Friday, October 14, 2011

Green Tomato Bread

Today, finally, I finished using and preserving the last of the tomatoes.  It's been a horrible year for growing vegetables and our garden's chances were not improved by the two and a half weeks of summer neglect while Honey and I were in Vietnam, so my dreams of hundreds or thousands of pounds of tomatoes did not materialize.  As it turns out, that was probably a good thing -- for this year at least.  After spending all day every weekend either working in the garden or canning -- or both -- for weeks and weeks, I was quite tired of tomatoes. Or anything garden or canning related, for that matter.

Last Monday I attempted to finish the last 50 or so pounds of green tomatoes, but that turned into a frustrating experience.  I thought about throwing the canner through the window but then realized I'd be the one to clean up that mess and so had to find another way to overcome stress.  I ignored the last basket of baby green tomatoes.  Until today.

Green tomatoes make excellent pseudo-apple pie and so I thought about making an "applesauce."  Then I found this recipe for green tomato bread.  A sweet bread that packs a nutritious punch? How could I say no? Of course I had to modify the recipe a bit because...apparently that's just what I do, according to Honey. ("But Honey," I say, "I can make this recipe so much better!" to which the response is always very logical: "How do you know if you don't try the original first?" Sigh...conformists.... ;-)

Green Tomato Bread
1/3 c. canola oil
2/3 c. Greek yogurt
3 eggs
1 c. brown sugar
1 ripe banana
2 c. green tomatoes -- pureed
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 c. coconut (opt.)

I love the food processor.  Just remove the stems from the green tomatoes, drop them in whole, and puree.
Be sure to let the tomatoes drain -- like zucchini, they carry a lot of water and you don't want that to dilute your bread.
In a large bowl, mix together oil, yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, banana, and tomatoes.  Then sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
If using, add coconut.  (And of course you're using coconut! Who doesn't like coconut?!) Mix all ingredients together -- don't overmix.

Divide batter and pour into two greased bread pans.  Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean -- about 45 minutes.
The bread is good, not too sweet but soft and delicious.  Most tomato bread recipes I've seen call for twice as much sugar, so if you like your breads super-sweet then try that.  But I think it's perfect just the way it is.  Yum!

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