Zucchini Apple Carrot Bread

Aside from ice cream, I’ve never been a huge fan of sweeter foods, especially for breakfast. Most mornings, my breakfast consists of some type of egg (scrambled or over medium), a meat (sausage or bacon), and veggies (sautéed onions, peppers, broccoli, spinach, etc. or a fresh veggie like avocado).

With that said…sometimes sweeter things just really hit the spot. I can’t do food like french toast – too sweet – but a happy medium like carrot, banana and/or zucchini bread…mmmmm.

I’m still not sure how I feel about gluten, so while I still eat it, I try to limit my intake. I am sure how I feel about sugar though – avoid avoid avoid! I’ve sampled with various non-sugar recipes before and I can’t say many have passed the taste test. I really admire those people who can tolerate a sacrifice in taste in the name of health but for me…I’d rather just not eat it!

This weekend, I made another attempt at a breakfast bread. This is, by far, my favorite bread recipe. While it does not include sugar, it does include (organic/local) maple syrup and honey. And while these are better options than sugar, I still don’t think it’s great to eat a lot of either; however,  I am 100x more ok with these ingredients than sugar.

Also – for the sake of making the recipe more readable, I refrained from writing “organic” by each ingredient, but make sure to use organic/local options as much as possible!

Also, make sure to read the ingredient list. For example, chocolate chips are frequently made in large part with sugar – like these. The first ingredient is sugar! This option, on the other hand, is made purely of organic raw cacao.

I find the bread tastes best when refrigerated… Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:
• 2 c shredded zucchini (~ 2 medium-sized zucchinis)
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1/2 c melted butter (Kerrygold!!)
• 1/2 c honey
• 1/2 c maple syrup
• 2 eggs
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 c shredded carrot (~ 1 medium-sized carrot)
• 1 c shredded apple (~1 medium-sized apple – I prefer Fuji or Honeycrisp)
• 1 c oat flour
• 2 c flour
• 2 tsp baking soda
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 3 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tbsp gelatin
• 1/2 c dark chocolate chips
• 1/2 c chopped walnuts

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Spray two 8” x 4” loaf pans with coconut oil spray.
3. Combine grated zucchini with salt in colander. Press out as much liquid as possible while in the colander.
4. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, honey and maple syrup. Then, mix in the eggs, vanilla, shredded carrot, shredded apple and shredded zucchini. Mix well and set aside.
5. In a small bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and gelatin.
6. Begin stirring the dry mixture into the wet mixture until combined. Then, fold in the chopped walnuts & chocolate chips.
7. Pour batter evenly between the two loaf pans and bake for 50 minutes. Bread will be done with a knife is inserted and comes out clean.

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Steps In The Right Direction

When I first began my “life detox” AKA paying attention to/caring about the foods I ate, products I consumed and environment I was in, it felt fairly overwhelming and difficult to know where to start. 

Because of the whole “occasionally wanting to roll over and die after a sip of alcohol” situation, it made the most sense to begin with focusing on food. In my research, I slowly but surely realized how much more important ingredients and quality were over my previous allegiance to counting calories and low fat/sugar free foods.

My trips to the grocery store totally changed with a newfound, simple approach:

1. Read the label.

2. Ignore pretty much everything in the “amount/serving” section except for sugar. Pay attention to sugar! 

3. Scour the ingredients list.  

You would think an organic label would equal a good option…and while it might be a better option than something full of chemicals, pesticides, etc., not all organics are created equally.

For example…pasta sauce! The jars below were sitting side by side on the shelf. Both organic, both tomato basil. Pretty much identical, right? Well…

One of the biggest differences between the two jars is the sugar content: 1st jar: 8g, 2nd jar: 2g.

Wait. What? Why a 6g difference? 

Looking at the ingredient list, you’ll see the first jar includes evaporated cane syrup, the 2nd doesn’t. Organic or not, sugar is still sugar…which I’m fairly convinced is the root of all evil

And because I’m currently hearing a chorus of, “…well, I bet the 2nd (non-sugar) one costs an arm and a leg!”, I’d like to point out the fact that the non-sugar sauce was actually the less expensive of the two. A common misconception – healthier absolutely does not automatically mean more expensive.

Changing habits can feel extremely overwhelming; it certainly did for me. At the end of the day, the best thing we can do for ourselves is research, experiment & figure out whatever it is that makes us feel the best.

Drastic cold turkey changes are not required for beginning to live a healthier life. For me, a cold turkey approach made the entire thing feel completely unattainable, unrealistic and fairly discouraging.

What has worked me? Realizing that choosing to do something, instead of nothing is a step in the right direction. And sometimes that something is as simple as comparing the sugar content within two jars of pasta sauce. (: