Zucchini Bread

Traditional zucchini breads are rich and dense due to their refined oil and sugar, but these ingredients are not necessary, or health-promoting. This bread gets its moistness and heartiness from zucchini, apples, dates, and millet and oat flours.

10 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

1 cup non-dairy milk

1-1/4 cups quick or Old Fashioned rolled oats (not instant), ground into flour

3/4 cup dry millet, ground into flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground (dry) ginger

1-3/4 cups unpeeled and grated zucchini (about 1 and a half medium zucchinis)

1/2 cup unpeeled, grated apple (about half of a medium apple)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup walnut halves, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, cover the chopped dates with the non-dairy milk and set aside to soften.

2. Dry ingredients: Grind the oats and millet into a flour using your blender (a high-speed blender will do a finer job) and place into a bowl. Add to this the soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

3. Wet ingredients: In another bowl, place the grated zucchini and apple, and vanilla. Using your blender again, blend the dates and the non-dairy milk until very smooth. Add the date mixture to the bowl of zucchini, apple and vanilla, and mix with a fork.

4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon, adding in the chopped walnuts at the end. Pour into one standard size loaf pan (about 8.25" x 4.25" x 2.5") or two half-loaf pans (5.75" x 3"), lined with parchment paper, or use silicone bakeware. The batter will fill the pan about 3/4 of the way.

5. Bake one standard loaf for 65-70 minutes uncovered with your oven rack in the center position. If you are making two half loaves, bake both at the same time on one rack with some space between them for 40-45 minutes uncovered. The bread will be done when the top of the loaf is an even medium brown, it has started to pull away from the sides of the pan, and there are some cracks in the top of the loaf.

When you take the bread out to test for doneness, insert a toothpick far down, and if it comes out clean, it's likely done. If the top of the loaf is brown but doesn't pass the toothpick test, put it back in covered lightly with a piece of foil and cook for 5 more minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan to cool further on a cutting board. Cool for another 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Preparation: 35 minutes, Cooking time: 40-70 minutes

Makes: 1 standard loaf or two half loaves