Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Banana Zucchini Bread with a Cream Cheese Swirl

Is it just me, or has this winter been really bad on waistlines across New England? We’ve now had four weeks straight of massive once-a-week snow storms, and I know I’m not the only one who is ready to head south and never come back. Since that isn’t exactly an option, and going outdoors when it’s -10 and/or there are snow drifts up to my forehead isn’t exactly appealing, that leaves few options for how to pass the time. Read, work, eat, watch TV, work, bake, eat, read more, eat more, watch a movie, work, bake, eat, repeat. Are you picking up what I’m putting down? SO MUCH FOOD. And lazyness. And couch time. And kitty cuddles (my personal favorite).

While I can’t complain about getting to spend extended periods of time in my comfy clothes, being home so much can be a serious motivation killer. At work, I have to get up from my desk for meetings, snack breaks (ha), more meetings, bathroom breaks, more snacks, more meetings, etc., so I’m up and about all day long. At home, I only get off the couch to eat or pee, and the distance to the kitchen and the bathroom respectively is about 15 steps if I’m shuffling slowly, about 8 steps if I’m walking like a real person. (Sorry for talking about pee on my blog. But this is real life, remember?!) All I can say is, I HATE shoveling, but it’s probably the only thing saving me from gaining 10lbs a week at this point.

Banana Zucchini Bread with a Cream Cheese Swirl - Sweetly Serendipity

Banana Zucchini Bread with a Cream Cheese Swirl - Sweetly Serendipity

This banana bread is just one culprit, and ironically it wasn’t made on one of my snow days at home, but it was consumed on a few of thosedays! And while it’s not exactly “healthy,” it does have zucchini, whole wheat flour, and coconut oil in it, so it’s not THAT bad, right? And besides, I’ve frequently used the “it’s snowing and I have seasonal depression” excuse lately to justify these kinds of indulgences. Good thing I love the gym too.

Banana Zucchini Bread with a Cream Cheese Swirl - Sweetly Serendipity

All snark and whining aside, this recipe is, as one of my favorite friends from college would say, BOMB. (Bomb is good. Like really good.) It’s dense and moist and fragrant and flavorful, and the layer of cream cheese running through the middle is like silky gold. I made this recipe about 1.5 weeks ago, but my Mom has already asked me no less than 3 times for the recipe, so that says to me that it was really good. It’s good just as is — doesn’t need to be toasted, no butter, nothin’! I bought an extra bunch of bananas at the store last weekend so I could make this again soon, and you all know I am very infrequently a recipe repeater.

Banana Zucchini Bread with a Cream Cheese Swirl - Sweetly Serendipity

Banana Zucchini Bread with a Cream Cheese Swirl - Sweetly Serendipity

Next snow day, if you’re looking for something homey and wonderful, you should probably make this bread.

Bakers note: I used spelt flour and whole wheat flour to up the ante on the nutritional front, but you can use all-purpose flour, all white wheat flour, or a combination if you don’t have spelt flour.

Banana Zucchini Bread with a Cream Cheese Swirl

Ingredients

    Banana Zucchini Bread
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Cream Cheese Filling
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese (lite is fine)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions

    Banana Zucchini Bread:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a 9 x 5" pan with butter or cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine both flours, both sugars, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix to combine.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, beat the egg, bananas, coconut oil, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts until incorporated.
  4. Cream Cheese Filling:
  5. In a large bowl, add all ingredients and beat with a hand mixer until completely combined.
  6. Pour 2/3 of the banana bread batter into prepared pan, and smooth top to even out. Pour cream cheese mixture over banana bread batter, and smooth again to even out. Pour remainder of banana bread batter evenly over the cream cheese layer.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pan.
http://www.sweetlyserendipity.com/breads/quick-breads/banana-zucchini-bread-with-cream-cheese-swirl/



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