Getting more out of the sweets we eat: Chocolate Zucchini Cake
On another topic on the General Topics Board, it was suggested that if you're interested in getting your meat and potatoes man to eat more vegetables, an easy solution is to "hide" veggies in everyday foods we love to eat. This lead to the discussion of chocolate zucchini cake.
Here is a recipe for the cake.
Zucchini Chocolate Cake
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups zucchini -- grated
1 cup nuts -- chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
Sift together the first 7 ingredients and set aside. Beat together the eggs, sugar and oil. Add buttermilk, zucchini, vanilla and orange peel
and mix. Add flour mixture and nuts. Bake in 9" x 13" greased and floured pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees. Frost with cream
I don't wish to be a party pooper, and honestly I'm all for chocolate zucchini cake but there's no way that a serving of this is going to add anything that even remotely resembles a significant amount of vegetable to anyone's diet. When you take into consideration the relatively small amount of zucchini that's actually in the cake - 2 cups - most of which is water, we're not talking about a lot of veggie goodness here. Divide the cake into, what? 12 servings? We've got, at most 1/6th of a cup (1.3 oz) of zucchini in each slice of cake. Balance that against the fact that this is a fairly high sugar cake - folks, you're better off having one single raw carrot stick with sour cream dip.
I know this is a common refrain - I hear it over and over again: sneak veggies into your child's/ husband/s diet with this delicious zucchini/carrot muffin/cake but, people, you're kidding yourselves. These veggies add moisture and some texture to a baked goodie, but they are NOT a serving of vegetables. Delicious? Yes. Nutritionally valuable? I doubt it.
The operative word in my original post was suggested. Just as when making a dry martini, one would wave the vermouth bottle over the glass, one is getting a suggestion of a vegetable (read: additional nutrition) in the cake. I'm not and never have been an expert on nutrition.
I was simply responding to the request for the recipe.
Maybe the question should be what CAN you "sneak" into food--?
is sprinkling bran or flaxseed worthwhile?
There's something called a carrot pudding (not carrot cake)..
I remember a fitness/diet personality (the hyper lady with the REAL short real blond hair--name?) saying you should only eat natural foods--"ever see an oatmeal tree?" If even oatmeal is on her *bad* list, it's no wonder I blanked out her name.
Please don't take my post the wrong way. I really didn't mean to sound as harsh as I probably sounded. I guess I'm just finally tired of hearing about people "sneaking" vegetables (or anything else) into food and feeling that having done so they have accomplished anything nutritionwise. I know where this thread has come from - the vegephobic husband issue - so maybe I should have posted there. To be honest, I can't imagine what it might be like to live with such a person. So I can imagine the frustration that might lead to wanting to chuck zucchini or carrots or whatever into something that they will unsuspectingly consume. The sentiment comes from the right place - you want to feed your family well. But the only way to do this is to teach them to eat these foods on their own merit, voluntarily. I don't know how you do this. I only know that a tablespoon of shredded zucchini in a slice of cake just ain't gonna do it. It only succeeds in casting a pall of suspicion over everything you serve: are there mushrooms hiding in this meatloaf? Is there celery in this spaghetti sauce? This just heightens the bad vibes around vegetables and creates more negativity. This is, at least, my take on it.
Oh, and about the actual zucchini cake recipe. Yes, I believe the moisture in the zucchini can take the place of some of the oil in the cake. Just the way people are subbing applesauce for oil. So that's a plus, of course.
Thank you. That was my reason for requesting the recipe, was that I'm looking for ways to cut the fat and I often have an excess of zucchini, so it seemed worth having a look at. I've heard of substituting apple sauce before, but zucchini was one I hadn't heard. Usually what I do is make my own apple puree (without the sugar) so, zucchini might be even better.
Usually I cut some of the sugar in these recipes, too, and substitute for some of the refined flour, but there are only so many tweaks you can make to a traditional recipe before it tastes awful. :)
Thanks for the recipe!