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Friday, September 30, 2011

Zucchini Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

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You know about my summer obsession; I’ve mentioned my mourning of the end of the season a few times. Need additional proof? I spent the first few weeks of September in a panic each time I went to the grocery store or farmer’s market, fervently praying that this wouldn’t be the week that watermelon disappeared. I continued to buy one and eat it in about four days, pouting when I felt like Ryan was eating too much of it and whining that he was stealing my happiness. Dramatic much? Don’t answer that.

Thankfully, much as I love summer temperatures (and watermelon), I also really love the foods of fall. Butternut squash, hearty soups, and pumpkin are welcomed with open arms into my kitchen each September. I like to think of this bread as the perfect compromise between fall and summer. The zucchini, leftover from summer’s abundance, gives moisture to this bread that is heavy on fall flavors: pumpkin, cranberries, and cinnamon.

I took a recipe from allrecipes.com and healthified it, knowing Ryan and I were likely to finish off the two loaves in a matter of days. We aren’t exactly a picture in self control when it comes to baked goods! :) I used mostly whole wheat pastry flour, cut the sugar in half, and reduced the butter, subbing unsweetened applesauce for most of it. The result was a minimally sweet, light-tasting quickbread that, as expected, didn’t last long in our house. I suppose if summer has to go, this is a pretty good way to wish it farewell….!

Looking for other quickbread recipes? I’ve got a whole bunch of them here!

One Year Ago: Pomegranate Banana Bread
Two Years Ago: Best Ever Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Zucchini Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
inspired by allrecipes.com
-3 eggs, lightly beaten
-1 cup sugar
-1 cup canned pumpkin
-1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
-6 tbsp butter, melted
-1 tbsp vanilla extract
-3 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
-1/2 tsp ground cloves
-1 cup shredded zucchini
-1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries
-3/4 cup pepitas

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Combine eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix in pumpkin, butter, applesauce, and vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir into wet ingredients, mixing just until combined.
4. Stir in zucchini, cranberries, and pepitas, mixing to combine. Divide batter evenly among two prepared pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula.
5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool. Remove bread from pans once cooled completely.