I’m back. If you’re a regular reader of FlavorDiva.com, you’ve probably noticed that I took a break from blogging since January. Like many of us, I’ve had a lot going on during the first quarter of 2011 – from working my day job in marketing communications to sharing my passion for health and wellness by teaching weekly dance and yoga classes.
Given all the activities I’ve had on my plate, I’ve definitely struggled with the modern challenge to wellness – cooking fresh, homemade meals daily. I can’t say that I’ve mastered how to get a wholesome and tasty, yet quick meal on the table without much effort after a long day, but I plan to keep working on it. If you have any tips, please let me know!
This weekend I spent some time testing recipes and recharging my culinary batteries. The first recipe I worked on was for vegan zucchini bread. I continue to be fascinated by egg- and dairy-free baking. Eggs and dairy play such a critical role in many baked goods, is it really possible to make substitutions without affecting the taste or texture? Maybe not always, but for zucchini bread, the answer is yes. Enjoy!
3/4 cup whole grain pastry flour
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup sugar (organic evaporated cane juice)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1-1/2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 large zucchini shredded and press in paper towel to remove excess water)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (such as canola)
3 tbs ground flax seed  ( The substitute for eggs in this recipe, flax seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.)
9 tbs water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and sugar. Grate zucchini and set aside. In a small bowl, add the flax seed meal  and water, then allow it to sit for about two minutes. You can substitute the flax seed mixture (water and meal) with two large eggs.
Add zucchini, oil, flax seed mixture  and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Stir with spatula until just combined. Fold in the walnuts. Spray 8″ x 4″ x 2-1/2″ loaf pan lightly with cooking spray. Add batter into the pan and place pan in the middle of the center oven rack. Bake for about one hour, turning pan around half way after 30 minutes of baking. Serve warm or at room temperature.