This recipe is dedicated to Taylor and Andrew. Two of the biggest fans of this delicious breakfast treat. It started out as a way for me to get my kids to eat more vegetables. Way back when they were little. Back when we called it "Chocolate Chip Bread" so they would eat it. It has since come to be know as "Veggie Bread" and it is a family and friend favorite. It is in no way health food but as breakfast breads go, it's nutritionally better than most, without sacrificing taste.
It all began with a recipe for "Banana Pumpkin Bread" that I tore out of an old magazine my mom had. It seemed interesting enough but we all have a million recipes for banana bread, pumpkin bread, zucchini bread, etc. I wanted to take this up a notch. Make some changes so that I could feel better about feeding it to my kids. The first change I made was to cut down the sugar and oil and add an equal amount of applesauce to replace it. I then decided to add shredded carrots and zucchini, doubling the quantities for the batter to accommodate the extra bulk. Then, to get my kids to even try it, I added mini chocolate chips instead of nuts. Nuts would be great but at the time my kids wouldn't eat them and the chocolate made them think they were getting a treat. Seriously, when you have little kids, getting them to eat is all about "spin". What I ended up with was a delicious breakfast bread, full of veggies, lower in sugar and fat but moist and full of flavor. Give it a try. I hope you'll agree.
Here's what you need: vegetable oil, applesauce (these little snack cups work great), sugar, eggs, AP flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ripe banana, canned pumpkin, carrot (I ended up needing two this size.), zucchini (this one was just the right size), mini chocolate chips (You really need the mini ones for this. The regular size chocolate chips tend to sink to the bottom when it bakes and are too chunky. Or use nuts if you want to be a party pooper, or nothing. They're optional.) Can you see the banana? It's that black thing in the lower right corner. Don't be alarmed. When bananas start to turn and aren't good for just eating anymore I toss them into the freezer. It turns the skin black but saves the banana for baking with later.
This is what it looks like when you snip one end and squeeze it out. I know, creepy. Really creepy. Like a demented albino banana slug. GROSS! But here is the cool thing. By tossing it in the freezer you avoided throwing it away and you don't really have to mash up the banana because the freezing/thawing process did that for you. Win, win!
To start, shred up the carrot and zucchini. Use the fine holes on your grater and before measuring squeeze out as much moisture as you can. To do this take about 1/3 of the shredded veggie and squeeze it in your hands kind of like you are going to make a snowball, a really densely packed one. Do this over the sink or a large bowl. A lot of juice will run out between your fingers and that's a good thing! This step will keep your bread from being soggy. Don't skip it!
Now stir together the sugar, oil and applesauce.
Add the eggs and mix it up good.
Measure your flour, baking soda and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl and give it a good stir.
Add two big creepy albino banana slugs, I mean add the mashed banana and 1/2 the liquid mixture and stir it up well.
Add the pumpkin and remaining liquid and stir well. Use the back of the spoon to make sure you've broken up all the pumpkin and banana chunks and you have a smooth batter.
Next, toss in the carrot, zucchini and mini chocolate chips.
Mix it up good.
Divide it into two standard sized loaf pans that have been sprayed with Pam.
Bake for 55-65 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let them cool at least 10 minutes before tipping out of the pan and finish cooling on a wire rack. I usually slice one up for breakfast and stick the other in the freezer for later.
Now grab a cup of your favorite coffee and enjoy. Think of all that veggie goodness and feel good about breakfast. Seriously, this isn't health food but really, not so bad. Here is how it breaks down. For 1/12 of a loaf: 230 calories, 6g. fat, 2g. fiber, 4g. protein, 45% Vitamin A, 2% Calcium, 5% Vitamin C and 9% Iron.
Preheat oven to 350°F
Yield: 2 loaves
1/3 C. vegetable oil
1/3 C. applesauce
2 C. sugar
4 C. all purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 C. mashed ripe banana
1 C. pumpkin
1 C. grated carrot
1 C. grated zucchini
1 C. mini chocolate chips or chopped nuts (optional)
In a mixing bowl, combine oil, applesauce and sugar. Add eggs; mix well.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; gradually add to the creamed mixture alternately with bananas and pumpkin. Stir in carrots, zucchini and chocolate chips (nuts). Divide evenly between to greased (or foil lined) 9x5x3 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool at least 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.