Tag Archives: avocado

Zucchini Banana Avocado Bread

zucchini banana avocado breadAs was the case last summer, the zucchinis in the garden are growing like weeds. We only go harvesting about once a week, but every time we go, there are new (sizeable) zukes to be plucked from the dirt.

To use up the zucchini, yellow squash and the surplus of cucumbers, we’ve been making fresh salads with a basil, garlic, lemon and oil dressing. Those salads are pretty ridiculous, in terms of delicious flavor, but let’s face it; my primary interest in zucchini is to use them for baked goods. They are so moist and lacking in their own flavor that they’re the perfect add-on item to just about any recipe. At the very least, they won’t hurt the taste or texture of the final product.

huge zucchiniOne of our zucchinis was particularly huge, about the size of my forearm. The recipe I ended up using (with modifications, natch) called for 1 cup of shredded zucchini and I used only about one quarter of the vegetable.

I went with a zucchini banana bread recipe from Taste of Home, as zucchini + banana sounds like the perfect combination for moist bread. I used only about one quarter of the sugar it called for, and added some honey for supplemental sweetness, but I could have cut out even more; the bananas seemed to have added enough sugar on their own. Also, I subbed a ½ cup of whole wheat flour for ½ cup of all purpose. It didn’t affect the bread negatively at all.

zucchini banana avocado breadAnd of course, I didn’t use any of the oil the recipe called for, and instead used avocado for the fat. As I was mixing up the initial ingredients, I felt like I was making some sort of salad.

The bread came out perfectly, with a crunchier, browned crust and moist interior. After a couple days, it was still delicious and moist, but unfortunately, the Chicago summer humidity got to it and the crust failed to maintain its crispness. Does anyone have any tips for how to store to save baked goods from moisture?

Check out the recipe below and let me know how it turns out or an modifications that made it better!

Zucchini Banana Avocado Bread
Makes three 5-¾” x 3” x 2” or one 9” x 5” loaf 

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
½ cup mashed ripe avocado
½ cup honey
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
½ cup walnuts (optional)

In a large bowl, combine mashed bananas, mashed avocado, zucchini, honey, egg and vanilla. In small bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir. Fold in walnuts.

Transfer into three 5-¾” x 3” x 2” well-oiled loaf pans. Bake at 325° F for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. If you don’t have three small pans, use one 9” x 5” pan and bake at 325° F for about 55-65 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.


Chai-infused crepes, with avocado instead of butter

chai crepesLast week we were in the mood for some breakfast-for-dinner action. Our go-to breakfast is usually a frittata of sorts, toast or possibly pancakes. But last week it was crepes that were calling out.

We haven’t made crepes in probably two years, and the last time we did, I recall them sticking to what was surely a cheap pan poorly lined with Teflon. Since then, we upgraded our kitchen to include a Bialetti, and, judging from the maiden voyage that was crepe-making, the pan is living up to the hype (the surface was so smooth—perfect for flipping crepes).

chai crepesThough we based our crepes on your average, run-of-the-mill recipe (from allrecipes.com), the final product was anything but ordinary. First of all, per usual, we used a butter alternative. After tasting delicious success using avocados in brownies, we decided to give it another go, and used one avocado instead of the 4 tablespoons of butter the original recipe called for. We just mashed the avocado, and then mixed it into the batter, so there were a few tiny avocado pieces in the crepes. I recommend getting rid of those with a hand mixer, as I will next time, but in the end, the avocado was mostly unnoticeable and definitely didn’t alter the flavor or texture.

Secondly, and more importantly, we infused the milk and water with chai tea. This wasn’t my idea, and at first I was skeptical, since I didn’t love how the batter smelled. I ate my words when the crepes were done cooking, however; they tasted amazing. The hint of chai was subtle but just enough to make a difference.

chai crepesThe final element for any crepe adventure: toppings. I had three crepes, one each with Saigon cinnamon and sugar, strawberry preserves and Trader Joe’s cocoa almond butter.

Final assessment: the chai crepes tasted incredibly, and were arguably better plain than with any toppings that muted their own flavor. The avocado-as-butter wasn’t perfectly smooth, which annoyed the obsessive-compulsive side of me far more than my taste buds, but also gives me a reason to try these out again. I also think the batter wasn’t thin enough, which made the crepes thicker than what a French brasserie would serve, and gives me another reason to give them another whirl.

Interested in trying out a fun twist on crepes? Check out the recipe below. Note: we also doubled the original recipe, in anticipation of eating breakfast-for-dinner two nights in a row.

Chai-Infused Crepes

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 cup water, heated
1 bag of chai tea (I used decaffeinated chai tea)
1 cup milk (plus more if necessary)
1 ripe avocado, well mashed (or 4 tablespoons of butter, if you’re feeling less than adventurous) 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and eggs.

Heat the water to boiling and steep tea bag in it for a few minutes. Add the milk to the tea, and then pour mixture into the mixing bowl with flour and egg. Stir to combine.

Mash ripe avocado to be as creamy as possible and add to mixture. Stir to combine. If there are still pieces of avocado, use a hand mixer on low for a few minutes until mixture is smooth. Batter should be thinner in consistency than pancakes. If thinning is necessary, add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to thin it out.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop batter onto griddle, using about ¼ cup for each crepe. Tilt pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.

Cook each crepe for about 2 minutes, until bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, flip and cook the other side. Serve hot with toppings like Nutella, preserves, sugar or cinnamon sugar.