Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chocolate (Veggie) Bread

Something AMAZING happened today. 

The kid woke up from his nap happy.  I means babbling, giggling happy.  When I heard his happy noises over the baby monitor I nearly choked on my water. 

His whole life he's been a grumpy nap waker.  I'm talking takes-a-half-hour-or-more-to-get-him-to-stop-screaming grumpy.  It's something I've adjusted my life around.  It's not great but it's manageable. 

This is why his behavior today was such a shock.  He stayed happy when I went in to get him, asked me a few questions (all  "What's this?"), let me change his diaper without a fuss...amazing.  Right now he is watching the screen saver on our desktop, munching on raisins.  It's the little things, people.

So, I thought I'd take this opportunity, since the house is clean and the kid is occupied, to share a recipe with you.

Chocolate Veggie Bread!

I know...genius. 

It's a sweet, quick bread loaded with veggies--a wonderful way to sneak vegetables to your kids without them even knowing.  In addition to spinach, zucchini, and carrots--this bread also includes garbanzo beans--adding an extra boost of protein and fiber. 

While you may be tempted to serve this bread warm, don't.  Cooling allows the flavor of the spinach to become less dominate.  You can still taste it slightly in the finished bread, but it is delicious with a cold glass of milk.

Maybe I'll make some more today to celebrate the kids mood...

Chocolate (Veggie) Bread
makes 1 loaf
a balancing the table original

1 3/4 cups flour 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1  teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (23 g)
1 ripe banana
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2-3 cups fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
1 carrot, shredded
1 small zucchini, shredded
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon flour 

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray a large loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.  In a medium bowl combine the 1 3/4 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder and mix well.
2. In a food processor or blender combine the banana, sugar, eggs, spinach, and beans.  Process until the spinach is finely pureed.  Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the carrot, zucchini and vanilla.
3. Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
4. In a small bowl toss the chocolate chips with the remaining tablespoon of flour (this keeps the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom during baking.  Fold chocolate chips into the batter.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (you may want to check in a few places to make sure you didn't hit a chocolate chip the first time).  6. Allow to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes then carefully remove from pan.  Allow to finish cooling completely before serving.

What the husband thinks: He liked it.  He may have whined a little about the slight metallic taste that the spinach adds to it.  But that didn't keep him from eating his far share.

What the kid ate: As much of this as he could get his hands on.  I didn't let him go too crazy because of the high amount of sugar, but he would have eaten the whole loaf had I let him.

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