Sometimes we busy bodies need to take a step back and rejoice at the little things in life. As unnatural as it feels for me to cool my jets, remove the blinders from my tunnel vision, and slow down, I’ve been practicing the fine art of gratitude and enjoyment lately. You guys, it’s really quite invigorating.
Some of my most cherished daily moments include: Slowly pouring hot water over freshly ground coffee in my French press and smelling the rich aroma while sipping (versus the usual chugging) to not only satisfy, but fully enjoy, my morning addiction. Taking deep breaths of fresh mountain air and being mindful of the way it makes me feel, rather than hurrying through the day and being unaware of my breath at all. Looking passers by in the eyes and smiling – a simple gesture to connect with others, only if for a moment.
…And finally, taking the time to give myself the metaphorical pat on the back for my own little triumphs, like going for a more challenging run than usual, handling a conflict like a mature adult (versus the quick-to-ignite spit-on-a-skillet rabble-rouser I am), or getting a recipe right on the fourth try.
Thaaas right. You’re looking at round four of paleo zucchini bread – a project that has quite literally taken 3 months to perfect. In general, baking is unforgiving when a slight miscalculation occurs, but then when you add a gluten-free spin, it becomes even more complicated. Make it grain-free, and now we must summon the all the good baking jujus and ask for small miracles.
After the third go-round of this grain-free zuchini bread, I about gave up. I felt a renewed sense of motivation after taking a zucchini bread hiatus, and finally got my pesky ratios straight. Don’t get me wrong: I ate the other three loaves dead, and not a crumb was wasted. But they just weren’t what I would consider to be blog-worthy, on account of the following:
Trial One: Too much maple syrup and too much baking soda
Trial Two: Half the bread stuck to the pan upon loaf extraction
Trial Three: Un-fluffed and too zuchini-y
Trial Four: By George, we’ve got it! Coconut flour saves the day!
As a side note, on Trial Three, I made a lemon-coconut glaze, which puts a whole different spin on the thing. The bread really doesn’t neeeeed the glaze, but adding it just gives the loaf a little extra oomph. Plus, the glaze tastes a bit like cream cheese frosting, which is a true wonderment to the tongue buds. I’ve included the recipe for the glaze below so that you have serving options.
Here’s what Trial Three with the glaze looked like:
A combination of almond flour, tapioca flour, and coconut flour was what made this recipe sing. You can use arrowroot flour instead of tapioca flour, or hazelnut meal to replace the almond flour. Unfortunately there aren’t any good replacements for coconut flour, so I don’t recommend trying other flours as substitutions for it. If you want to be a real champ, you can add dark chocolate chips and/or chopped walnuts to the bread.
This zucchini bread comes out sweet, but not too sweet. Which is exactly why I smother it in butter and drizzle honey on top.
You know what they say…fourth time’s the charm!