This banana zucchini bread combines two favorite recipes, and with a few healthy substitutions it’s low in fat and sugar and also gluten-free!
There aren’t many foods more comforting than banana bread…except for maybe zucchini bread. Am I right?
I’ve always been a big fan of both, but I think I truly came to understand how comforting a warm slice of banana bread can be during the time that I studied abroad in Australia. Strange timing, I know, but follow me here.
Study abroad is obviously a monumental decision for any college student, but especially for one who never made it more than a night at Girl Scout camp and called her parents to pick her up from friends’ sleepovers before 11 p.m. Yep, that was me. 😉
So of course, the girl who got homesick in a dorm room one hour from home makes the decision to study abroad for 6 months. In Australia. Might as well face our fears head on, right?
I’m happy to report that I survived study abroad, managed to get a grip on my homesickness, and fell in love with Australia and traveling. There were several things that got me through those 6 months; my boyfriend (now husband), some new friends, Skype, an amazing country, wine… the list goes on and on.
And then there was the banana bread.
At a little coffee stand in the middle of campus, I discovered a banana bread that rivaled any that I remembered from home. Each slice was easily thick enough to really be two; toasted and butter-slathered to perfection. Served in a brown paper packet that would be stained with grease by the time you were finished. The perfect treat to get me through whatever lecture I had that afternoon, and a little taste of home.
So naturally, banana bread now holds a special place in my heart…as does semillon wine, passionfruit and vegemite. 🙂 (Side note- if you ever find yourself with the opportunity to visit Australia, DO IT!)
Over the weekend, I found myself craving a warm slice of banana bread even though I had a beautiful zucchini sitting in the kitchen just waiting to be made into bread. So I made the best of both worlds and combined my recipes to make a completely new treat: banana zucchini bread.
To add another twist to the game, I decided to clean up the original recipes and make a healthy version of both breads. I had a feeling that the mashed bananas could replace the cup of vegetable oil that my zucchini bread recipe called for, and sure enough it did! The added sweetness of the banana meant that I could also cut out the cup of white sugar, supplemented with half a cup of local honey. Finally, I decided to use oat flour instead of white flour for a healthier (and gluten-free) option.
One tip? Make friends with your food processor! From grinding rolled oats into flour, to shredding the zucchini and mashing the banana, the food processor makes the whole job a lot easier and cuts down on clean up. I use the steel blade for the oats and bananas, and the shred disc for the zucchini. (You can even pulse together your dry ingredients in the processor after the oats are ground to save yourself another mixing bowl!)
A healthy comfort food with little mess in just over an hour? Good on ya, mate!