Fitness Minutes: (7,314)
130 9/20/13 4:35 A
I like ANARIE's suggestion for cutting the sugar, but sugar adds moisture so if you're cutting too much sugar it's good to replace it with something like mashed banana, applesauce, etc. I've made the mistake of halving both the sugar and the butter in a muffin recipe and not increasing the liquid and the results were, shall we say, less than satisfactory. The taste was fine, but they were very dry!
I think only cutting out a quarter of the sugar should be fine, though, given that you've got that fruit in there already. Just a warning in case you get a little too enthusiastic about cutting the sugar out ^_^
The fastest way to reduce calories and make baked goods healthier without changing the flavor and texture too much is to reduce the sugar. I've come to the point where I only use 3/4 of the sugar in ANY recipe, even if I'm not especially concerned about making it healthier. (The only exception is fancy cut-out sugar cookies; they need a specific amount of sugar to hold their shape right.) Most recipes just have too much sugar. In this recipe, since there's vanilla, cinnamon, and raisins, you can cut half the sugar and no one will notice (especially if you're using applesauce in place of some of the oil.) Cutting half a cup of sugar will cut 50 to 75 empty calories from each serving (depending on how thick you slice the loaf.) Cutting out 3 large eggs would only cut 10-15 calories, and it would also cut out a minor amount of protein and vitamins.
if cholesterol is really what you are worried about, cut out two of the yolks and replace with 2 egg whites. it will be the simplest solution. the issue with bananas is that they tend to overpower the taste of zucchini in the bread. which would be fine if you're okay with zucchini banana bread, but a little unpleasant if someone dislikes bananas. i would also say that when i have tried flax "eggs" with zucchini it also tends to overpower the zucchini taste and there are a remarkable amount of people who dislike the taste of flax. i find flax tends to work best in things that have a lot of other flavors going on like a spice cake or a bread where it's supposed to taste a little seedy.
Plus, they have tons of fiber, they're gluten-free, and lots of omega 3's. Awesome stuff. You can find them at health food stores, and even though they are a tad pricey, a little goes a long way and lasts a long time.
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
9/19/13 12:52 P
I've replaced egg with bananas in cake a number of times in deference to my in-laws, who do not eat eggs. Besides the obvious (banana flavoring!) the main impact on every commercial packaged brand I've tried has been that it makes the cake a bit drier than it would otherwise be. If eaten quickly this isn't too much of an issue, you just notice it later, the more the cake dries out. I replace each egg with half a well-mashed banana. The texture has always been fine.
Full recipes for either egg-free or vegan cakes and zucchini type breads can be found all over the internet (in fact I'm pretty sure my usual zucchini bread recipe doesn't use egg by default) and can sometimes be better balanced for sweetness, texture and so on than you get by using a commercial brand and replacing ingredients. But other recipes are a lot worse. So it takes some experimenting.
3 eggs have just 630 mg of cholesterol. Unless you plan to eat the entire batch of zucchini bread by yourself, in 3 days or less,it shouldn't be that high. You can have 300 mg of cholesterol per day, so a slice of it, say 1/8th of the loaf would be just 79 mg of cholesterol. Hardly high cholesterol. Also since Zucchini bread would be for special occasions, it isn't like you would eat this every day. Just as if you go over on sugar on a birthday, being a bit high on cholesterol for a special occasion, isn't going to kill you.
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9/19/13 12:24 P
I haven't done this with zucchini bread, but I have forgotten to add the eggs in to banana bread, and honestly didn't notice it in the texture or flavour.
I also like your idea of replacing them with banana. You might want to try it on the half oil / half applesauce version first, as that is a lot of texture changes to the original recipe. You might want to also consider dropping the amount of sugar, since both applesauce and bananas have a lot of natural sweetness to them. I usually find that 1/2 cup of brown sugar is more than enough in sweet breads where I've used applesauce / bananas in the recipe.
If you're open to playing around even more with the texture, then you can consider replacing the 3c straight flour with 1c oat bran / 1c rolled oats or steelcut oats / 1c whole wheat or brown rice flour. There is a lot more sweetness in this combination than in straight flour, as well as adding some fibre and chewiness (my clan always prefers things that are chewier).
Another option to consider is using greek yoghurt instead of the oil / applesauce. You have to bake at a lower temperature (I don't take it above 325 degrees - usually 300), but it adds a lot of protein to the recipe.
Oh - and thanks for posting this recipe! It looks like one I'll enjoy playing around with, too!
Edit: I see I'm a slow typist! Just wanted to add that I prefer to use a full-fat yoghurt in baking, so that I get the reaction mentioned by the previous poster.
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Fitness Minutes: (7,314)
130 9/19/13 12:22 P
Remember that eggs in baked goods also help keep all the little bubbles stay bubbly. I'm not sure if the ground flaxseed suggested above would have the same effect, as I've never tried it. But, honestly, eggs are full of protein and nutrients, so unless you have a reason to be careful about your cholesterol consumption my advice would be to make it with the egg and not eat too much of it.
Likewise you don't want to replace all the oil with applesauce, because you get those bubbles through the mixing of fat and sugar. That being said, I've had good results with using full-fat yogurt in place of oil in recipes.
The 2nd time, I substituted half the oil with unsweetened applesauce instead. And it still came out delicious, a little more moist and sweet, which everyone loves. But I noticed it's still a little high in calories and cholesterol.
So I'm thinking my next batch will omit oil altogether and just replace fully with the unsweetened applesauce. But I'm also wondering if it's a good idea to replace the eggs with banana instead? I had read before that bananas are a good replacement, but I'm a little hesitant that this might ruin the recipe, like let's say, the consistency. Or do you think this is a good idea?
Thank you to anyone who can give me a little feedback! :)
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