Healthy snacks are those which provide nourishment at the same time as taking the edge off your hunger or giving you an energy boost. Energy giving snacks do not have to be full of refined sugar or unhealthy fats. Vegetables are a great addition to sweet dishes, turning them into healthy snacks for anytime of the day. In fact courgette has been a staple in Italian baking for more than a century. More recently, American cooking has adopted the ‘zucchini’ in many of its famous dishes.
The British are latecomers to this wonderfully healthy ingredient which allows reduction of wheat flour in recipes. The courgette improves both texture and increases moistness. Add the fact that the cake is made using extra virgin olive oil instead of butter or margarine and your treat turns into a healthy snack! This moist sponge keeps very well and often deepens in flavour over a couple of days.
Next time you are planning a trek or a visit to the swimming pool take a square of lemon and courgette cake as your sweet treat – a Win-Win for your body!
Courgette and Lemon Cake:
2 large eggs; 110g soft brown sugar; 100g caster sugar; 120ml extra virgin olive oil; 2 lemons (zest + juice); 1tsp vanilla extract; 175g plain flour; 1tsp baking powder; ¼ tsp bicarbonate soda; ¼ tsp salt; 225g grated, squeezed courgette; 225g icing sugar.
To make your healthy snacks:
Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly oil and line a loaf tin.
Beat together eggs, both sugars and oil until light and airy.
Add zest and juice of 1 lemon and vanilla. Stir.
Sieve together and add: flour, bicarbonate and salt. Stir in grated courgette.
Pour into loaf tin, bake for 45 mins (skewer comes out clean).
When fully cooled remove from tin. Drizzle with icing made from juice and zest of 1 lemon and icing sugar.
‘Bon Apetit et Salut’