Tis the time of year where the days don’t just run by, they literally sprint –with an ever expanding to-do list. The frenzy starts with decorating the home inside and out and planning out the Christmas cards to send to people all over the planet. I always get lazy with this one and just take a pic of the kids outdoors somewhere when they happen to have their hair combed with clean clothes on. Holiday parties, piano concerts, and ballet performances go into high gear. Menu planning starts early, as I try to figure out the most compatible appetizers and main courses for people with various dietary preferences and restrictions. As far as gifts are concerned, I prefer the handmade variety over buying “stuff” that ends up in landfills. I love showing the special people in my life appreciation through homemade baked goods. I strategically plan baking when I’m stressed out the most, as this activity provides me therapeutic breaks during this hectic time of year.The process of measuring and mixing flours, butters, and spices is calming, and provides the added benefit of filling the house with a beautiful aroma and warmth on cold days. But best of all I get to give away the goodies so I don’t eat them all myself!
Aside from making baklava and cookies (baklava will be an upcoming video) I love making simple and healthy quick breads. Now my chocolate zucchini bread is almost magical, in that it takes under 10 minutes to make if using a food processor. I was inspired to make this bread when I had a bunch of cored out zucchini I used for another Arabic dish called “khousa mahshi. In this dish you core out the zucchini and stuff them with rice and meat. No one ever told me what to do with the cored out part of the zucchini which I didn’t want to waste! So after experimenting with the healthiest ingredients I could find, my chocolate zucchini was born. Why add chocolate? Because it is the perfect disguise for the green vegetable in the bread, and the kids don’t even notice!
Now here are 4 healthy swap outs to make moist and satisfying quick bread:
- Sub any oil and butter with coconut oil and or Greek Yogurt. The Greek yogurt does an especially amazing job of keeping the bread fluffy and moist, plus it adds a good amount of protein so that the bread is filling!
- Instead of regular sugar, use coconut or date sugar which is less processed. Coconut sugar is actually lower on the glycemic index, which means it won’t spike your blood sugar as much.
- Vegetables also add a moistness and delicate flavor to breads. The veggies most compatible with sweet breads are: zucchini, pumpkin, avocado and even beets.
- If you are baking for someone with an egg allergy, use 1 tbs of flaxseed meal to 2 1/2 tbs of water–whisk before adding to the bread. Applesauce or mashed bananas (1/4 cup for every egg) are also great binding agents.
Now are you ready to bake with me? Click on the video below and get started! A grocery list is provided below 🙂 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Semi sweet chocolate chips