When I had an office job, I used to delight in baking things to share with my coworkers.
It was win for everyone. I got to bake yummy food, which always made me happy. My husband got to sample said yummy foods (to make sure nothing was poisonous, of course), so he was happy. We didn't end up with an excess of yummy foods sitting in the fridge, making us hungry and tempting us to binge, which made both of us happy. My coworkers got to eat yummy food, which made them happy. And office morale improved, which made my bosses happy.
Many of my coworkers had religious restrictions against eggs on certain days, so I got into the habit of making nearly all of my treats vegan. It actually wasn't difficult to adjust to at all, and it made my life easier too; no eggs in the fridge = no problem! (And I hardly ever had eggs on hand; we just didn't eat them very often. So this was a good thing.)
Eventually, I kind of got into the habit of baking things that had fruits and veggies in them. It started with banana bread, no doubt; you can't go wrong with banana bread, since everyone loves it. Next came zucchini bread; everyone loved it, and I was hooked. Pumpkins, apples, carrots, pineapple, coconut, and even green tomatoes found their way into the things I baked. It got to the point where I'd bring food in, and people would ask me "So what's in it this time?"
It was fun. Really, really fun. And I still have not gotten tired of adding as many fruits and veggies as possible to things I bake.
And so last week, Bug and I baked up some spaghetti squash bread.
|The best part of baking vegan? Absolutely no worries about eating the batter!|
Hear me out here. I know it sounds weird. But pumpkin bread is a fall favorite. Butternut squash and other hard winter squashes can be made into muffins and pies and all kinds of yummy things. People don't even bat an eye at chocolate zucchini cake. (Or maybe that's just the people *I* know.) So why not turn spaghetti squash into a delicious baked treat? Don't leave spaghetti squash out in the cold just because it's got a weird texture.
I swear, the stuff just melts right into bread; it doesn't taste funny, and if you chop the cooked squash up before mixing it in, you can't find any little strands anywhere. This bread is delicious, and received full approval from my husband, my friends, and, perhaps most importantly, from Bug.
|Bug wanted to get in on the picture taking action.|
Spaghetti Squash Bread
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ripe banana
¼ cup applesauce (unsweetened)
¼ cup canola or coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 cup spaghetti squash
Note: Spaghetti squash needs to be cooked. You can microwave it whole for 10 minutes or until fork tender, or you can chop in half and bake at 350° F for 30-45 minutes. Remove seeds and use a fork to separate it into strands. You may want to chop it up some before using it to bake, if you think the long strands might weird you out. Or you could probably puree it.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients (flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg).
In a smaller bowl, cream together banana, applesauce, oil, vanilla, sugar, and flax seed. (I used an immersion blender for this, although a fork should suffice, especially if the banana is good and ripe.) Dump into the dry ingredients, along with the spaghetti squash, and mix until just incorporated; some lumps are definitely okay, and as this is a quick bread, overmixing is bad. (Mine, however, did get a little overmixed, as Bug was the one doing the mixing. And it still came out just fine!) Fold in walnuts, if using.
Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden on top and done all the way through (poke with a knife to make sure). Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool for as long as you can stand to before slicing. Enjoy!
This post is shared at the Healthy, Happy, Green, & Natural Party Hop on 1/27/2015 and Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop on 1/28/2015.