The only thing cozier than curling up with a slice of this bread and a warm cup of tea? Actually spending an autumn afternoon making it from scratch, grating fresh apples and zucchini into a big bowl with oats and golden raisins, then filling the kitchen with the scents of rosemary and cinnamon as it bakes. This time of year more than any other, fresh herbs and spices channel the cozy feelings of fall — but did you know that they can also infuse a recipe with great health benefits for your body and mind? Herbs are my favorite way to quickly add the most incredible flavor and health benefits to recipes (and tea!) this season. Keep scrolling for the recipe for what is truly the best gluten-free zucchini bread I’ve ever tasted.
*photos by kate zimmerman
I’ve been wanting to create a recipe that channels my mom’s morning glory muffins that I used to devour straight out of the oven; packed with shredded zucchini, carrots, apples, golden raisins, and walnuts, they’re the epitome of a comforting homemade breakfast. My goal was to capture those flavors in a recipe that’s also gluten-free, dairy-free, and full of nourishing whole ingredients — and I added an unexpected herbal element to this one with rosemary.
Quick breads like this are without a doubt my favorite weekend baking project. Since there’s no yeast, rolling, or kneading involved, it’s really just a matter of mixing everything together in a big bowl. In other words, major reward for minimal effort. I use the grater attachment on my food processor to make quick work of the zucchini and apple.
Using plants for wellness is backed up by centuries of practical wisdom, and I’ve been particularly fascinated to learn how certain herbs and spices can target specific health concerns. I’ve been using turmeric more frequently in my cooking lately thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, and fennel is one of my favorites that’s also really great for digestion. And did you know that hibiscus supports cardiovascular health? Of course, herbal tea is a great way to easily incorporate all of these into your diet, and I love this Plants for Wellness chart that you can download and print to display in the kitchen for easy reference.
One of my favorite things about this bread is that you can get a little creative by swapping out ingredients based on what’s in your fridge. No zucchini? Use carrot or parsnip, or even sub part of it with shredded coconut. Walnuts or pumpkin seeds would be delicious instead of the pecans, and cranberries could easily stand in for the golden raisins. You could even get a little crazy and throw in a handful of chocolate chips (I won’t tell.)
Lately I’ve been swapping my afternoon cup of coffee for a cup of Roasted Dandelion Root Tea, which gently stimulates the liver and promotes healthy digestion, and I’m already feeling the benefits. Do you guys use herbal tea as part of your everyday health regime? I’ve noticed that when I’m really nourishing myself with beneficial ingredients, bad eating habits start to feel way less appealing. Keep scrolling for the recipe for this rosemary-infused bread, and I’d love to hear if you give it a try!
- Non-stick spray
- 1 cup pecans, toasted
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 2 cups gluten free flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups zucchini, grated
- 1 cup apple, grated
- 1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup golden raisins, soaked in hot water
- 1/2 tbsp raw sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pans with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a generous amount of of overhang on the long sides.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, applesauce, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
- In a separate large bowl, combine flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder ginger, and rosemary.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add in the egg mixture and slowly incorporate dry ingredients with a fork (batter will look dry). Gently fold in zucchini, pecans, golden raisins and 1 cup of oats.
- Scrape the batter into your prepared pans. Toss raw sugar with the remaining 1/4 cup oats in a small bowl and sprinkle over the batter.
- Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 70-80 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack and let bread cool in the pans for 30 minutes; turn out bread onto rack and let cool completely.