This is an American staple, not appreciated – yet! – in Britain. ‘Yuck, veg in bread?’ I hear you cry; but c’mon, you love carrot cake, right? This is a ‘quick bread’ (sweet & non-yeasted) just like banana bread – the variation is in the footnote.
Kudos to my 1980s vintage Good Housekeeping Cookbook for the inspiration, although this is my personal version. It’s not GF, but it is dairy-free.
Makes: One loaf
- 190g self-raising flour
- 50g soft dark brown sugar
(for a richer taste, incorporate some dark muscavado or molasses sugar; no more than half, though)
- 100g soft light brown sugar (golden granulated/caster will do)
- 50g chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Freshly grated nutmeg, a few seconds’ worth
- 375g courgettes [zucchini] – scrubbed (but don’t peel); and topped/tailed before weighing
- 2 large eggs (they should total 130g – 140g when weighed in their shells)
- 80ml (75g if weighing) vegetable oil, plus additional for greasing tin
- 1 unwaxed lemon, grated zest only
- A 2lb loaf tin
- Baking/parchment paper, cut to fit the bottom of the tin
- 3 mixing bowls
- Kitchen paper
- Cooling rack
- Palette knife, to loosen loaf if necessary
- Preheat oven to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted). Very lightly oil the bottom and sides of your tin, and line the bottom with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugars, nuts, baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon, and nutmeg with a fork. Break up any clumps of sugar as you go.
- Grate the courgettes into a bowl lined with kitchen paper. Squeeze out the excess liquid and discard the paper.
- In another bowl beat the eggs manually, then stir in the oil, grated courgettes, and lemon zest until well combined.
- Fold the wet ingredients into the dry JUST until fully moistened. Over-working will create a tough, close-textured loaf, so be gentle. Scrape the batter into your prepared tin and smooth the top.
- Bake for up to 1 hour, turning the tin halfway through for even baking, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave the tin to cool on a cooling rack for 5 – 10 minutes before turning out (use a palette knife if necessary to loosen the loaf from the tin).
- Serve hot, warm, or cold, spreading a bit of olive oil-based margarine on each slice – you’ll definitely be a convert to using courgettes in baking.
This is the same recipe I use for non-GF banana bread – simply substitute the same weight of peeled bananas for the courgettes (the riper the better – you want really, really brown skins before you peel), about 3, and mashed well. I also add more ground cinnamon and nutmeg, and a touch of ground ginger, when making this recipe with bananas.
If you need gluten-free banana bread or muffins, check out my other recipe.