Remember how great it felt to be signed out of school early? Seeing the world as it existed mid-day, like you were getting away with something when, really, you were probably off to see the doctor or dentist. Zucchini bread will always remind me of that feeling. Ritual is a funny thing. We all have ours, whether we're aware of them or not, they sneak their way into our subconscious, begging to be repeated or calling to mind certain deep-seeded memories. When I was a kid, from middle school and on through high school, whenever my mom would need to pick me up mid-day, we'd always stop at the same country store for a juice and a slice of their homemade zucchini bread.
With zucchini season here, I felt inspired on a recent Sunday to recreate this old favorite using (I'm assuming) healthier ingredients. Oat flour is my favorite gluten-free, whole-food flour to bake with these days and while it doesn't work with every recipe, it was perfect for this recipe. Combined with the applesauce, it made for a super moist and dense quickbread that just begged to be toasted and covered with good quality butter. Chris even liked it, which is saying something. Enjoy!
Gluten Free Zucchini Bread
1 cup grated zucchini, packed (about 1 small-ish zucchini)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp grated fresh orange peel
1 3/4 cups oat flour (to make oat flour, place oats in a blender or coffee grinder and blend until powdered)
1/2 cup dry sweetener (sugar, coconut sugar)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
generous pinch of salt
1/4 cup raisins (optional, you could also try adding nuts or chocolate chips)
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease bottom and sides of a loaf pan. Line the bottom with a square of parchment paper and sprinkle in a few sunflowers seeds.
2. Add all wet ingredients to your food processor and pulse until well mixed.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all dry ingredients, except for raisins and sunflower seeds.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a wooden spoon until just incorporated. Toss in the raisins and mix lightly.
5. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle sunflower seeds over top. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm and slathered in (preferably grass fed) butter (I like Kerrygold but really, any kind of butter will do).