There’s nothing like a healthy, delectable loaf to satisfy your palate. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of carrot loaves are actually bad for you.
Carrot loaf: The good, the bad, the ugly
In my younger years (before I knew any better), I erroneously believed that carrot loaves were a healthier alternative to conventional cakes you would buy for dessert. I mean, they contain CARROTS, which are loaded with vitamin A and keep your eyes in good health. What could be better for you?
Unfortunately, the amount of sugar used to bake most carrot loaves pretty much cancels out whatever nutritional value you were hoping to get out of that vegetable. I was super bummed to learn that a single piece of carrot cake can contain over 300 calories and more than 16 grams of fat. No wonder it tastes so good.
A healthy alternative
Thanks to the recipe below, I can now indulge in one of my favourite desserts guilt-free. This gluten-free, vegan carrot loaf recipe is packed with ingredients that come with numerous health benefits, unlike some of the ones you might find in your traditional carrot loaf.
Nutritional value and health benefits
Instead of using granulated sugar, this recipe uses coconut sugar. Coconut sugar comes from, you guessed it, coconuts and is able to satisfy your sweet tooth without being as high on the glycemic index as regular table sugar. While it’s no miracle food, it does offer some nutrients, most notably Iron, Zinc, Calcium and Potassium.
Iron is extremely essential to your health as it helps transport oxygen throughout the body. Without this oxygen, our bodies may become tired, resulting in fatigue and decreased brain function. The other three minerals also contribute to your well-being by strengthening your bones, supporting your immune system and protecting your body from heart problems, and conditions like constipation and high blood pressure.
Furthermore, this nutritious recipe includes zucchini. Zucchini contains next to no calories and has been found to help you lose weight. It also has a significant quantity of vitamin C whose anti-inflammatory properties can help protect you from swelling or bruising easily.
Now that you’ve been introduced to this healthy loaf recipe, go on and reap the benefits.
Gluten-Free, Vegan Zucchini Carrot Loaf
Serves: 6-12 people depending on how big or small you slice it
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
- 2 cups gluten free flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill’s all purpose blend)
- 1/4 cup millet
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp himalayan salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 TBS ground flax or chia
- 3 TBS water
- 2/3 cup zucchini, grated
- 1/2 cup carrot, grated
- 1/4 cup fresh coconut meat (or 1 cup of dairy alternative milk such as almond or coconut)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 satsuma orange, peeled
- 1 TBS lemon zest
If you prefer your loaf to be more savoury, leave out the streusel.
- 1 TBS flour
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 2 TBS coconut sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees or 300 on convection setting
2. Rub the loaf tin with a small amount of coconut oil and line with parchment paper. The coconut oil will help the parchment paper stick to the pan so it’s easier to pour the batter in
3. Whisk together the flax/chia seed and 3 TBS of water let stand for 5 min.
4. In a blender place coconut meat, satsuma orange, lemon zest and 3/4 cup water and puree
5. Blend all dry ingredients together and set aside.
6. In a small bowl put all the streusel ingredients and mix together with a fork until crumbly.
7. Whisk together flax mixture and blended coconut meat mixture until frothy
8. Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until completely combined
9. Pour batter into loaf pan or muffin tins and bake for approximately 50min or until a toothpick comes out dry from the centre of the loaf/muffins.