At the Farmer’s Market over the weekend, I got very excited about this one enormous zucchini grown by one of my favorite local farmers, Fry Farm. It was a nostalgic moment because my mom used to grow these monster zucchinis in our garden growing up, easily ten times the size of the typical zucchini in the grocery store. And, I vividly remember my mom making endless loaves of zucchini bread. Not that that was the only way we ate the Godzilla zucchini–it made its way into just about every meal–but zucchini bread was one of Mom’s go-to recipes for welcome-to-the-neighborhood-baking, meal trains, and potlucks. So, I decided that this giant zucchini was my opportunity to finally tackle adapting my mom’s recipe.
As I baked my way through several iterations this weekend (weirdly, no one in my house was complaining about having to try yet another loaf of zucchini bread), I also had the opportunity to share the final version with company. My friend (who does not eat Paleo at home) exclaimed “wow, this tastes like REAL zucchini bread”! LOL! She was legitimately surprised that a gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free zucchini bread could taste so good. Of course, I puffed with pride and the confirmation that I finally had perfected the recipe to share with you! This will now be one of my go-recipes for proving that following a Paleo diet doesn’t mean bland, boring food and missing out on comfort foods, treats, and flavor. (Incidentally, if you’re looking for more recipes in this I-can’t-believe-this-is-Paleo vein, I recommend the Chocolate Chip Cookie, Chicken Pot Pie, and Gremolata-topped Whitefish recipes in Paleo Principles, and Perfect Paleo Pancakes, Molten Lava Chocolate Cake, Cashew Chicken and Baked Bengali Tandoori Chicken with Aloo Gobi (nightshade-free) as starting points.)
Another benefit to this recipe is that it actually sneaks in some really healthy ingredients. I recommend using a high-quality olive oil like Kasandrino’s (also see Olive Oil Redemption: Yes, It’s a Great Cooking Oil! and 3 Reasons Why Olive Oil is Amazing) and an unrefined cane or maple sugar (see Natural Sugars and their Place in Paleo). If you like, you can replace the walnuts with pecans or any other favorite nut or seed.
Yield 2 loaves
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup maple sugar or unrefined cane sugar (evaporated cane juice, Barbados sugar…)
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 4 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 2 pounds, or 3 – 4 medium zucchini)
- 2 cups cassava flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- coconut oil and additional cassava flour to grease and flour pans
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two loaf pans.
- Beat together eggs, sugar, olive oil, and vanilla. Stir in zucchini.
- Combine flour, baking soda, allspice, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Add to egg mixture and stir to fully incorporate. Fold in walnuts.
- Pour half of the batter into each of the two prepared loaf pans.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- To remove from loaf pans, simply invert onto a cutting board or cooling rack. Cool on a cooling rack. Slice and enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days.