August and September end the lazy days of slow breakfasts, but they don’t have to end good breakfasts. For a quick, healthy breakfast or afternoon snack, bake a loaf of whole-grain, low-fat, higher protein but still moist and delicious zucchini bread, chocked full of good stuff like pepitas, which contain healthy fatty acids. Take a look at the ingredients: your only fat is from the egg(s) and the pepitas. All of the moist goodness comes from buttermilk and yogurt, plus those dairy products and pepitas bring extra protein, calcium, and some good fats. One loaf will yield close to 2 dozen slices for several breakfasts, lunchbox treats, afternoon snacks, or even as Mr. Homesteader likes it best, dessert at night (warmed with a dollop of ice cream).
Ingredients for 1 loaf baked in a 9×5 inch pan
- 1/4 cup plain, nonfat yogurt
- 1/3 cup sugar (or less)
- 1/4 cup buttermilk or kefir
- 1-2 eggs
- 1 cup grated fresh or frozen (drained) zucchini
- 1 cup plus one tablespoon whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 -3 tablespoons cinnamon (or less, if you aren’t a cinnamon nut like I am!)
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
- handful or two of golden raisins, regular raisins, or currants (optional if you hate raisins, of course)
Preheat oven (or toaster oven!) to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom only of a 9X5 bread-baking pan (glass or cast iron preferred over a flimsy metal pan, as you’re going to bake this for a while). Combine the first five ingredients in a small bowl or large mixing cup–about 1 quart size should give you plenty of room. Combine the remaining ingredients except the pepitas and raisins in a 2-cup measure and stir well. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir just to combine. Stir in the raisins and pepitas, reserving a few pepitas for the top of the loaf. Pour everything into your prepared pan and sprinkle on the last of the pepitas. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 70 minutes, covering the top loosely with foil to avoid over-browning about half way through the process. Let the bread cool 5 minutes in the pan, and then slide a knife around the edges to make sure the bread is separated neatly. Remove the bread from the pan and let it finish cooling on a rack. Slice after it cools, as you need it, from the center outward.
If you’ve got space in your freezer, you can double or even triple this recipe and freeze loafs for easy breakfasts in the winter. If you decide to freeze the zucchini instead, be sure to grate it first and then drain it very well after it thaws before you use it for bread.
Does your family have a favorite quick back-to-school breakfast? Do you have a special way to bake zucchini bread?
Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader, including photographs.