Last night I had zucchini dreams.
The beautiful zucchini blossoms have produced a bumper crop of squash and I was given 2 giant zucchini from Kristin’s Kitchen Garden. They haunted me.
The day before, I read in the Chicago Tribune about the new USDA food pyramid rules. People are starting to talk about all the additional sodium in prepared food, fast food, leaving salt off the table and losing weight, not just water weight.
The new recommended sodium allotment is 1,500 mg. a day.
Go figure…1 tablespoon of soy sauce has 700mg. A ¼ teaspoon of salt has 400mg, 1/4 teaspoon Lawrey’s Seasoned Salt has 380 mg., 2 green olives stuffed with Jalapeno peppers have 210mg.
Who knows what’s in the martini?
Not to mention 5 tiny Cornichon pickles on the appetizer plate have 280mg. High blood pressure? That’s my quota for the day! And I’m not even thinking about the main course, popcorn, chips, or how I salt corn on the cob.
Yikes! No wonder I had zucchini dreams.
At least I’m dreaming healthy!
I went on-line to Mayo Clinic.Com
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/zucchini-bread and found a recipe for Zucchini Bread.
Whole wheat flour, low sugar, low fat, fruit, nuts and delicious!
Of course I had to change a few things, and there’s no salt. Voila!
Zucchini Tea Loaf and Cupcakes*
*adapted from Mayo Clinic Staff Recipe
6 egg whites
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat (whole-meal) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups shredded zucchini, scrape seeds from the core before shredding, don’t drain
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, roast walnuts on baking sheet while preheating oven about 8 -12 minutes to enhance their flavor and make them crunchy
1 1/2 cups crushed, unsweetened pineapple, drained
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat one 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Place paper baking cups in 12 cup standard size cupcake tin. Or you can make 2 loaves or 24 cupcakes.
In a large bowl, add the egg whites, canola oil, applesauce, sugar and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture on low speed until thick and foamy.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flours. Set 1/2 cup aside. Add the baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon to the small bowl of flour, whisk again.
Add the flour mixture to the egg white mixture and use the electric mixer on medium speed, beat until well blended.
Add the zucchini, walnuts, pineapple, raisins and stir with spoon until combined.
Adjust consistency of the batter with the remaining 1/2 cup flour, adding 1 tablespoon at a time. The batter should be thick and not runny.
Pour 1/2 of the batter into prepared loaf pan. Pour the other ½ of the batter into the paper-lined cupcake cups. Bake the cupcakes about 20-22 minutes on center rack of oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Bake the loaf on center rack, about 50 minutes. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn the loaf out of the pan onto the rack and let cool completely. Top with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar in strainer tapped over cake to finish.
I frosted the cupcakes with simple icing: ¾ cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon water, mix, add drops of water or additional sugar to get right consistency. This is an intuitive icing.
Zucchini loaf will keep in refrigerator for 3 days, some people say a week and freezes well.
Ha! It never lasts that long…