How many times have you bought a bunch of bananas only for the last few to turn to mush? For me, it’s all the time. And after all the occasions I’ve said, “I’ll make banana bread out of those,” I finally did it.
This led me to the Ultimate Sourdough Banana Bread recipe from The Clever Carrot, and I am 100% here for it. It’s not dense in the least, nicely sweet, and full of banana flavor. I do recommend giving it a try.
But this post isn’t really about banana bread. That’s well covered in The Clever Carrot’s post. After falling in love with that recipe, I wanted to play with it a little.
Back before the current plague made it unsafe to go out in public, I liked going to a certain farmer’s market on the weekends. I’d come home with bags full of strawberries, green beans, and rainbow carrots, among other things. The rainbow carrots taste like any other carrot, but have a more interesting mix of colors than the standard orange.
I wanted to make a bread with these carrots. So I did, along with zucchini and black walnuts. I couldn’t get up to the market, so I acquired all the ingredients from work. Working in a grocery store during a pandemic can have its advantages. The downside to this is the carrots available to me were so skinny that shredding them was a pain, but still doable. And the end result was worth it.
Seriously, this bread is like summer in loaf form. Bright and colorful, full of vegetable flavor, and no less sweet.
The main and obvious difference is substituting the bananas with the shredded carrot and zucchini, but the lack of a soft element like banana made the initial creaming step difficult. So I added half of the oil at the start to bind everything together, and added the last bit of oil at the end. I finished off this batter by throwing in a cup of chopped black walnuts, but you can use whatever nut you like (or none at all.) Enjoy for breakfast or a snack, either toasted with butter or by itself.
Rainbow Carrot-Zucchini Bread
Makes 1 loaf (9×5 in)
375 g shredded carrot and zucchini
225 g light or dark brown sugar
1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
100 g bubbly, active 100% hydration sourdough starter
250g all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
125ml (½ cup) neutral flavored oil, divided
60ml (1/4 cup) milk
Generous handful of walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 360 F. Coat a 9×5 in loaf pan with butter.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
Add the vegetables, sugar, and vanilla to a bowl. Add half of the oil and whisk together until uniform.
Add the eggs one at a time. Add the sourdough starter.
Add the flour mixture to the vegetable mix in thirds, scraping the bowl as you go. Do not overmix.
Add the milk and remaining oil, mix until just combined. Add the nuts, if using. Avoid overmixing.
Pour batter into the pan. There’s a lot of volume to the batter, but don’t fret. Bake for 60-80 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the loaf cool for twenty minutes or so before removing.