Gluten-Free Zucchini Loaf! :)

I’ve been planning this for a little while and I feel that there is no better time to launch a new little focus here in terms of baking.

There’s been a little bit of research going on after my uncle and aunt came a few months ago and talked about the benefits of gluten-free lifestyle and suggested that maybe it was the hidden cause of the sudden downturn of my health from the relapse of lactose intolerance to caffeine sensitive among the many other stuff.  Generally, my sensitive digestion system.  I have accepted and worked around to how to live with all these foods that I can’t eat but it sure would be nice to not have to go out and worry about it one day or just at least not feel bloated all the time.

After taking a little time to adjust, I’ve decided to slowly go on the gluten-free path.  Its going to be hard to find alternatives and from the look of it, might even be more costly but nonetheless, my health is the most important and I want to be sure to feel better.

With that, here is my new little focus in baking & cooking: Gluten-free meals and desserts 🙂

Of course, I’m only doing this little by little and my first step was to cut bread out of my life.  Plus, I picked up my first bag of gluten-free flour from Costco a month ago so when I had an an abundance of zucchini stacked up in the fridge, I decided to finally try my hand at making a Zucchini Loaf.

Here’s how it turned out 🙂

Gluten-free Zucchini Loaf

I got the recipe in the Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykin.  The recipe itself is called Grandma Daykin’s Zucchini Loaf.

Here is the original recipe, however I halved it to make one loaf only.

Ingredients

Makes 2 loaves, about 8 to 10 slices per loaf

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
2 cups grated raw zucchini
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp pure vanilla

How to make it:

1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
2. Onto a large piece of parchment paper, sift together the flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking soda and baking powder.  Set aside.
3. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add the zucchini, sugar, oil, and vanilla and mix to blend.
4. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. Pour the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.  Use a spatula to spread the batter smoothly across the pan.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Remove from the oven and allow the loaves to cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Use a serrated knife to slice the loaves, then serve.

Gluten-free Zucchini Loaf

Other than halving all the ingredients to make one loaf, I also had a few modifications.

  • The all purpose flour was replaced by the Cloud 9 Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Mix. Its one to one cup replacement so it makes the whole process easier.
  • I don’t have pumpkin pie spice so I had to do a little rough blend of ground cinnamon, ground ginger and ground nutmeg.
  • As for zucchini, my grater miraculously vanished.  It could have gotten mixed up in my packing somehow so I spent some extra time to finely chop it.
  • In terms of vegetable oil, I used canola oil since that was the closest I had (the other would’ve been olive oil and I’m not sure that would do so good).
  • I didn’t have enough vanilla but I did pour all the remainder I had left.

This recipe is pretty much in the awesome area.  It had the right amount of sweet to balance off the zucchini.  Plus, I’m not sure if it was the flour or just the entire recipe itself but every bite melted into my mouth literally.  I fell in love with this more than I expected. If this is what zucchini loaf tastes like, sign me up for more 😉

Have you tried eating gluten-free foods? Do you have any suggestions as to how to slowly get into it? Have you tasted zucchini loaves before?

 

Peanut Butter Granola Clusters!

I got back into the kitchen and baked! I’m super proud of myself…not that proud since it took me two weeks but I had work to blame.  I worked for 12 days straight and today due to an extra early morning drive to the airport, I ended up having to get half a day off from work because I was just drained.  It was all dizzy and fuzzy and concentration was shot.  Anyways, that aside, I napped, ate, rested and even watched the 2nd NHL playoff game for Montreal Canadiens and then decided to bake! I gave my boyfriend the choice of these granola clusters or cinnamon rolls. Guess which one won 😉

P1210841This recipe is from my Looneyspoons book by Janet and Greta Podelski.  This is called GOODY TWO CHEWS!

Makes 12 clusters

Ingredients

1/3 cup light peanut butter

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 egg whites

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 1/2 cup low-fat granola

3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries

How to make them:

1. Preheat oven to 250F.  Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, beat together peanut butter and maple syrup on medium speed of electric mixer.  Add egg whites and pumpkin pie spice and beat again until smooth.

3. Stir in granola and cranberries.  Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven to cool completely on wire rack before removing clusters from pan.  Store in an airtight container

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Fresh out of the oven! They look absolutely wonderful and filled the house with peanut butter smell.

Just for a few modifications:

– I misread the peanut butter quantity and put more around 1/2 cup…

– I have no idea where to buy pumpkin pie spice but the books gives you a little tip as to combining 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg.  It was from earlier in the book, so now I’m wondering if the quantities were in proportion…

– I only used granola because I had bought one with fruits in it and the book recommends one with pumpkin flax. I obviously didn’t read it beforehand.  In turn, I eliminated the dried cranberries since the granola mix already had it.  This was the one I bought:

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After it cooled down and I had pried it out of the muffin tins, I gave it a whirl to see what it taste like.  Suffice to say, I’ve never eaten any clusters before.  This seemed like a healthier choice too. It works well with the whole staying fit 😉 This tasted AMAZING! I had this really interesting texture.  On the top is was crunchy a bit and near the bottom, it felt like the bottom of a muffin type of chewy.  Not dry just a bit fluffy and chewy.  I don’t really know how to describe it but it was so great 🙂

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The fruits gave a little sweet taste and then it mixed well with the peanut butter and maple syrup mix 🙂

If you like to make clusters or enjoy granola, you should give this shot! Its quite delicious and super easy to make.  The baking time is a bit longer than my usual but its well worth the wait 🙂 If anything, the aroma that circulates around the house while its in the oven just starts making your mouth water..I know it did that for me!  Its perfect as snacks and I’m sure if you have little ones, they’ll probably enjoy it a lot too 🙂