25 August 2010

Gluten-Free Recipe: Zucchini Carrot Raisin Pecan Bread

It's been unseasonably rainy and cool in Boston the past few days, a preview of fast-approaching autumn. The weather has made me crave comfort foods such as soup, roasted meats, macaroni and cheese and hearty breads. Zucchinis are abundant right now and I've been mulling over creating my own gluten-free zucchini bread recipe for days. So I made a deal with myself -- I can bake today, if and only if, I start packing to move this weekend (or at least begin to de-clutter and organize).

As I began to tackle the papers in my desk drawers, my apartment became filled with the spicy aroma of the bread baking and I kept checking the timer. I am happy to report the recipe was a success and totally worth the wait -- moist and hearty, nutty and spicy. All the flavors work together and bread would legitimately pass as a regular bread made with wheat flour. Try other variations with dried cranberries, crystallized ginger or chocolate chips; these would also make fantastic muffins. I'm also contemplating a chocolate zucchini bread/muffins (adding cocoa powder) for later this fall so stay tuned.

Zucchini Carrot Raisin Pecan Bread

1/3 cup oil
1 cup turbinado raw sugar (I use Whole Foods 365 brand)
2 eggs
1/2 cup natural unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
Zest of one large orange
1 large zucchini, grated
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts)
1/2 cup raisins

Combine oil, sugar, eggs, applesauce and vanilla in large bowl and mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, spices and orange zest in medium bowl. Slowly add dry mixture into wet mixture until just combined (do not panic if this does not look like enough batter yet). Add zucchini, carrots, pecans and raisins until just combined (batter volume should nearly double). Pour into 9 1/2 x 5 1/2 loaf pan and bake in 350 degree oven for 65-70 minutes until brown and knife/toothpick comes out clean. If top of loaf browns too quickly, cover with foil. Cool, serve and enjoy!

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