zucchini & cranberry nut loaf

Sweet yet Savoury.  Don't you love it when a dish fuses the two together in perfect harmony. Whether it be dinner time, a pretty tiered High Tea selection or just a simple warm loaf like this one. Savoury breads with a dose of sweetness are entirely satisfying and perfect for lunch - especially complimented with soft cheeses (brie or camembert) and a little pot of homemade relish , tamarillo or capisicum jam on the side. Some might say savoury breads have well and truly taken over from classic quiches at lunchtime. But I’d like to think there’s still plenty of room for them both. And I look forward to sharing my traditional Quiche Lorraine recipe with you soon.

This recipe is a hybrid of inspiration from an old “Delicious Magazine” recipe and from Margaret Fulton’s Zucchini quick bread, found in her fabulous new book simply titled “Baking”.

I’ve added my own obsessions, more cranberries and seeds and a touch of 'pink and green should always be seen'. Bright green zucchini, pinkish red cranberries, smooth green pepitas. Continuing the theme, pink petals and greenery on fine bone English china. Cheap op shop finds that always add colour and enjoyment.  As does a cup of Tea Tonic’s  beautiful Berry Green Tea. Picture perfect luncheon complete.

Zucchini, Cranberry & Nut Loaf

Ingredients - 2& 2/3 cups (400 grams) plain flour 1 teaspoon bicarb soda ½ teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon mixed spice 1 firmly packed cup (200 grams) brown sugar ½ cup caster sugar 3 free range eggs, beaten 200 ml sunflower canola oil 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 3 large zucchini, grated   ¾ cup nuts; walnuts, pecans or pine nuts (up to you) toasted and chopped plus a little extra for sprinkling on top ½ cup dried cranberries (craisins) small sprinkle of pepitas (sunflower seeds) & some leftover nuts on top teaspoon of demerara sugar (optional)

Method - Preheat oven to slow 150°C (300°F). Margaret Fulton bakes her zucchini quick bread at 190 for 55mins but I prefer to bake this one slowly, just like my Coconut Banana Bread and Low Fat Healthy Loaf. 1 -1¼ hours will do it.

Grease a large (2 litre) loaf tin and line with baking paper.  Grate zucchini and lightly roast the nuts in the warmed oven.

Sift flour, spices, baking powder and bicarb soda together with a pinch of salt.  Add sugar, beaten eggs, oil, vanilla, zucchini, nuts and cranberries to the dry flour mix.  Stir with a wooden spoon until mixture is well combined.  Pour into the prepared loaf tin. Sprinkle extra nuts and seeds on top. Also a little demerara sugar if you have some. Bake for 1-1 ¼ hours in slow oven or until cooked in the centre, test with skewer to be sure.  Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before removing from the tin and allowing to cool completely before slicing.

You can change the flavours of course as you so desire using; red onion, cheese (feta, cheddar or parmesan), and/or herbs (dill, mint or basil). These ingredients also work well in savoury zucchini muffins or a pie.  Just don’t forget to squeeze as much liquid from the zucchini as possible if making into a pie. Use 5 eggs and about 700grams of grated zucchini. No need for pastry and crumble feta on top for the yummiest result, just like I do in the roast veggie frittata recipe. Enjoy. x