My {Unashamed} Love Affair With Citrus Zest

photo by @itsjessicamiller

photo by @itsjessicamiller

I’m still not sure why winter seems to drag on for-ev-errrr, while sweet summertime flies by with new tides and the short life of the fire-fly.

The perfect sunsets.
The dusky drive-in movies and small-town carnival nights.
The ice cream & long walks along the river.
The kiddy-pool for your dog because your niece has out-grown it {insert crying emoji}.
The night-time concerts in sun-dresses + floppy hats with dear friends.
The five million weddings {or not, because you’re finally past that season of life?} & rambunctious dance-floor moves you bust out from 2001.

dusky summer{My town is so cute, amiright?}

And the ZEST!

For the love of the lemon zest! 

I’ve said it before, but the foodie in me just cannot contain herself when it comes to citrus zest. The aroma that fills my kitchen when that lemon oil permeates the air is simply the best scent {other than fresh laundry from the clothes-line that smells of nearly-here-autumn-air}, in my humble opinion.

Alas! I’ve altered a recipe I found somewhere on Pinterest {so sew me, I’m not correctly crediting someone and I’m sorry} to be gluten-free. I’d like to eventually try to create a Paleo version {see some of my substitutionary suggestions below}, but for now, you’ll just have to splurge a bit. And the best part is you can sneak in some fresh zucchini and raspberries for those picky eaters in your life + use up these seasonal ingredients before summer flies away. 😉

 

lemon rasp 1

Lemon Raspberry Zucchini Bread {with a Lemony Glaze}

Makes {1} 9″ loaf

Bread Ingredients:
+ 2 cups gluten free flour/”All-Purpose GF Baking Mix” {I just found Arrowhead Mills, and love it!}
+ 2 tsp baking powder
+ 1/2 tsp salt
+ 2 eggs, room temp
+ 1/2 cup vegetable oil or coconut oil {sub applesauce}
+ 1/2 cup milk
+ 2/3 cup sugar {sub 1 banana + 1 TBS honey and add 1/2 cup more flour}
+ 1/4 cup fresh squeeze lemon juice
+ the zest of 1 lemon :)
+ 1 cup grated zucchini
+ 1 cup of roughly chopped raspberries

Glaze Ingredients:
+ 1 cup powdered sugar
+ 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
+ the zest of 1/2 of a lemon

Process:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease {w/ butter} and flour a 9 x 5″ loaf pan. Set aside.
2. In large bowl, blend flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, use a hand-mixer or stand-mixer t beat 2 eggs well. Then add the oil and sugar, and beat on low until well-combined. Add the milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest; blend everything well.
4. Gently mix in the grated zucchini until just evenly distributed in mixture.
5. Add dry ingredients and fold everything together with a large spatula, but don’t over-mix.
6. Gently fold in the raspberries, being careful not to smush them.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. {Note: Add 1/2 cup of my “crumble” topping to the top of the batter for a “streusel” if preferred. This will make the recipe no longer GF, but you can alter it by using GF flour}. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean {should be golden brown}. Cool on a cooling-rack completely.
8. To serve, glaze each 1″ slice individually to avoid making the loaf soggy. Store wrapped in tin-foil, and reheat slices in a toaster over to re-serve.

lemon rasp 2

{Be sure to save some leftover raspberries to top your morning granola or fro-yo with, freeze some for smoothies, or to let your little ones to snack on. They are some serious anti-oxidant-packed little puckerers!}

I bet you’ll triple the batch and send loaves to your neighbors–it’s seriously that good. Let me know what you think of this recipe if you try it.

And do share: what are some of your favorite lemon-zest recipes? I’m dying to know!

P.S.-if you’re like me when I started this food journey, “GF” does not always equate to healthy. Just sayin’. 😉

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