Gingerbread Courgette Loaf
Good morning everyone!
During my trip back home to Amsterdam, I managed to get my loaf tin back. I missed it so much for my baking here, because I used to make so many banana breads in that tin. But today I won't be sharing a banana bread recipe (although I'm sure that will come around some time...) but another quick bread/loaf.
This gingerbread-spiced loaf is packed with courgette. I love to use courgette in my baking, because it adds so much moist. Any quick bread will have cake-like structure if you add courgette I think, which is basically amazing, because you trick your mind into thinking you're eating an oil-packed cake when it's just super healthy. Grated courgette is also amazing to add to red velvet cake, just so you know. Also, the little green dots look gorgeous in the baking.
You can experiment with this loaf as much as you want. I am trying to find the healthiest version without compromising on taste and texture. I've found that this recipe is the perfect balance! It has just 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, but you might even be fine without any oil at all. It's also completely up to you how sweet you want this cake to be. If you plan on eating this cake for breakfast, I suggest just using 1/4 cup of agave syrup or honey and leaving out the 1/4 cup of brown sugar. But of course you can add as much sugar as you want, especially if you want to serve this as an afternoon treat/coffee cake.
I used 4 eggs for this loaf, which sounds like a lot, but I sometimes like to add an extra egg to my breakfast loaf because I am a vegetarian. I try to sneak extra protein into my meals wherever I can, so if I have the chance to add an extra egg to my baking, I just go ahead. I started out with 3 eggs but found the batter a bit too thick, so I added another one. If I were you, I'd just start with 3 eggs and see where that gets you. Especially if you are just using plain flour and no oats & spelt flour like me, I think 3 eggs will be plenty.
To add a gingerbread flavour to this loaf, I added cinnamon, allspice and ground ginger. These spices gave this loaf so much warmth, it made me feel like it's already Christmas. Perfect for any cold mornings coming up. Feel free to just use 2tsp of cinnamon if you don't have the other spices in your cabinet; it will still taste amazing.
Gingerbread Spice Courgette Loaf
Yield: ± 10 slices - Prepping time: 15 mins - Baking time: 55-60
½ cup self-raising flour
½ cup wholegrain spelt flour
1 cup wholegrain oats + 1 tbsp for decorating
1 tsp baking soda (=bicarbonate of soda)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground allspice/mixed spice
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¼ cup melted vegetable shortening or vegetable oil
¼ cup agave syrup
¼ cup almond milk
¼ cup brown sugar (I used dark brown natural unrefined cane sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (you need the acidity as a reactor otherwise the baking soda doesn’t do anything, you can also use some honey or lemon juice)
2 cups grated courgette (±2 small to medium-sized courgettes)
small handful chopped walnuts
small handful chopped pecans + some extra for decorating
Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
Sieve all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and combine well.
Grate the courgette and drain well from extra liquid, but it’s okay if you leave just a bit because this provides extra moist to the loaf.
Stir in the chopped nuts and set aside.
In another bowl, add all of the wet ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir everything together with a spatula.
Finally, add the courgette & nuts and fold into the mixture.
Spray a loaf tin with some baking spray (I use coconut oil spray), or alternatively just grease the tin with butter. Line your tin with parchment paper and spray again.
Pour in your batter. Your batter should be just liquid enough to pour in your tin with some help of a spatula to flatten everything out!
Top the loaf with some whole pecan nuts and a sprinkle of oats.
Cover the top of your loaf with aluminium foil but be sure to leave enough room for the loaf to rise.
Bake the loaf for 45 minutes. Then take it out of the oven, remove the aluminium foil and check how far along the loaf is. Place back into the oven without the foil so the top of the loaf can become golden brown. My loaf needed another 15 minutes, so it baked for a total of 60 minutes. You can try to reduce your baking time by increasing the heat of your oven to 190 degrees Celsius, but I didn’t want to risk ending up with an uncooked inside but burnt top.
Let the loaf cool in the tin for 10 minutes before easily removing it by pulling on the parchment paper.
Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack for at least another 10 minutes before cutting into it.
Have a lovely week everyone and be sure to share picture with me if you do try this recipe! :)