By now you may have realized that my cohorts (my mental health support group…my partners in crime) and I are on a roll! We had so much fun with our December group post featuring cakes that we decided to create a new series of recipes each month. We brought you dips in January. February was “Love and Food”. Now we are “Celebrating Green and Welcoming Spring” with recipes that include a naturally green ingredient. This was a little challenging for me since I love to make EVERYTHING green on St. Patrick’s Day, using copious quantities of green food coloring…which was not an option.
Zucchini was my “green” of choice, and I added a little spirulina (you can buy a small amount of it in bulk at most natural food stores) to deepen the color of a chocolate swirl zucchini bread. I originally used Irish Cream in the recipe, but even with the spirulina it just wasn’t green enough, and though it was tasty, I really wanted a little more flavor. Chocolate mint is a combination I love, so I swapped out Creme de Menthe for the Irish Cream and was very, very satisfied. Not a natural green source, of course, but I figure the zucchini and spirulina bought me a little leeway.
Either way is good, so I’m leaving the choice up to you. Or, if you really don’t want to use booze, you can always substitute milk and add teaspoon of peppermint extract for flavor.
|Chocolate Mint Zucchini Swirl Bread|| |
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 3 cups grated zucchini
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup oil
- ½ cup buttermilk (or regular milk and a teaspoon of lemon juice)
- ¼ cup strong coffee, cooled
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
- ⅓ cup creme de menthe
- ¼ teaspoon spirulina (optional)
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Prepare two loaf pans by greasing and flouring, or using an oil/flour spray (like Baker's Joy)
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and walnuts. Add the grated zucchini and toss to coat.
- In medium bowl, whisk the eggs well. Add the oil and buttermilk and whisk until combined.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients (don't put the medium bowl in the sink - you'll use it in a minute) and stir just until most of the flour is incorporated. Put half of the mixture back in the medium bowl.
- To one bowl add the coffee and melted chocolate, and stir until it is combined. Don't overstir!
- To the other bowl add the creme de menthe and spirulina. Stir until just combined.
- Divide the chocolate mixture evenly between the two loaf pans. Pour the green mixture over the chocolate mixture and swirl a little with a rubber spatula or table knife.
- Bake for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Cooking time will depend on the size of your loaf pans. When I used slightly smaller pans the bread took a few more minutes to bake.
- Remove pans to a rack and allow them to cool for 10 minutes before turning the bread out. Allow bread to cool completely before cutting.
Here are links to the other recipes this month. Please visit the ones that have already been posted – there are some impressive ideas from some very talented gals – and then check back because I’ll add the new recipe links as they’re presented.
3/4/14 Pistachio Blueberry Cupcakes, from Baking In a Tornado
3/5/14 Key Lime Chiffon Cake, from Crumbs in My Mustachio
3/6/14 Colcannon Cheesy Potatoes with Kale, from Lemony Thyme
3/7/14 Asian Salad with Chicken, from Tampa Cake Girl
3/10/14 My Chocolate Mint Swirl Zucchini Bread
3/11/14 Roasted Tomato Spinach focaccia with Parm from Cooking from a SAHM
3/12/14 Lox Me Up and Throw Away the Key from Moore or Less Cooking Blog
3/13/14 Maple Poached Pear Salad with Walnut Crusted Goat Cheese from Hun…What’s for Dinner?
and still to come:
3/14/14 Manila Spoon