Beetroot, Cranberry and Zucchini Loaf

Beetroot, Cranberry and Zucchini Loaf 5

There is no denying it, I’ve been in overdrive using my loaf since I got back from overseas and when I say using my loaf, I mean using my loaf tin.

This Christmassy loaf was actually inspired by Nigella’s Scarlet Speckled Loaf Cake, but I added some zucchini and pistachios because let’s face it, at Christmas, red and green should always be seen. Plus with an extra serve of veggies, and some nuts, this surely makes this loaf a health food.

This loaf is as dense as it is colourful, it’s delicious on it’s own or warm with some lashings of butter. To tell you the truth, this recipe has me torn, it’s so delicious, I can’t stop making it but I want to because I can’t stop eating it and have had to eject it from the house with immediate effect.  I just cannot resist.

For the nay sayers and fussy eaters who may find the idea of beetroot and/or zucchini in their baked goods a turn off, just tell them it’s finely chopped cranberry and bits of pistachio, and they’ll be none the wiser.  Shall it be our little secret?

Do you like baking with vegetables too? Do you have any other secrets you want to share?

Beetroot, Cranberry and Zucchini Loaf

Ingredients

1 large uncooked beetroot, peeled, about 200g

1 large zucchini

250g butter, softened

grated zest and juice 1/2 lemon

200g caster sugar

4 eggs

150g dried cranberries

50g pistachios, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon mixed spice

300g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Beetroot, Cranberry and Zucchini Loaf 2

How to – Traditional

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Line a large loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Grate the beetroot and zucchini using the fine grating blade of a food processor. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Stir in the cranberries, pistachios, lemon juice, mixed spice and grated veggies.
  6. Finally stir in the flour and the baking powder.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Let it cool in the tin before turning out on to a wire rack.

Beetroot, Cranberry and Zucchini Loaf 3

How to – Thermomix

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Line a large loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Chop zucchini into chunks and place in TM bowl. Chop for 3 seconds  on speed 5. Set aside.
  3. Chop beetroot into chunks and place in TM bowl. Chop for 3 seconds  on speed 6. Set aside with the chopped zucchini. Rinse and dry the bowl.
  4. Add the butter to TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 7. Insert the butterfly and add the sugar and lemon zest. Mix for 1 minute  on speed 4. Scrape down base and sides of bowl and remove butterfly.
  5. With the blades running on speed 3, add the eggs through the hole in the lid, allowing a few seconds between addition. This should take about  1 minute.
  6. Add the flour, baking powder and mixed spice and combine for 20 seconds on reverse speed 4. Scrape down base and sides of bowl.
  7. Add the cranberries, pistachios, lemon juice and chopped veggies and combine for 10 seconds on reverse speed 3. The mixture should be well combined, if not, give it a few good stirs with the spatula.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly.
  9. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Let it cool in the tin before turning out on to a wire rack.

TIP! Make the loaf up to 3 days ahead. Wrap in baking paper and store in an airtight container. The loaf can be frozen for up to 3 months, just wrap it in a layer of baking paper and then a layer of foil. Thaw at room temperature.

For a nut free version, swap the pistachios for some toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds.)

Beetroot, Cranberry and Zucchini Loaf 4

  • Luce Mills

    Sammie I was told red and green should never be seen …. but in this case it breaks all the rules .
    delicious and scrumptious mouthwatering to say the least …. I was so impressed with this cake it can be eaten all year round .I am making these as Christmas gifts for my special friends .

  • You had me at beetroot! Yummo, bet it is super moist as well.

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    Oh is this the one you served at the ASRC? I really wanted to try it!

  • merilyn

    this is my type of loaf sammie!
    I do love a good loaf and used to make them a lot! … too much!;))
    I deem this one healthy!
    as you may have noticed on P I am obsessed with food, art and colours!!!
    gave a happy day hun!
    much love m:)X

    • I love a good loaf too and I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much, not where fruit and veggies are involved! And I’m with you, colourful food is my favourite kind xx

  • I’m tempted to make this despite my massive dislike of beetroot because it would be a good way to sneak some veggies into the boys, haha! But I just can’t get over the beetroot! My mum LOVES it, it just grosses me out. Even the thought of it!

    • I promise you you won’t taste the beetroot! Just imagine it’s cranberries!

      • haha no I can’t even be in the same room as it, it’s the weirdest phobia! Luckily that suits my mum as if there’s ever any that’s sneakily served someone where she gets to gobble it up while I work on calming myself back down.

  • I’m loving the sneaky veggie additions in this! I love love loveeee zucchini in baked goods!!

  • We have beetroots in our vegetable garden. I usually bake them in the oven, but I think I need to try this loaf!! I love eating loaf toasted for breakfast.