Friday, November 26, 2010

Zucchini Bread with Roasted Almonds

I have been looking for a good gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free zucchini bread for awhile, and I finally found one that really caught my eye over at Gluten Free Goddess.  I made a few changes, including incorporating roasted almonds.  We are just starting to introduce nuts to the Little Man's diet, so we don't have a wide range of nuts to choose from.  Although I would have originally wanted to pair this with pecans, the almonds surprised me in how much flavour they added to the bread.  It was a perfect match!  Roasting them yourself really brings out extra flavour.  I also included almond residue (leftover from making homemade almond milk) for an additional flavour boost, and used an organic demerara sugar for a crisp crust.

To roast the almonds, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spread whole raw almonds over a foil-lined cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Watch the oven carefully as the 10 minute mark approaches.  You want a nutty smell to be coming from the oven, but if you overdo it the almonds will burn.  Set cookie sheet aside for almonds to cool.  Note that almonds will not crisp up for at least an hour.  For using in the bread, you only need to wait until the nuts are cool enough to handle.  Chop by hand or in Vitamix at power 5 for 5-7 seconds.  For storage of extra almonds, wait 1-2 hours until almonds are completely cool, then store in a tightly-sealed container in the fridge.  I like to use my roasted almonds to top green salads.

The bread recipe can be started while the almonds are roasting.  Conveniently, the bread bakes at 350 degrees, so you can use the same preheated oven once the almonds are done.
  • 1 rounded cup (1 1/4 cups) partially peeled then grated zucchini
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup organic demerara sugar (can be substituted with natural cane sugar)
  • 1/4 cup almond residue (solids created by making almond milk) (optional)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp lime juice (can be substituted with lemon)
  • 1 Tbsp Ener-G egg replacer whisked with 1/4 cup water 
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted almonds (optional)
  1. Press the liquid out of the zucchini by placing it in a sieve and squeezing. It is important to remove as much liquid as you can so the bread isn't too gooey. Fluff it with a fork and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sorghum, tapioca, xanthan, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  Mix.  Add sugar and mix again.
  3. Add almond paste, coconut oil, coconut milk, lime juice, and egg replacer mix.  Beat on medium speed until well mixed -- about 1 minute.
  4. Add drained zucchini and almonds and mix on slow 20 seconds or so until combined.
  5. Scrape dough into parchment-lined loaf pan (I just drape it in a U-shape in the pan and don't worry much about the ends) and smooth the top with a damp spatula.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

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