Banana bread certainly is among the desserts/snacks that are the easiest to make. Still, making really good banana bread is not always easy: many recipes are too dry or don’t even taste like the fruit itself… and the best ones often contain way too much butter to be considered healthy. That being said, there exists an alternative to banana bread that does not compromise on taste while keeping sugar and fat at a reasonable level: courgette cake. This delicacy, which has traditionally been very popular in French Canadian culture, might not have a sexy name but will undoubtedly be the best ally of people who are sick of making the same banana bread over and over again!
The nutritional value of courgettes is not very well known even though it should. In effect, courgettes are hypo caloric foods (15 calories per 100 grams) that contain no saturated fats and that are a high source of potassium. A 300-gram serving, which represents less than 2% the calories the average person needs for a full day, offers 10% of the daily recommendation of dietary fibre and vitamin B1, 15% of magnesium and 50% of vitamin B9.
The basic recipe
To make a basic courgette cake, you will need the following ingredients:
- 3 cups of flour
- 1 tea spoon of baking powder
- 1 tea spoon of baking soda
- 1 tea spoon of salt
- 1 ½ tea spoon of ground cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of sugar (can be reduced if desired or replaced by maple syrup)
- 1 cup of canola oil
- 2 tea spoons of vanilla
- 2 cups of grated courgettes
- ½ cup of nuts (optional)
- ½ cup of raisins (optional)
- Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Grease two baking dishes.
- Mix the first six (dry) ingredients.
- Beat the eggs in a big bowl. Progressively add the sugar, the oil and the vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Add the courgettes (and the optional ingredients if desired). Transfer the dough in the baking dishes.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).
This recipe was translated from: http://www.recettesquebecoises.com/quebecoises/detail.asp?receipe=7365
Add a touch of chocolate!
You may like the basic recipe enough to stick to it. However, if (like most of us) you would like to add some chocolate to it, there exist some interesting recipes that allow you to mix both the healthy side of a courgette cake with the sweet and refined taste of dark chocolate chips. Here is a typical Quebecois recipe which does not only include chocolate, but which also replaces sugar by maple syrup, making the whole thing even healthier and completely Quebecois: http://www.iga.net/en/inspiring_recipes/chocolate_chip_squash_bread/
It ought to be noted that the basic version of the recipe often is coated with a little drizzle of maple syrup when it is served in Quebec. No matter if you prefer the basic or the chocolaty version, courgette cake will likely please everyone in the family. Its smooth texture and its unique taste will bring pleasure to your taste buds while providing your metabolism with many of the nutrients that it needs. What else could you ask for?
About the author:
Alexandre Duval is a blogger for Simons, a company producing and selling both clothes and home decoration accessories.