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