Friday, May 6, 2011

Baking experiments

It's been a while since I wrote a post on baking. Last time was the coconut cheese cake. Did anyone try making it? What did you think?

A couple of weeks back I found this blog Making Food and Other Stuff, by the lovely Katie (newly appointed, Dr Katie), where she talked about cooking with stevia. I'd been wanting to try healthier alternatives to sugar and her post was just the push I needed.

You see, I sometimes worry about our diet around here. I try to avoid granulated sugar, oil, and empty calories. I do my best to add lots of vegetables and fruits to our diet at home. But I also love baking - cupcakes, cookies, breads, etc. N. always joins me too, which makes it that much more special to me. The result is that we always seem to have plenty of sweets and treats in the kitchen....

So, I took the plunge and decided to make a good recipe into a healthier one. My chosen victim came from Parents Magazine - a messy-looking but potentially-yummy Zucchini and Blueberry bread.

Why this one? Not only does it use a whole lot of zucchini (veggie) and blueberries (fruit), but it also calls for whole wheat flour. All good. So what I did was to substitute NuStevia powder for the granulated sugar in the recipe and applesauce for the oil.

It came out awesome! It looks messy, but it was delicious - just enough sweetness but not too overwhelming, and the applesauce made it so mushy and soft. If you've never tried to substitute oil with applesauce, do it. Baking with applesauce is not only healthier, but tastier too. Anyway, I digress...

N. loved it too and with every bite, she took in a whole lot of zucchini, whole wheat, and blueberry goodness. Bonus points all around.

Here's the recipe I ended up with, with substitutions in red:


  • 1 cup of whole wheat all-purpose flour (I like the King Arthur brand - their flour seriously makes a difference)
  • 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup of packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 small packet of NuStevia powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp pure, non-alcohol vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup of blueberries
How to make:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat the bottom of a 9-inch bread pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Mix the eggs, applesauce, and vanilla in another bowl. Add it to dry mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Gently stir in zucchini and then blueberries.
  5. Spoon batter (it will be thick) into pan and bake for 1 hour or until golden brown (do the toothpick test).
  6. Allow it to cool, remove from pan, and enjoy it.

Don't let the gooey-ness scare you. Those berries are delish!

What have you experimented with in your kitchen lately?


  1. Sounds yummy! :-)

    I can´t get over that you´re not allowed to take pics - why on earth? What´s the harm in that really? The things that make you go "HMMM" - right?! :-D

    Have a great day dear! :-)

  2. That looks great! And I'm not put off by the gooeyness; I like gooey blueberries in my blueberry cakes :)

  3. I'm not a baker - but even I want to give these a try.

  4. Way to go...I love this. Believe it or not I try to feed my family well..even though it looks like on my blog we eat nothing but sweets. We really don't...I just like pretty food! So many times my baking gets packed up and goes to school with me. But first we always try a sample or two. xoxoxo Hugs my sweet friend.

  5. It looks indredible!! Wish I could taste one through the screen. :)

  6. I also wish I could spell. :)

  7. Que lindo! deve ser gostoso!
    Ikeda, farei um chá domingo em homenagem as mães, conto com sua presença.
    Hora: todo dia
    Bjos Carinhosos

  8. Thanks for this recipe! I'll be sure and try it sometime. I don't get a chance to bake as often as I like, but I enjoy it. I also enjoy eating healthy and sneaking veggies and fruits into Makayla's diet too ;)