I planted my first vegetable garden this year. Now I’m officially one of those people you read about in cooking magazines with way too much zucchini. I think it’s fair to say that you cannot comprehend how prolific this plant is until you have one of your own. I literally can’t keep up with it. …I once forgot to check it for a few days and ended up with zucchini the size of baseball bats.
I’ve made my favorite Zucchini Noodles with Pesto, a delicious zucchini frittata, and a whole lotta zucchini bread, which my kids love because it tastes absolutely nothing like zucchini. But for the teeny-tiny green flecks (which any self-respecting picky eater will spot in a heartbeat), you would never even know a vegetable is involved.
A good bit of zucchini goes in, but it sort of miraculously evaporates into the batter, and the result is a delightfully sweet quick bread that tastes more like spice cake than anything else. It’s a great way to get your kids to eat zucchini, though I’m not sure it would count as a serving of vegetables…it’s more like dessert with benefits.
It’s easy to make, too. You start by grating the zucchini. If you have a food processor, it’s worth getting it out of the cupboard; otherwise, you can do it by hand.
Mix the wet ingredients together in bowl…
Then the dry…
Fold them all together, then and add nuts, currants or chocolate chips if you like…
Serve warm out of the oven or toasted the next day.
Makes two 8 x 4-inch loaves
3 large eggs
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
2 cups grated zucchini (you’ll need one medium zucchini, about 10 ounces)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted (optional)
½ cup currants or raisins (optional)
*You can also add chocolate chips. When I’m baking this for the kids, I typically use between ¾ – 1 cup chocolate chips instead of nuts and currants. Whatever combination you use, just be sure total add-ins (nuts, currants, chips) do not exceed 1½ cups.
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and set rack in middle position. Generously grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, mix eggs with sugar until combined. Add grated zucchini, melted butter and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
3. In another large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Use a whisk to mix well.
4. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix until just combined. Add nuts and currants or chocolate chips if using, then divide batter into prepared pans. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Set pans on wire rack and let cool about 10 minutes, then turn loaves out onto rack to cool completely.
*When baking, always be sure to measure flour properly. Use a spoon to scoop flour out of its container into a dry measuring cup. Continue until the cup is overflowing. Holding the measuring cup over the flour container, use the back edge of a knife to level off the flour even with the top of the measuring cup.