Warning: I’m not a *real* chef, AND I got a C+ in organic chemistry, B+ in inorganic chemistry. Proceed with caution.
Excess zucchini means science experiment time! I have lots of vegan friends and recently a handful of gluten free friends, so I decided to see if I could please both of them with a summertime staple: zucchini bread.
First, the research for a gluten free bread recipe was pretty easy, but…wait Xanthan Gum? What is that? I had an idea of what that did in gluten free baking but no idea where it came from or where even to get such a thing, certainly I wasn’t going out for it. Thanks to Wikipedia I again know way more about an ingredient than I care to, thus, had to find a replacement which WAS NOT a chemical. It dawned on me that flax basically can be used as a sub for anything….so why not as a sub for xanthan gum. Turns out, lots of people think xanthan gum is icky like I do, and use flax as a sub, teaspoon for teaspoon. Now…in my vegan banana bread recipe, I also subbed flax and water for eggs, decided to try that in this one too. Science experiment complete. I crossed my fingers hoping it would taste okay and had SUPER results!
This bread came to work with me to our staff meeting and noshers said it was super moist, and slightly spicy. I particularly appreciated the crispy exterior and the chewy interior. Bonus is that it didn’t need a spread of any kind, it stands on its own two feet.
This recipe makes one loaf.
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 ½ cups freshly shredded zucchini
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs (or to Veganize it: 1T flax seed ground with 3 T hot water)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla (check this, some have gluten in them-gross)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ cups GF Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill chickpea and fava bean)
- 1 teaspoon flax sprinkles for each cup of flour
- up to 13 teaspoons hot water (I know this sounds random, but it depends on the type of gluten free flour you use how much water you will need)
Shred the zucchini, allow it to rest on paper towel to reduce moisture and chop the walnuts in a food processor or by smashing them in a plastic bag and set them aside.
Use a mixer to beat the flax/water mixture and add the sugar, oil and vanilla. Add the baking soda, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Slowly pour in the flour and flax sprinkles (dry) until well mixed. Now if you have made bread before, you will know that the end consistency is not thick like cookie dough, but rather, thicker than cake batter, so to get from cookie dough to almost cake batter, slowly add hot water 1 teaspoon at a time until you have a workable quick bread viscosity. For me, that took 13 teaspoons.
Last, by hand, mix in the zucchini and walnuts. Pour in greased & floured loaf pan and bake at 350F degrees for 55-75 minutes. Let cool.
I never considered that vanilla is typically made from vodka and therefore would have gluten in it…thanks for the head’s up.
So I have made GF vanilla for a friend for Christmas before. It was a great gift. A few Penzey’s vanilla beans in GF clear liquor like Smirnoff Red Label which is from Corn not Wheat. It stores forever in your freezer.
I don’t know if I would classify Xantham Gum as an unnatural product – it’s produced by a bacteria eating sugar, I think.
The problem I have with it is how expensive it is!