adapted from Baby Cakes
Since last summer when I stopped eating wheat, I will occasionally experience a craving for a food and realize I haven’t tried to make it wheat free. I say wheat free instead of gluten free because I have discovered that while wheat gives me vertigo, heart palpitations, and digestive distress, spelt—an ancient low-gluten relative to wheat—has no ill effects on my system. I still often try to bake completely gluten free, but sometimes spelt with its sweet nutty flavor, gorgeous toasty color and impressive absorption is just the right tool for the job. Plus, it gives baked goods a longer shelf life than gluten free flours.
And I needed spelt’s super absorbency here because I used 2 cups of finely shredded zucchini, twice the amount in most recipes! I also added fresh fruit because it’s July and I just can’t get excited about raisins when my refrigerator is full of golden kiwi, plump blueberry’s, and dark syrupy cherries.
This bread is less sweet than many zucchini bread recipes, moist and dense. The generous amount of zucchini, whole grain flour, and low sugar content make it wholesome. A mixture of chocolate chips, fresh fruit and crunchy bits make it complex and decadent.
I made cocoa nib, mini bittersweet chocolate chip, and cherry bread. It’s rich and complex, but subtle. I can’t wait to make this again with a new flavor combination: peach/white chocolate/pecan perhaps or blueberry/milk chocolate/poppy seed? Let me know what adventure you choose in the comments.
Choose Your Own Adventure Wholesome and Decadent Zucchini Bread
2 c. spelt flour
½ c. flax seed meal
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
2/3 c. brown sugar or coconut sugar
¾ c. milk (cow, almond, coconut, etc.)
½ c. melted coconut oil or butter
1 ½ Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 c. shredded zucchini
1/3 c choc chips (white, milk, dark, regular or mini)
1/2 c chopped stone fruit or whole small berries (cherries, apricots, peaches, blueberries or raspberries)
1/3 c. crunch (nuts, pepitas, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, or cocoa nibs)
Preheat oven to 325° and lightly oil a standard bread pan. In a large bowl, mix spelt flour, flax meal, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set 2 Tbsp. aside in a separate medium bowl; a chips, fruit and crunch ingredient and toss to coat with flour mixture. Set aside. In main bowl, one at a time, add sugar, oil, milk, and vanilla, stirring to incorporate after each addition. Fold in zucchini, then add chocolate mixture and fold again, until just incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared bread pan and bake for an hour (plus or minus 10 minutes) until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, or as long as you can wait before digging in.