Savory cheese loaf with olives on cutting board Savory cheese loaf with olives on cutting board Olive cheese bread is one of many ways to incorporate vegetables into baked goods. (Photo: Elena Veselova / Shutterstock)

A great way to eat your veggies: Turn them into bread!

Don't be afraid of a little zucchini in your bread, carrot in your cake or tomato in your muffin.

Vegetables may seem like unusual ingredients to use in baked goods, but this style of cooking is actually the perfect combination of savory comfort and earthy, wholesome flavor. It's not about hiding vegetables to make them more digestible; it's about using them to their fullest potential, to add depth, spice and a light crunch.

Our Israeli Kitchen bloggers have fine-tuned this style of cooking and shared several recipes for breads, cakes and muffins that include vegetables. Here are some of their favorites, including a few extra from the far-reaching depths of the foodie interwebs:

Tomato and pumpkin seed bread

Tomato and pumpkin seed breadTomato and pumpkin seed bread (Photo: Miriam Kresh)

With speckles of red and green and flavors of sunshine and late summer, you'll know right away that this is a different kind of bread. You've got several options for tomatoes, so there's a good possibility that the variety growing in your garden will work just fine for this recipe. And the pumpkin seeds add a delicious accent of fall.

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Carrot cake with cream cheese frostingCarrot cake with cream cheese frosting (Photo: Miriam Kresh)

Why is carrot cake so popular? Why does a carrot work just as well as the main ingredient in vegetable soup as it does cushioned in cake batter? Why do we see carrot cake alongside typically richer, more decadent desserts in bakeries and diners from coast to coast? The answer is simple: sweetness. It's got just the right amount of it, but not too much so as to dominate the flavor of everything else. And as our Israeli Kitchen chef Miriam Kresh discovered one day, the rich, slightly tangy cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement to the cake’s rough texture and spicy sweetness.

Cheese and tomato muffins

Cheese and tomato muffinsCheese and tomato muffins (Photo: Margouillat photo/Shutterstock)

You might just start popping cherry tomatoes for an after-work snack if they're lying around one day. But what if you put the nibbling on hold and fired up the oven instead? Those tomatoes would taste fantastic with muffins as their own personal pillowcase. You may be accustomed to eating tomatoes mostly in soup, sauce or condiment form, but after trying this recipe, you'll be turning your best heirlooms into muffins.

Whole grain zucchini carrot muffins

Zucchini carrot oat muffinsZucchini carrot muffins are a delicious blend of savory and sweet. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Isn't a muffin just a cupcake without the frosting? Sometimes, but in this moist, savory/sweet veggie-packed muffin, there's no topping needed. With shredded zucchini, carrots and oats encased in a nutritious whole wheat flour, you're upping the fiber and the fullness a traditional muffin provides.

Zucchini, olive and goat cheese bread

Zucchini, olive and goat cheese breadZucchini, olive and goat cheese bread (Photo: Miriam Kresh)

This hearty bread is packed so full of nutrients, sharpness and flavor, you'll hesitate to call it "bread." With all the goodness of cheese and olives and black pepper, it gives you the feeling of having eaten real food, rather than just a light snack. You'll be filled with the warmth of an authentic Mediterranean kitchen, and you'll surely fulfill your vegetable serving quotient for the day.

Sourdough carrot cranberry muffins

Sourdough carrot cranberry muffinsSourdough carrot cranberry muffins (Photo: Miriam Kresh)

If there ever was an ideal combination of sweet, sour, crunchy and spicy, this muffin embodies it. Blending acidic sourdough with baking soda equals "muffin magic," according to Kresh – no rising time needed. Kresh made this recipe on a cold, rainy day in Israel when she and her daughter wanted nothing more than to warm up her apartment with fresh, baked bread. She noted how the sweetness of the carrots complements the tartness of the cranberries.

V8 vegetable juice bread

Fresh from the oven gluten free bread on a cutting boardTomato juice bread has a slightly yellowish tint and is incredibly moist. (Photo: Iryna Melnyk/Shutterstock)

Dry bread is about as useful as a paperweight. Typically eggs are the most commonly used ingredient to ensure that bread retains the proper amount of moisture and depth, but that's not the only option. Try heating up some V8 juice and adding it to the mix. Your chicken dinner just became a winner.

Veggie quiche muffins

Several muffin tins with a pastry sitting on a black surface.Veggie muffins can be modified in any number of ways. (Photo: TAGSTOCK1/Shutterstock)

Conversely, eggs and vegetables also make a scrumptious team. For this veggie quiche muffin, we can't think of any meal, occasion or time of day this wouldn't be appropriate for. Part biscuit, part muffin, part omelet and 100 percent delicious.


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Related Topics: Healthy eating

A great way to eat your veggies: Turn them into bread!
Don't be afraid of a little zucchini in your bread, carrot in your cake or tomato in your muffin.