Spiced Wholemeal Zucchini Loaf

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We have a zucchini overpopulation issue in our household at the moment.

Things like this tend to happen when you grow your own vegetables. It’s summer and zucchinis are in season. We have an plentitude of huge (and I mean HUGE) zucchinis just waiting to be cooked. Not that I’m complaining about it – we’re lucky to have such an abundance of fresh vegetables growing in our own backyard. The challenge is finding ways to use them up and not letting them go to waste!

It’s easy to get sick of something when you eat it nearly every day, but luckily zucchini is very versatile. Drizzled with olive oil and roasted in the oven, chopped up and mixed through pasta, and yes, even baked into cakes!

This was my first time using zucchini for baking. I decided to use wholemeal flour to give the loaf a bit more of a wholesome texture and make it a tad healthier, and added some ginger to give it a sweet, spicy kick. The loaf was deliciously moist thanks to the zucchini and the vegetable oil. Next time I might try it with half plain and half wholemeal flour for a slightly lighter, fluffier texture.

In conclusion, I’m glad I tried this recipe – I found a new way to make use of our excess zucchini! Also, the more I type or read the word zucchini, the weirder it looks. I mean, how many foods begin with the letter Z?

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Spiced Wholemeal Zucchini Loaf
(adapted slightly from Good Taste magazine, Feb 2012 issue)

2 cups wholemeal self-raising flour, sifted (discard the husks)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup zucchini, grated
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and line a loaf pan.

Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger in a large mixing bowl. Add the grated zucchini, oil, vanilla essence and eggs, and mix until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and bake for 50 minutes or until well-risen and a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan for a few minutes before slicing.

Serve while still warm from the oven! Of course, it’s also great when cooled down, or even toasted and spread with a little butter, or ricotta and honey.

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