One of my dearest friends, Jenny Bradley (@jennybradley), happens to be a vegan baker (again, I struck gold in the friend department). She is my go to source when I have questions about baking (or need a shoulder to cry on about my latest dating drama), and she recently started a blog just for that: Askaveganbaker.com.
She posted a zucchini bread recipe, so of course I had to try making it. I was in what I deemed an “emo” headspace (aka “why hasn’t he called me back?!), so I popped on (Spotify) some Built to Spill, a la 1994, and got to baking. I find that cooking and baking is a great creative outlet to put my energy towards when I’m having an off day, and at the end of the process I get to eat! Bonus!
Jenny had used this recipe as a base to make a gluten free coffee cake, which we’d discussed, so I dug into my memory and used the substitutes she’d suggested. I also had some agave and maple syrup on hand, not brown rice syrup like she used, so I combined those. It was perfectly sweet, but not overboard. I made mine in muffin tins, but Jenny made it in loaf pans. I’ll give the baking times for both.
- 2 flax seed “eggs” (recipe here)
- 1 1/3 cup sweetener (I used 1/3c agave, 1c maple syrup, but you could use sugar, brown rice syrup, whatever you’d like)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups grated fresh zucchini
- 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- Pinch salt
- 3 cups all-purpose, gluten free flour (I used 2c Bob’s Redmill, 1c Trader Joe’s)
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Oil two 5 by 9 inch loaf pans, or two muffin tins (dozen each)
- In a large bowl, mix together the syrups (or sugar), flax “eggs”, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted coconut oil.
- Sprinkle baking soda and salt over the mixture and stir it in. Add the flour, a third at a time, stirring after each incorporation. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and nutmeg over the batter and mix. Fold in the nuts and dried cranberries or raisins, if using.
- Divide the batter equally between the loaf pans, or spoon into muffin tins until about 3/4 full (I ended up with 18 muffins). Bake for 55 minutes (check for doneness at 50 minutes), if you’re making loaves, or 40-50 minutes for muffins (depending on your oven), or until a wooden pick inserted in to the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.
My roommate and I enjoyed them when they were still pretty warm from the oven, smothered in Earth Balance. Not a bad way to spend a Friday night, and my mood definitely shifted from emo to optimistic.