Saturday, December 14, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Are you in the mood for some moist, chocolatey goodness? If so, then get your mixing bowl!

Chocolate zucchini bread
There's nothing like spending a little time on Pinterest to whet your culinary appetite! This easy recipe was part of my pre-retirement resolution to eat well. This recipe may not be the best thing for me to be eating, but, as treats go, it is better than store-bought junk food.

It's chock full of vitamins and antioxidants, so it's a win, right? Right? I think so.

Here's the recipe, so you can judge for yourself.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9-inch loaf pan (I used a silicone pan, so I gave it a quick spray of Pam).

    1 Cup flour
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ¾ teaspoon baking soda
    3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 Tablespoon hemp hearts
    ¼ Cup canola oil
    ½ Cup sugar
    ¼ Cup brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    ¼ Cup sour cream
    1½ Cup grated zucchini (about 3 small zucchinis)
    ½ Cup chocolate chips

    2 T brown sugar
    2 T white sugar
    ½ t cinnamon

In a colossal turn of bad luck, all of our food processing appliances broke parts this week, so I had to shred the zucchini the old-fashioned way. Which, of course meant that (a) I burned extra calories, and (b) I may have bled into the batter a little (yay! extra iron). Those two things make this loaf especially healthful!

The hemp hearts weren't in the original recipe, but I added them because they are considered a "superfood" when it comes to reducing inflammation, so it's good for my aching joints.

If I were to make it again, I would substitute applesauce for the oil. I need to reduce the fat in my diet.

To make this recipe correctly, you should combine all the dry ingredients before adding liquids. That way your leavening agents (baking soda and salt) are evenly spread throughout. I didn't do that because I had already shredded the zucchini into the mixing bowl and I'm lazy. (Come on -- I had already burned all those calories shredding the damned zucchini. Give me a break.)

My loaf turned out a little asymmetrical, but I blame that on the oven, not the preparation.

The sugar-cinnamon topping goes on fairly thickly before you pop the loaf in the oven and melts to a crispy crust on top.

Baking time is 50-60 minutes. Make sure you test it for done-ness with a toothpick or knife before you take it out of the oven. At 50 minutes, my loaf looked done, and sounded hollow when I tapped it, but the sugar-crust was deceptive. Inside, the dough was very much NOT done. Ten more minutes and it was perfect.

Delicious and nutritious!
As with all cakes and loaves, make sure you cool it at least ten minutes before you try to cut it. I turned mine upside down to slice it.

One final note: as you can see by all the crumbs in this picture, it is not a tidy snack. Eat accordingly.

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