Summers are just about to hand over the season’s baton to autumn and I had this sudden urge to bake something with one of the season’s ingredients before bidding good bye to summer’s bounty. The courgettes or zucchini, as many of us know them, don’t seem to be a very popular vegetable with the kids. Actually, for some reason, children (and even some adults) seem to have a strong aversion for almost every green vegetable – broccoli, peas, spinach, courgettes, asparagus, okra, etc. At the age of four, my daughter began eating spinach after I convinced her that eating spinach would make her strong like her then favorite cartoon character ‘Popeye’. What stories we parents weave around food to make our kids eat healthy! The best way however, during the later stages is to camouflage these veggies with other foods. Some vegetables can be camouflage easily in baked foods such as cakes, bread and muffins. Adding chocolate will make it an absolute winner. And when you add oats to your baked goods along with this healthy stuff, you get to hit two birds with one stone. I dotted this dense and healthy bread with chocolate chips and turned it into a delicious treat for lunch pack and for snacking. Serve it slathered with some Nutella and you have breakfast bread that probably anyone would find hard to resist; although I have exceptions to that in my family itself.
So, before the blogosphere is bombarded with pumpkin and other winter squash recipes, a farewell post to the summer squash.
¼ C Granular Sugar
½ C Brown sugar
½ C Oil
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 C Flour
1 C Oats plus some extra to sprinkle on the top
½ tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Baking Powder
1½ C shredded Zucchini
1/3 C (+/-) Dark Chocolate Chips
¼ C Walnuts (finely chopped) plus extra to sprinkle over the top
2-3 tbsp milk
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C. Prepare an 8 inch loaf pan by either oiling and dusting or lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and then add in the oats. Set aside
Place both sugars in a smaller mixing bowl and add in the milk, oil, eggs and vanilla essence. Whisk till smooth.
Make a well inside the flour mix and pour in the wet mixture to it. Whisk till the batter just comes together. (The batter will look pretty thick at this point) Fold in the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips. Bake in the oven till a skewer inserted comes out clean (over an hour). Remove from the oven and allow it to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Notes: Since rolled oats are not easily available here, feel free to use sugar free granola instead.
Tip: The bread tastes great with Nutella