We’re all such conservative kiddies at heart, aren’t we? You mention carrot cake and everyone is comfortable and happy, excited even. Then you throw in a little word like zucchini or beetroot and suddenly everybody’s freaking out. Friends, there is no difference; all these vegetables - and many others besides – can make for a good loaf, adding moistness, a bit of hard to define depth of flavour and a nutritional boost that makes you feel pretty smug about eating what is basically cake.
We tested out two vegetable loaves on our youngest and most suspicious children, Jo and Iggy: this zucchini loaf, originally from the NY Times’ excellent cooking app, and a beetroot and chocolate one. The beetroot recipe was a bit weird – too wet, too rooty, not chocolatey or sweet enough. We’ll revisit it in time – I reckon it could be fabulous with some tweaking. But this one got the thumbs up! Even after they knew what was in it, our greens-averse children continued to hoe in. A total triumph.
Olive oil & zucchini bread recipe
200g zucchini, grated and squeezed dry
Zest of half a lemon, finely grated
150g brown sugar
80ml light olive oil
80ml plain yoghurt
5ml vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
190g plain flour
0.5 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp cinnamon
50g walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 180C (fan-forced). Grease and line a 1 litre loaf tin.In a mixing bowl, mix together the zucchini, lemon zest, sugar, olive oil, yoghurt, eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients till well combined then fold in the walnuts.
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a knife or skewer inserted into the middle tests clean. Rest for 10 minutes then turn out onto a rack to cool.
Serve as is or sliced and toasted with butter.