicious, home baked sweeties! I remember the zucchini bread with a huge arc of happiness. I remember helping my mom in the kitchen, and the excitement of opening the oven and taking out the perfect loaves... And the thrill of cutting off a big thick slice of warm zucchini bread and diving in. Ahhh...

see the little green zuke-specks?!

Well, all these years later, the thrill is not gone. I haven't made Zucchini Bread for a few years (why??), but in honor of Noshtalgia, I dug up my mom's recipe (also from her 1970's Zucchini Cookbook zine) and veganized it and low-fatted it. The original recipe called for 1 cup of oil!! That is just against my ethics these days, even if the recipe does make two loaves. Here's the recipe, and my adaptations, so you can make it for yourself. Be warned: it is really good.

Mommy's Zucchini Bread
makes 2 loaves

3 vegan "eggs" (I used 2 flax eggs, and 1 EnerG egg equivalent)
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used half rapadura, half regular sugar)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/3 c vegetable oil
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 cups grated zucchini (about two good-sized zukes)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup bran (I used oat bran)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup turbinado sugar for topping (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9x5-inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar and your vegan "eggs" of choice. Next add in the vanilla & oil & applesauce, and then stir in the grated zucchini.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and walnuts. Add it into the zucchini mixture, and stir until just evenly moistened and there are no dry bits left. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans.

If you like a crispy, sugary crunch on your zucchini bread, sprinkle the turbinado sugar evenly around on the surface of both loaves.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.* Let the loaves sit for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. It's best to cool them completely before slicing them.

*These loaves should be moist, but (obviously) cooked through. So, if the toothpick comes out with raw-looking batter on it, they should keep cooking. But, if the toothpick just comes out looking moist with a little crumb or two, that sounds about right.


  1. love this post! i also sub applesauce for oil in my zucchini bread, and sometimes i like to add blueberries.

  2. Yummy!! Definitely appreciate how you've low-fated it!

  3. Don't laugh, but! After I met you and your mom at VVC I totally thought I should pick up a copy of The Zucchini Cookbook, especially for the zucchini bread recipe. Okay, you can laugh a little bit.

    I love the longing glances at junk food! Little Amey, it will be okay.

  4. I lived the same childhood! I was also so envious of the other kids fruit role ups when i was eating my all natural fruit leathers. It was probably due to the fact that my dad was a hippie. Lucky for me, my mom would sneak me forbidden treats, like my gum, when my dad wasn't looking.


I love comments, they really make my day! Thanks for reading my blog!