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[Photographs: Elizabeth Barbone]

Last summer when my garden produced too much zucchini (there's always too much zucchini, isn't there?), I made a few batches of chocolate zucchini whoopie pies. This year, I craved that chocolate-zucchini flavor but didn't want to make dessert. So I converted the whoopie pie cake recipe into a quick bread.

At first, I simply reduced the amount of brown sugar from one cup to three-quarters of a cup. This worked and made a cake-like quick bread that wasn't too sweet.

With the sweetness reduced, the mild, almost-nutty flavor of the brown rice flour was more pronounced. I wanted more of that earthy-grainy flavor. For the next batch, sorghum flour replaced sweet rice flour and I added some ground flax meal. Now we were getting somewhere!

While still a sweet quick bread, the addition of another whole grain flour along with the ground flax meal transformed the loaf from something you'd only serve for dessert to something you could enjoy anytime of the day.

The ground flaxmeal, my favorite egg-replacement, inspired me to try a vegan/allergy-friendly (no gluten, no eggs, no dairy) version of the bread. The vegan loaf, made with flax meal, oil, and dairy-free milk, turned out to be my tasters favorite. The declared it "really tasty" and "rich but not heavy." And I agreed with them. This multi-grain loaf not only tasted terrific, it avoided the too-damp texture that affects many egg-free baked goods. After all those tweaks, I finally had a loaf that could be enjoyed anytime and, thanks to the allergy-friendly ingredients, by almost anyone.

About the author: Elizabeth Barbone of GlutenFreeBaking.com joins us every Tuesday with a new gluten-free recipe. She is the author of Easy Gluten-Free Baking. and "How to Cook Gluten-Free".

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