I’m in a Zucchini State of Mind

It’s that time of year….you’ve probably seen it…you really can’t hide from it….

Grocery stores, gardens, and kitchens are inundated with zucchini. The zucchini plant produces an abundance of this vegetable, which is harvested in mid- to late- summer. The good news is that there’s a ton of zucchini right now. The bad news is that there’s a ton of zucchini right now.

If you find yourself the recipient of a large amount zucchini, courtesy of a neighbor or friend, why not bake some zucchini bread?

Zucchini bread is based on the same idea as carrot cake….uhm, yeah sure, it can be healthy, it has vegetables in it. Nothing wrong with that line of reasoning — although you could substitute yogurt or applesauce for half of the oil, or you could substitute whole wheat flour for the white flour. Yeah, that’s it!

I love the spiciness of the cinnamon and nutmeg, and have therefore increased the amounts called for from the original recipes I sourced. You can also use other spices. For example, I experimented with a bit of cardamom, which gave the bread a nice perfume.

Although the recipe is simply for zucchini bread/muffins, you could also add some ripe bananas for additional moisture and flavor.

Zucchini Bread (or Muffins)
Adapted from several sources

Makes 2 loaves or approximately 24 muffins

  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (drained of excess water)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or other dried fruit (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans, or alternately, line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla.

Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt, as well as nuts and/or dried fruit, if using.

Stir this into the egg mixture. Divide the batter into prepared pans.

Bake loaves for 60 minutes, plus or minus ten, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes (see photo at bottom).

See the little bits of green zucchini goodness throughout?

 

Zucchini muffins -- how about some nice cream cheese frosting to go with these?

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