Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sweet Potato Zucchini Bread

[editor's note: I just got an iPhone and I would like to assure those using smartphones that this site looks good in the mobile version. So you know... if you want to visit me more.  Or look up ingredients for recipes. Also, I have discovered that those of you who have liked me on facebook aren't always seeing my new posts pop up in your feed. I believe if you like a couple things on the page or add comments, facebook will "learn" that you like hearing from me and notify you more often. Now, on to the actual post.]

Sweet potatoes were on sale last week and my husband and I got excited because of all the great things that can be made with sweet potatoes- sweet potato pie, sweet potato mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, baked sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows, etc, etc.  Jamie claimed some of the sweet potatoes for a pie and I got the rest to portion out for dinners and this new recipe I found. 

Sweet Potato and Zucchini Bread

Usually I link to where I got recipes and patterns to avoid copyright infringement and give full credit to the original author/publisher.  For this recipe, I took the main idea from an Epicurious recipe and combined it with elements from the zucchini bread recipe in The New Best Recipe Cookbook (hereafter shortened to NBRC).

Whenever I use a recipe off Epicurious, I always check the comments to see how people have changed the recipe.  Usually people have decreased the fat/sugar or suggested adding another spice to really bump up the flavor.  This one was no different.  Most people did some combination of all purpose and whole wheat flour, decreased the sugar, and replaced some of the fat with applesauce.  I also combined whole wheat and all purpose flour, decreased the sugar to NBRC levels, and fully intended to replace some of the oil/butter with the last bit of my applesauce... but I opened the jar and was nearly overpowered by the scent of fermented apples.  So I just cut down on some of the fat [edit: it needed that extra 2 tbs. I put it back in the recipe.]

NBRC has some great ideas regarding zucchini bread.  Zucchini, like tomatoes, cucumber, and melons, has a high water content.  Macerating the zucchini in sugar allows it to release it's juices, just like people do with strawberries they want to enjoy on waffles.  Instead of grating the zucchini, I ended up grinding it.  I do not have a box grater appropriate for this (my microplane grates too finely) and my faithful food processor's 30 year-old bowl finally broke (it's been in the process of breaking since a roommate was particularly harsh with it).  So I had a food grinder.  I don't really recommend using it unless the veggies are softer, but it definitely works in a pinch. 

Grinding the zucchini up.  I find most things, once ground, look slightly disgusting.
I've noticed that NBRC tends to add sour cream, plain yogurt, or buttermilk to their quick bread recipes (muffins, sweet breads, etc) because it is an acidic liquid that brightens flavors.  In this one, they preferred yogurt.  I did not have any on hand so I went with their second choice: buttermilk. 

So, I've only had a small slice of this so far, but here are my impressions.  It has a mild sweetness with a subtle flavor of both zucchini and sweet potato.  I think the sweet potato is kind of like the carrot in carrot cake: it lends the sweetness and backbone of a root vegetable, but isn't so intense you can't taste the other flavors.  I think using some allspice and nutmeg would help round out the flavor- just cinnamon is too one dimensional.  Overall, I'm pleased with it.  It's a bread you probably wouldn't bring to a potluck or make for company, but it is the kind you would buy at a coffeeshop.  It's filling and as far as coffeeshop treats go, it's one of your healthier options.  It's actually exactly what I was going for: something healthy-ish my husband could eat with coffee instead of buying something from the coffeeshop. 

not my best photo.  it was not a bright and shiny day. 
Sweet Potato Zucchini Bread

1c. all purpose flour
1c. whole wheat flour
1tsp cinnamon (or 1tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
1tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

3/4c. sugar
2 eggs
6tbs (3/4 stick) butter, melted and cooled (or replace up to half with applesauce)
1/4c. plain yogurt or buttermilk (or 1 tbs dry buttermilk added to dry ingredients and 1/4 c. water added to wet)
1tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2c. grated zucchini (+ 2tbs sugar)
1 1/2c. peeled, grated sweet potato

1/2c - 1c. chopped walnuts, toasted (opt)

1. grate zucchini and toss with 2tbs sugar.  Put grated zucchini in a strainer over something to catch the juices.  It should drain for about 30minutes or however at least as long as it takes to prepare the rest of the ingredients and heat up the oven.
2. preheat oven to 350 and prepare bread pan or muffin tin
3. mix dry ingredients.
4. grate sweet potato and add wet ingredients to it and mix.  Add the zucchini.  Add the walnuts.
5.  bake for 55min - 1hr 15min at 350degrees.


Joanne said...

Looks real tasty! Now we just need to experiment with it so that it is gluten free :)

Julie said...

I feel like that shouldn't be too hard because the sweet potato takes up some bulk of the flour. OH OH OH! I found a cool red velvet cake recipe that Dad might like. It doesn't use red dye and I feel like it might do well with gluten free flour (either Pamela's or a blend)