I guess I was on a roll with chocolate vegetables this past week because after creating the Chocolate Kale Smoothie I was in the mood for chocolate zucchini bread. As usual, I was striving to make a snack bread that I could give to my 3 year old whenever she asked for it, which wouldn’t be the case with most of the recipes out there loaded with sugar and chocolate chips. Don’t get me wrong – I like those decadent recipes, but there’s no reason to train our kids’ taste buds (or our own) to expect a sugar high every time they reach for a slice of bread. Molasses, along with some unsweetened applesauce, provides the sweetness for this tasty, moist alternative to the sugar high. Try it for another way to get more vegetables into your family’s diet while giving them a healthy treat. If you want to serve it for dessert, I recommend adding ½ cup dark chocolate chips on top before baking.
I make my baked goods gluten-free because that’s what I eat these days, but I include versions using wheat flours because I know most people don’t have gluten-free flours on hand, and that shouldn’t stop you from trying a delicious recipe.
Gluten-Free Cocoa Zucchini Bread (wheat version in parentheses)
1 c. oat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
½ cup sorghum flour (or all-purpose flour)
3 T. unsweetened cocoa, sifted
2 t. baking powder
¼ t. xanthan gum (omit if using wheat flour)
½ t. sea salt
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans (+ 2 T. to top batter)
½ cup unsweetened organic applesauce
1/3 cup oil – olive, coconut, or canola
1 t. vanilla extract
4 T. molasses
1 large egg
2 cups shredded zucchini (1 medium)
Butter 8 x 8” pan and preheat oven to 350°.
In large bowl combine all dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Add applesauce, oil, vanilla, molasses and egg, and whisk until thoroughly combined. Fold in zucchini with a spatula. Pour into prepared pan and smooth with spatula. Sprinkle reserved pecans if you like (I sprinkled some on half since Ella isn’t crazy about too many nuts in her food).
Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick test is clean. Let cool before slicing.
Makes 16 pieces