MATERNITY LEAVE. THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING. I think it might be the first time in my life where I don’t have a schedule of sorts to follow. Typically, I thrive on a routine and schedule but knowing that this is likely the last time I’ll have to myself for a very long time, I am trying hard to just let go and bask in it. Really hard. My only real goal for each day right now is to stock our freezer with as many easy-to-grab-and-eat-with-one-hand snacks and meals as possible before she comes. It seems like the most productive way to spend my time and gives me a bit of routine/a goal to work towards when I’m feeling a bit chaotic and life feels somewhat out of control… something that can be difficult for someone with anxiety (like me!).
I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that the two of us will be three of us soon. And that I won’t be pregnant forever, because currently it feels like I might be. And I have been for so long. Imagining myself without this hefty belly attached to my mid section is a bit surreal…and a bit heart wrenching. I have so enjoyed every minute, even the tough ones, of pregnancy. The fascination of watching your body change as a real-live human being grows inside has been the most incredible, awe-inducing experience. I can’t imagine what it’s like to actually meet that human being. I’m sure the moms/dads out there can relate to that feeling of “HOLY SHIT I GET TO MEET THE HUMAN WE CREATED ANY MINUTE NOW!” Absolutely effing bananas.
This zucchini oat loaf is incredibly good; dense and moist and full of flavour and texture. If I had had carrots on hand, I might have added a bit of both since I love the combination of the two in a sweet quick bread. But the zucchini on it’s own was lovely. Once the loaf cooled, I sliced it up, wrapped each slice in saran wrap and froze them all in a freezer bag so I can grab one at a time, pop in the oven, slather in butter (maybe that’s expecting too much) and enjoy. Even if you’re not expecting a baby, this makes for an excellent grab-and-go breakfast, especially if you double the batch. It’s so nice to have healthy options available whenever you need a little something.
adapted from Bon Appetit
makes 1 9×5″ loaf
For something extra, feel free to add your favourite toasted nuts ( 1/4 cup chopped) or some raisins or other dried fruit (1/4 cup). I didn’t have these on hand so I left them out however I would have loved to add cranberries and pecans.
3 large eggs
1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed (freshly ground is best)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
3½ cups coarsely grated zucchini (approx 1 large or 2 small zucchini)
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
1/4 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9×5″ loaf pan with parchment, leaving a good amount of overhang so you can pop the loaf out easily.
In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, yogurt, oil, sugar and vanilla until well combined.
In another bowl, whisk together the flours, flax, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and powder, and 1 cup of the oats. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Use a fork to slowly incorporate the two being sure not to overmix. Add in the zucchini and fold everything together so there are no pockets of dry ingredients left. It’s absolutely OK if it’s still a bit lumpy. Pour mixture into your prepared loaf pan and top with the remaining oats and brown sugar. Bake for 1 hour, 20 minutes or until a clean toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. If you find the top is browning too much before the middle is cooked, tent some foil over it.