Thursday, March 5, 2015

Squash Cake Bread

After growing, zucchini and yellow squash in my garden last summer, shredding the yellow squash and zucchini and  roasting and freezing some pumpkins , I thought I'd make a lot of breads and muffins all winter.  Sadly, none of the recipes I have found meet my picky criteria, so it's one disappointment after another.

With some, it's the texture.

With others, too much sugar.

With others, too many spices.

I thought I had found a fantastic muffin recipe that included pumpkin and cranberries.  I made them a few times and we ate a lot of them.  I liked that it had wheat flour and oatmeal and not a lot of sugar.I thought I was satisfied.

And then, without even meaning to, I stumbled upon a recipe for something called Greek Island Pumpkin Cake.  I didn't even know I needed this in my life.

I looked at the ingredients and my first excitement was that it didn't have 2 cups of sugar, which so very many of the recipes I have used require.  It also had a lot more pumpkin than usual (2 cups).  And no eggs.

I don't have to watch sugar in my diet per se, but I'm tired of all of the recipes tasting the same with that much sugar in them.  The no egg thing isn't dietary either, but it makes it one step easier.

They also usually have a lot of oil and after a day or two tend to get greasier than I'd like.

The comments on the recipe were what made me want to try it.   They said the texture was fantastic, somewhere between a cake and a bread.  This intrigued me, so I made it.

It absolutely did not disappoint.  The texture the first day is slightly moist and I would say it is between a cake and a bread.  The second day, it magically get a little more moist, not greasy, but also solid.

You have to make it to understand it.

If you want the original recipe, click the link above.  I don't like a lot of spices, so I've tweaked the recipe a little.  To make it look like the pictures, here's what you should do.

Squash Cake Bread

2 cups of  pumpkin, yellow or zucchini squash (pumpkin should be cooked unless it's from a can)
1 c. frozen cranberries (craisins work but it will be slightly different)
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. olive oil
1 T. honey
1 T. vanilla
1/4 c. water
2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon

1.  Preheat oven to 350.

2.  Puree squash or pumpkin in food processor until smooth.

3.  Add 1/2 c. frozen cranberries to puree and process until very finely chopped and blended.

4.  In mixing bowl, all other ingredients.  Add puree and remaining cranberries.  Mix gently until combined.

5.  Pour into a baking dish, 9 inches round.

6.  Bake 1 hour.

7.  Insert a knife into the center.  Only the very tip should have some cake stuck to it.  If it's quite runny, continue baking until the knife is almost clean.

I have found over the years, that we think pumpkin is what we taste in pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes and all of those other things companies trick us with.  In my opinion, it's the spices, not the pumpkin we taste.  If you have ever eaten pumpkin straight out of the can or just roasted, it isn't very pleasant by itself.

Therefore, because what we want in this cake/bread is moisture, I have used pumpkin by itself as well as a mix of pumpkin, yellow and zucchini squash and all have tasted the same.  Use the squash that you think best suits your tastes, if you really believe that's what you're tasting....

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