Sweet potato and zucchini bread

I had a dying zucchini, and a dusty sweet potato lingering around from Thanksgiving. When life gives you lemons…although, these lemons were my doing so not much to complain here. Any who…
I baked a cake using my not so prime vegetables and still the resulting cake was moist and sweet. It is soft, crumbly, and screams for a cup of coffee. If you are patient enough, let the loaf cool overnight before slicing. I froze half the loaf to take home to my sister and I’ve been slowly working at the other half, one slice at a time. Store it in the fridge to make it last even longer.

Adapted from Joy the Baker.

1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat flour (I used 2 cups white whole wheat flour)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves (I used pumpkin spice powder because I was out of ground cloves)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar (I used 1.5 cups granulated sugar)
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used 3tbsp canola oil + 3tbsp ground flax seed + 3/4 cup freshly made apple sauce*)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup grated zucchini
1 1/2 cup peeled and grated sweet potato
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional but recommended)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9×5×3- inch loaf pan and set aside. Sift the first 7 ingredients into a medium sized bowl. In a separate, large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix in the zucchini and sweet potato. Add the dry ingredients and stir just to combine. Fold in the nuts and cranberries and stir well.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes**. Cool bread in pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Loosen the edges of the bread with a butter knife and turn out on a rack to cool completely. Can be prepared 1 day in advance. Wrap in foil and keep at room temperature.

*Since I didn’t have any apple sauce on hand, I cored and diced three small apples and cooked them in the microwave with skin on for 7-10 minutes. Once cooled, mash with back of fork. Voila! You have apple sauce.
**my oven only took 55 minutes to bake this bread.

Makes about 14 slices.

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer and a mother of three from Raleigh, NC. She writes for national and local publications about lifestyle, travel, books, and of course, motherhood! Her most current project involves illustrating and publishing a children’s Hindi book. When not adventuring with her family in the minivan, you can find her riding the streets of Raleigh on her beloved bike Linus.

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