Week 35: Low-Fat Plant Based Baking

Alas, the long weekend is coming to a close and it’s time to start preparing for back-to-work. I hadn’t made any treats to share at the office in awhile so last weekend I decided Week 35 would be a zucchini bread week. It’s actually a lot easier than one would think to make sweet treats vegan. There are a variety of non-dairy milk options widely available. Non-dairy butters, such as Earth Balance, are also commonly accessible. Eggs substitutes can be less obvious if you’re new to vegan baking, but are also fairly easy to replace. Flaxseed meal mixed with water is the most common replacement I’ve seen, but you can also use fruit puree, silken tofu, or non-dairy yogurt. If you’re looking for an adorable go-to guide for vegan replacements The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions is a good resource. It’s a cute little cookbook with chapters based on different substitutions (dairy, cheese, eggs, meat, gluten, soy, etc) with multiple recommendations.

I’ve found replacing fat, especially in baked goods, to be the most difficult. In savory dishes I hardly miss the fat and was surprised how easy it was to sauté with water or broth and save the calories olive oil adds. Generally, you don’t even miss the olive oil. The most common plant-based low-fat/fat-free substitute for oils and butter in muffins and breads is applesauce or some other fruit/vegetable puree.

I started off Week 35 with the Happy Herbivore Chocolate-Zucchini Muffins from The Happy Herbivore Cookbook. These muffins have mashed banana, unsweetened applesauce and, of course, shredded zucchini. Don’t get me wrong, these were yummy. However, Chocolate-Zucchini Muffins may be a misnomer since my ripe banana made these more Chocolate-Banana Muffins that happen to have zucchini as well. When I brought them into the office they were gobbled up, but I labeled the post-it Chocolate-Banana-Zucchini muffins so folks knew what they were in for.

IMG_4682I love banana, but when I want a chocolate, blueberry or zucchini muffin I don’t want to taste banana. So, I went in search of another zucchini recipe and was intrigued by the Forks Over Knives Cookbook Zecret Zucchini Bread (their name, not mine). This recipe used mashed avocado; I was intrigued because I have never baked with avocado before. This one hit the spot, in terms of craving that moist, spiced, zucchini bread I was used to without the oil.

IMG_4688If you’re looking for a yummy, moist chocolate-y banana muffin go to the Happy Herbivore Cookbook recipe. If you’re looking for a more traditional zucchini bread that is vegan and plant-based, avocado is a great substitute and does not impact the flavor profile of your bread like banana does.

New Recipes Made This Week: 2

New Recipe Tally 2013: 97

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2 thoughts on “Week 35: Low-Fat Plant Based Baking

  1. I’ve yet to try avocado… but it’s on the “list” I’ve also read using some nut butters is an option, but again, you have the flavor to contend with there.

    • I like the avocado, I didn’t notice it altered the flavor profile. Almond butter would probably be good, not as strong a flavor as peanut butter

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