After filling up on the summer bounty of peaches, plums, nectarines, and berries, its time to get ready for the fall harvest. With many people going apple, pepper and tomato picking, fall is a favorite time for many families! This next recipe is full of fall harvest fruits and vegetables, but is also great all year round. It includes apples, zucchini, and carrots, and just enough spice to warm you up in the fall season. It stores well, and is the perfect gift for a friend or neighbor, because the recipe makes two loaves. Slice and toast it for breakfast with some Greek yogurt on the side, or have it for your afternoon tea or light dessert. It’s simple and delicious, and even though it has lots of fresh fruit and vegetables inside, it doesn't taste like healthy bread, so kids will like it too!
Ingredients (18-24 servings)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cups shredded carrots (about 3-4 medium carrots)
- 1 cup shredded zucchini, unpeeled (about 1-2 medium zucchini)
- 1/2 cup plumped raisins
- 1 cup finely diced, peeled apples (1-2 medium Granny Smith apples)
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
- vegetable spray
Preheat the oven to 350 F and adjust the rack to the middle of the oven. Grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans. You can also use 18-24 muffin tins or 1 large Bundt pan instead.
In a medium bowl, beat the first 5 ingredients. Then add the carrots, zucchini, and apples and mix briefly. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ground cloves and mix just until combined. Finally, fold the walnuts and raisins in and spoon batter into loaf pans.
Let the loaf cool at least 30 minutes before un-molding. Serve with tea, a glass of milk, or side of low-fat Greek yogurt with honey. If giving as a gift, wrap loaf in plastic wrap to keep fresh.