Spiced Zucchini Bread with Figs and Pumpkin Seeds – Eating Healthy in the New Year

Two loaves of zucchini bread

Well, healthy is a relative term, right? Because this recipe reminds me of when I was in my teens and thought a healthy diet was eating just sliced cucumber with French dressing for lunch every day. Or when I was in college and didn’t actually take lunch so my usual midday meal was Pink Snowballs, a Snickers Bar and a Bottle of Dr Pepper. Ah the land of the young where I could eat whatever and remain right around 110 pounds!

Woman with cucumbers on her eyes
I loved cucumbers, still do. But not as an exclusive dish for lunch! Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

We all deserve a special treat now and then

Yea, healthy is in the eye of the beholder, and your doctor. But making a bread with mostly whole wheat flour, fresh zucchini (and lots of it), fresh figs, and raw pumpkin seeds sounds healthy doesn’t it? And it tastes so amazing! One slice is 229 calories from what I can tell… still it’s worth it. Let’s face it, you’re eating a sweet bread. It’s going to have consequences! But sometimes you want something special to serve at brunch, or when you’re sitting down with a hot cup of tea or coffee and just want a special treat. This one is it!

Two loaves of zucchini bread
My newest invention, Spiced Zucchini Bread with Fig and Pumpkin Seeds

Spiced Zucchini Bread with Figs and Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups shredded zucchini, roughly peeled
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2/3 cup lowfat Greek Yogurt (I used banana but I’m sure anything on hand will work)
  • ¼ cup lemon infused olive oil
  • ¼ cup skim milk (I use lactaid)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 TB Vanilla extract
  • 1 TB orange zest
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Swedish Pearl Sugar (or just plain white sugar) for the top
Vanilla, banana yogurt, and zucchini – simple!
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 10 – 12 figs chopped well (I used the dried kind that come in the round package)
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F
  • Spray two loaf pans with cooking spray (if you use glass you may need to shorten the cooking time)
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients.
Bowl of batter with wooden spoon
At this stage, it’s tough to believe it’ll become bread
  • Add the dry ingredients and stir in. This dough is easy to stir with a nice wooden spoon. No mixer required
  • Add the figs and pumpkin seeds and mix until they are well incorporated
  • Scoop the batter into your loaf pans, making sure to divide it evenly
  • Sprinkle the top with a few more pumpkin seeds and some Swedish pearl sugar
  • Bake for 45 – 55 minutes until browned and a cake tester comes out clean
  • Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes before turning the loaves out onto a rack.
  • Cool completely and enjoy!

Yes, the zucchini I used in my loaves came from my recent Misfit Markets box. It was just enough for this recipe!


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