Zucchini Banana Rum Bran Bread

If you haven’t noticed already, I mostly deal with stress by baking.  Any time I’m way too busy and have a huge pile of things to do, I make sure I allocate at least a few hours to bake something.  The process – the scooping, measuring, pouring, stirring – is all so soothing to me.  This could also be why I absolutely love compounding lab; while the supplies differ in that we use a mortar and pestle, the process of weighing, triturating, and filling capsules soothes me just the same.  After a weekend where I worked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (after having a full week of classes), I allocated all of Monday morning for baking (it was Labor Day).  Here’s one of four recipes I made that day.

My friend, Jaclyn, gave me some zucchini from her family’s garden, and I already had some zucchini that I bought, so I decided to make variations of zucchini breads.  I also had a freezer full of ripe bananas, so I decided to add some banana to this one.  A bit of rum was added in lieu of spices and some wheat bran for extra fiber.

This bread is moist, subtly sweet, and so flavorful.  It’s perfect with a slather of butter and a cup of tea.  I especially like it topped with some almond butter – I’ve been enjoying that for breakfast this week.
I sliced the whole loaf, individually wrapped the slices in plastic wrap, stuck them into a freezer bag, and popped them in the freezer.  This way, I can easily grab a slice for breakfast and heat it up, without having to worry about it going bad before I finish it!  This also means I can vary my breakfasts with the other recipes I made (shared later on!).  This bread will easily last up to 2 months in the freezer.
The rum in this bread doesn’t really show up in flavor until the second day, so if you can, wait until the second day to eat it (I couldn’t wait that long).  The flavor is subtle – it adds a lovely depth.  Love it.
Zucchini Banana Rum Bran Bread
makes 1 loaf

1 cup wheat bran
1 cup buttermilk
4 T butter
14 packets truvia (or 3/4 cup sugar)
2 eggs
1/3 cup rum
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t kosher salt
1 1/2 cups zucchini, shredded
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 ripe banana, for topping.
In a small bowl, combine the wheat bran and buttermilk, and set aside.  
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Cream together the Truvia and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), until light and fluffy.  Mix in the eggs, rum, and vanilla.  Mix in the mashed banana and wheat bran/buttermilk mixture.  Slowly stir in the flour mixture until just combined.  Fold in the shredded zucchini and walnuts.
Pour the batter into a parchment lined (or well greased) loaf pan.  Slice the remaining banana, and top the loaf with the slices, down the center.
Bake at 350ºF for 45-50 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool slightly in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool.  Enjoy.
You may freeze this loaf, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.