Cauliflower Zucchini Bread
If there is one veggie that is having a moment right now, it is cauliflower. It is turned into pretzels, pizza crust, gnocchi, flour, goes into smoothies and probably hundred of others things. While I mostly eat cauliflower just as it is, I had to ask the question I always ask myself with ingredients: will it bake?
Yes, I wanted to know if I could make a cauliflower-based baked good. Cauliflower has a smooth texture and high water content, which are both great for baking. But cauliflower can also have a very pungent, savory flavor. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, which means that it has a high sulfur content. Sulfur has a very distinctive taste and when cauliflower is over cooked, that flavor really comes out. So how can you make cauliflower into a bread without it tasting oh so much like cauliflower?
Here’s how I did it. And yes, it does make tasty, soft bread.
Date syrup is a magical sweetener. I love it because it is made just from dates, nothing else. Date syrup also has a very rich, caramel flavor that reminds of really dark brown sugar. These characteristics of date syrup make it the perfect partner to the cauliflower because it will mask any sulfuric flavor that can happen.
I buy Soom Foods’ date syrup from online, but date syrup is readily available in a lot of grocery stores like Whole Foods.
One of my favorite things to make is curried cauliflower. Cauliflower can handle those potent, warming spices so well. So instead of adding curry powder to this bread (could be weird) I added a healthy dose of cinnamon. Cinnamon is probably the spice I use the most because it just tastes so good. It also helps to tamp down the distinctive cauliflower, but not mask it completely.
I do not really love to use a ton of different flavor extracts aside from vanilla (which I make myself) just because they can be overpowering. In this case though I did use a little bit of a maple extract. I tried to make this bread with maple syrup to get the maple goodness, but that bread came out too cauliflower-forward.
Maple extract is a very strong, assertive flavoring and works better than the maple syrup to give the maple flavor I wanted for this bread. If it is something you don’t want to use, then bump up the vanilla extract.
And now, we cauliflower bread.
1/2 cup (64g/2.25oz) almond flour
1 cup (159g/5.5oz) Gluten-free, measure-for-measure flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
200g (about 2 cups) frozen organic cauliflower
1/3 cup oil (i used organic avocado oil)
1 organic large egg
1/3 cup organic date syrup
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 tsp maple extract (you can also use 2 tsps of vanilla extract)
1 cup (92g) grated organic zucchini
1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chunks (optional, but why not? And I love Taza Chocolate)
Preheat oven to 350F and grease a loaf pan with olive oil (i use nonstick pans so I just oil them liberally. If yours aren’t nonstick, grease and line with parchment paper)
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda and ground cinnamon.
Place the cauliflower in a small heatproof bowl, cover and microwave for 1-2 minutes. You want it to be soft. Once cooked, place the cauliflower and oil into the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.
Add the date syrup, cane sugar, egg and maple extract and pulse to start the combining process. Once things are getting together, blend for 2 minutes on high. You want it to be smooth.
Pour the cauliflower mixture into the flour mixture and fold together with a spatula. Once combined, add the grated zucchini and chocolate chips and fold to combine.
Scoop batter into prepared loaf pan (I used 2 mini loaf pans) and bake for 1 hour to 90 minutes, until a toothpick to the center comes out clean (1 or 2 crumbs on there is ok).
Let cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing. This bread is so soft and delightful. Try it toasted with a little bit of almond butter or strawberry jam.