When given the theme carrots for today’s Food Network challenge for this weeks #FallFeast, I was in a funk. I could not think of anything that I wanted to make; the truth is that I just don’t use them a lot. As a side dish I seem to always make these roasted carrots but little else. So when some friends gave me a couple of the very last of their garden zucchini I had an idea. I love the zucchini bread in this recipe and thought why not dress it up a bit with some colorful carrots and mimic the flavor of carrot cake while I’m at it. The resulting Carrot Zucchini Quick Bread with Toasted Walnuts and a Cream Cheese Glaze was a huge hit.
I actually doubled the ingredients and made two. I don’t just freeze the entire extra loaf either; I cut it into four portions and freeze those; that way I can have something readily available to eat with just a short defrost in the microwave. That came in handy this morning when the folks of my neighbors up the street dropped by. Yes…I get them all, kids, parents and their parents!
I’m always up for spur of the moment but I really love it when it means offering someone something homemade. Call me old fashioned and I’m OK with that; there is just something about having a moment to sit and chat with friends over some coffee and home baked goodies that can center me when life seems frantic.
As I often do when I’m getting ready to post something, I did a search for carrot zucchini bread to see if it had been made before and found an interesting fact on a large popular website. She had made a zucchini bread at some point a couple of years ago and had a story about how it was widely considered to have first been developed by a well known chef circa the 1970’s.
If they were around I would share that tidbit with the authors of this cookbook from a church my parents attended in the 1950’s. I’m not sure who actually developed this combination of veggie and spices to make a popular quick bread but it was already popular enough then to have been included by one of the members of Sacred Heart Parish. Seems it’s been around a very long time and it really is timeless. I’ve added a cream cheese frosting in days past but today decided a cream cheese glaze would be enough and it was…and it was easier too; always a bonus.
Coffee and this Carrot Zucchini Quick Bread with Toasted Walnuts? Friends will be lined up at the door! Maybe you can get your kids to eat carrots after all!
For the Bread
- 1 cup walnut halves (4 ounces)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated zucchini (from about 1 medium zucchini)
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated carrot
For the Glaze
- 3 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- Nutmeg, freshly grated (optional)
To Make the Bread:
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Spread the walnut halves in a pie plate and toast them for about 8 minutes, until they are fragrant. Remove walnuts from the oven and coarsely chop them; allow to cool.
- Butter and flour a 9-by-4 1/2-inch metal loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar with the eggs, vegetable oil and yogurt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients along with the grated carrots, zucchini and toasted walnuts and stir until the batter is evenly moistened.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the loaf cool on a rack for 30 minutes before removing from the pan. Let cool completely.
To Make the Glaze:
- Blend the softened cream cheese in a mixer until smooth; add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until combined. Add enough of the milk to get a thick yet pourable consistency.
- Pour the glaze over the bread and spread it over the top; letting some run down the sides. Grate fresh nutmeg on the top if desired.
More great Carrot Recipes!
The Lemon Bowl: Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
Creative Culinary: Carrot and Zucchini Quick Bread with Toasted Walnuts (You’re Here!)
Devour: 5 Gorgeous Carrot Recipes That Will Make You Eat With Your Eyes
Hey Grill Hey: Bacon Wrapped Maple Glazed Carrots
The Mediterranean Dish: Turmeric Roasted Carrots
The Fed Up Foodie: Carrot Cucumber Asian Slaw
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Carrot Peas Pilaf
A Mind “Full” Mom: Vegan Carrot Soup with Spiced Peanuts
Pinch My Salt: Carrot Tomato Chipotle Soup
Healthy Eats: 7 Healthy Ways to Turn Carrots Into Cake
The Mom 100: Carrot, Cabbage and Kohlrabi Slaw with Miso Dressing
Taste with the Eyes: Baby Rainbow Carrots with Hazelnuts, Truffle, and Hollandaise
FN Dish: 6 Carrot Treats That Deserve a Spot in Your Thanksgiving Dessert Spread