Sunday, September 5, 2010

Garden Quick Bread

What to do with a bushel of apples?

It's the quite the predicament, isn't it?

Fortunately, these are just the kinds of predicaments I love finding myself in :)

My mom dropped a full bushel of apples off at our house last week--she'd gone overboard during an afternoon apple-picking session and found herself with more fruit than she could handle. I gladly stepped in to "save the day."

While I truly love all things autumn--pumpkins, potted mums, leaves changing color--my absolute favorite component of this season is the baking. Pumpkin muffins, apple pie, and mashed sweet potatoes galore! (okay, I took it too far with the "galore," didn't I?)

With a bushel of apples sitting on the counter, today kicked off the first official day of fall baking (never mind that fall is still 3 weeks away). On the menu? A sweet "garden quick bread," chock full of shredded apple, carrot, and zucchini. (Side note, given that this recipe only called for one apple, it looks like I've got a lot more baking ahead of me...)

I will post the recipe as it was published in Cooking Light, which is amazing as is. However, below I have noted some changes that I often make to quick bread recipes when I'm seeking to make a healthier "snack," as opposed to a dessert. It's important to note though that many of these changes can significantly impact the flavor, density, and texture of your bread! So, consider your audience before experimenting with them (You and a pal? Green light! The annual office bake-off? Not so much.)

Options for making a quick bread healthier:
  • Substitute half of the oil with applesauce
  • Use egg whites instead of whole eggs (usually 2 egg whites to 1 egg)
  • Use a portion whole wheat pastry flour
  • Reduce the sugar and/or use natural sweeteners (like agave nectar)

Do you have any suggestions for making your baked goods "healthier?"

Garden Harvest Quick Bread
(from Cooking Light. I know--I've been cooking a lot from them lately! I recently found several old recipes I clipped from their magazines over a year ago. Gold mine!)

  • 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup grated apple
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup nonfat buttermilk (I just used skim milk)
  • 2 large eggs

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 8 x 4 in. loaf pan.

2) Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add grated apple, carrot, zucchini and walnuts. Toss until combined.

3) Combine oil, milk, and eggs in a small bowl. Add to flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (Note: I always start checking quick breads 5 minutes before the expected finish time, just to make sure they don't over-bake)

4) Now, ask yourself what to do with the remaining bushel of apples, minus one, sitting on the counter.


  1. wow, i am so in the mood to make this. i hope i have the ingredients! *crossing my fingers*

  2. wow,what a great idea! That looks soooo good!

  3. That bread sounds lovely. I like making apple crisp when I have a ton of apples. There is so much sugar in the recipe I use -- it makes it so delicious, but I usually make it when we have company over so I'm not tempted by the whole thing :)

  4. Oh that sounds so good! I love fall and all the fall foods. I'm so happy it is basically here. :D

  5. hi kylie! what is that black thingy hiding in your bread? is that a raisin? i'm in process of making it now (;

  6. That bread looks awesome! Wow! And so healthy.

  7. So glad you're all enjoying the bread recipe :)

    Diana--those little black gems are the walnuts...I had some dark pieces in there! Raisins sound like a tasty addition as well, though. Happy baking to you!

  8. hey, kylie! i came up with a great idea for the bread i've made for the 2nd time. i sliced the whole loaf of the bread and baked it, and it came out great (; i'm eating one right now!

  9. oooh that looks so delicious, just perfect for the beginning of autumn :) I'll definitely try it soon!