Orange Popovers

IMG_2778

Popovers and I have history.  Funny thing is I  never introduced my family to them until this past fall.  I would probably put them in the Treasure Chest of recipes, but I guess they got buried for the past fifteen years. Popovers are simple, take very few ingredients and are almost foolproof, or so I thought.

As a dietetic student in college I had a textbook that was a cookbook.  It was my senior year internship and I was living alone, so I had to learn how to make meals for one. When you are living in the lake effect snow region of the United States one cannot survive on salad alone.  I would often decide on a meal or two I wanted that I could make ahead and heat when I returned home from the hospital each night.   I had a couple of casseroles that I learned to make, but then I would be left with extra ingredients.  This happened a couple of times with eggs and milk.  So I began searching my Good Housekeeping cookbook to determine a way to use up my ingredients before they went bad, I found popovers took little more than milk and eggs and they were fairly quick to make.  I had a ceramic baking dish so rather than individual popovers, I made a giant one. My first attempt was a success and the light fluffy bread was a perfect accompaniment for myself on a salad night.

Fast forward to a recent family vacation and my father was awstruck by fresh popovers he found at a local farmers market.  So I decided to dig out my recipe from the trusty Good Housekeeping Cookbook, which I still have and reference occasionally, and give them a try.  Needless to say Mr. Mixture and Little Miss Mixture were very happy and a little taken back that I had never made these for them before.  They have now been made several times over this past winter.

As I browse pinterest I have seen a lot of popover recipes, one in particular caught my eye for coconut and dark chocolate.  I gave them a try. but was not happy with the consistency of them.  That is not to say I will not attempt them again, but when I think popover I want light and fluffy so if it does not rise to double what the batter began as, it is not the taste I am looking for.

Determined to make a sweeter more unique popover for a brunch, I decided why recreate the wheel.  So I referenced my trusty recipe and decided to tweak it by adding some orange zest and orange extract.  The result was a light and refreshing taste.  I also had some leftover grated chocolate from my failed coconut and dark chocolate popover attempt, so 6 of the mini popovers got that tossed in the batter as well.  Again a success. If you are looking for a light bread to go with a meal, a brunch, or you need to use up your milk and eggs give popovers a try.

Mini Orange Popovers

Ingredients

3 eggs

1 cup milk

3 Tbsp. melted butter

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp orange extract

2 tsp grated orange zest

3 Tbsp. grated chocolate (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 24 mini muffin cups

2. In a large bowl with mixer at low speed beat eggs until frothy.  Beat in milk and melted butter.

3. Continue at low speed and beat flour and salt into egg mixture

4. Add orange extract and orange zest and beat until well blended.  If adding chocolate do so at the end and store to incorporate.

5. Spoon batter into mini muffin cups filling each about 3/4 full

6. Bake in preheated oven at 375 for about 50 minutes

Popovers are best served warm.

IMG_2779IMG_2780

Printer Version mini orange popovers

Coconut Zucchini Bread

HAPPY NATIONAL ZUCCHINI BREAD DAY

Image

Who is behind all these national days to celebrate random food, historians, and other things in our life?  I enjoy these days but I went to share the history of this day because I myself wondered when was it created?  Is it a new holiday?  Is it an old favorite?  Did holidays such as these even exist before the world of the internet, food blogs, twitter?

Now I am at a complete loss.  I can not provide you the history as I am not even sure what day is the actual National Zucchini Bread day anymore.  Am I two days late, one day early, or just in time?  The majority of the items that come up in the GOOGLE search engine when “National Zucchini Bread Day” is typed in are from the last three years.  Most reference April 25th, but I came across a webpage from 2006 that indicates National Zucchini Day is April 23rd always.  In fact it appears the person who wrote this page had the same idea as I.  To find the history of this day. Another random one from 2014 indicated April 23rd as well.  But wikipedia, , national day calendar, and a couple of blogs such as FoodimentaryAlmanac of Eats,  and American Food and Drinks all show April 25th as National Zucchini Bread Day and yes some of these have been around since 2006 or before.

Regardless of what day it is sometime this week marked National Zucchini Bread day and we are celebrating.

I have always enjoyed Zucchini bread and have been amazed how it transforms into a sweet delicate bread, muffin, cake.  I have tried to make certain recipes healthier and I know quick breads are not the healthier way to start the day even if they do include a vegetable or a fruit, but I just cannot seem to find a whole grain version that has the delicate balance that I enjoy. The closest one I have have is this recipe by Prevention RD that I substituted 1/2 cup maple syrup for the sugar. If I am going to enjoy a muffin or quick bread, I need it to be moist and light and whole wheat version are just too dense.

I have altered several recipes to decrease the sugar and increase the nutritional benefits by using healthier ingredients.  Here is my recent favorite. The recipe provided makes 1 loaf or 2 mini loaves.  This is half the amount of most recipes as I find I prefer to make it fresh and enjoy than to freeze it for a later time.

Coconut Zucchini Bread

1/2 cup coconut oil, in melted form

1 egg plus 1 1/2 Tbsp. beaten egg (1 1/2 eggs)

1 cup grated zucchini

3/4 cup maple syrup

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour (I use all-purpose)

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 Tbsp.  and 2 tsp. shredded unsweetened coconut, divided

Optional Add ins or substitutions for the coconut: Walnuts, Chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together and pour into prepared loaf pan, reserving the 2 tsp. coconut.  Top the loaf/loaves with coconut as it will toast up nicely while the bread cooks.  If you are using a mini loaf pan like mine that the spot for 4 loaves do not forget to fill about 1″ of water in the empty ones to avoid the pan from burning.

Bake 350 degrees approx. 40-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Image