During my recent trip to Santa Barbara, I had the opportunity to visit with my dear friend Brittany and her husband Ben. They maintain a vegan household and visiting with them always gets me thinking about food and where it comes from. Whenever I visit, they surprise me with a new dish or recipe that gives me a whole new perspective on cooking. They make being vegan look simple and I always admire their devotion to their eating habits as a way of improving the world. Being the head chef of my own kitchen, I am constantly reflecting upon my own eating habits and try to find inspiration within other kitchens. Brittany and Ben’s kitchen is one of my favorites because they share a similar passion for food, and because they grow many of their own ingredients, such as vegetables and herbs. They put care and dedication into each step of the process, starting from their seaside garden to where it ultimately ends up on the plate.
We decided to spend Sunday afternoon in their lovely garden, harvesting fruit and vegetables and talking about our baking project that we wanted to work on later that evening. Their garden was full of color and variety. They had quite an assortment of peppers growing, kale, pumpkins, zucchini, and tomatoes. Since their garden had produced such an abundance of zucchini in the past week, we decided to take advantage and make homemade zucchini bread. To be honest, I have never been that fond of zucchini bread but 5 hours later, I found that my distaste for zucchini bread had been attributed to the fact that I had never had homemade zucchini bread. Man this stuff was good!
The original inspiration for our recipe can be found at http://hellyeahitsvegan.com/vegan-zucchini-bread/. Brittany had the brilliant idea of adding in some carrots to the recipe to sweeten it up. Additionally, we put in twice as much vanilla as the recipe called for because a life is always a little better with more vanilla. And, of course, we added lots of love. It doesn’t get much better than baking with your bestie.
5 hours, 3 loafs, and 2 dozen muffins later, we were exhausted, but felt we accomplished what we had set out to achieve and emerged triumphant! The bread was mouth-watering fresh, soft and sweetened to perfection.
I hope you guys enjoy!
Vegan Zucchini Bread
Serves: 2 loaves
*You can also make muffins by following the below instructions but cutting the baking time in half*
6 tbsp ground flax seeds
½ c warm water
2 c turbinado sugar (or light brown sugar)
½ c coconut oil
½ c applesauce
2 tsp vanilla
1 c grated zucchini (~1 medium-sized one)
1 c grated carrot
2 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 c Raisins, (optional)
½ c Poppy Seeds (optional)
- Grease two loaf pans.
- Mix together flax seeds and warm water.
- Add sugar, coconut oil, applesauce, and vanilla; beat well.
- Add grated zucchini & carrot; stir until combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together remaining dry ingredients.
- Add dry mixture to wet mixture and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened and everything is incorporated evenly; some lumps are fine. If adding additional mix-ins, fold them in now. Divide batter between prepared pans.
- Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes, or until knife inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Let cool a few minutes before slicing.