zucchini bread

I have to admit, I don’t think I have ever even tried zucchini bread before making this.  The idea of putting vegetables and sugar together and making some kind of sweet and savory bread seemed like a waste of both ingredients.  I was VERY wrong.

I went to the farmer’s market this past weekend and almost died of heat stroke.  Not that that is particularly relevant to my post about zucchini bread, but it had to be somewhere around 110 degrees in that parking lot in downtown New Orleans.  I somehow still love this city and want to never leave.  ANYWAYS…..I found the largest zucchini I had ever seen in my entire life.  I considered sending it in to the Guinness Book of World Records, but some quick research led me to a 65 monster that put mine to shame.  But I bought this $1.00 zucchini with no plan whatsoever and brought it home without thinking about the fact that my fridge was already bursting with fresh veggies.  I needed to get rid of this thing fast.  If sure alot of you have had the same problem.  Zucchini is everywhere in the summer – filling up gardens, overstocked in grocery stores.  This bread is the perfect way to get rid of 2 large zucchini (or HALF of mine, I’m not kidding, it was that big).  Its simple to make, easy to share, makes great gifts, and will save your zucchini from the garbage!

 

Zucchini bread is, in a way, very similar to carrot cake.  The vegetable flavor itself is very mild and the bread actually comes out with a touch of sweetness.  The cinnamon and nutmeg add a wonderful favor.  If you are a bit hesitant to put green veggies into a sweet, summery bread, don’t be.  Just think about how decadent a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting can be!  No one ever bites into a carrot cake and comments on how much it tastes like a fresh carrot.  The zucchini simply helps make the bread moist and light – plus you’re getting you veggies for the day. 

This is a pretty basic zucchini bread recipe.  Feel free to get creative here and add in whatever you are in the mood for.  Poppy seeds, Craisins, lemon zest, pumpkin seeds….my next loaf is gonna be wild.  And although there is nothing wrong with telling yourself this is healthy – it has vegetables in it after all, you could easily swap half the oil for non-fat greek yogurt or half the flour for whole wheat.  I chose to lie to myself.

Bread:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup olive oil (vegetable oil works too)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans, or dried fruit….or even chocolate chips?  go crazy.)

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp room temperature butter (or enough to make a crumple consistency) 
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional, but I used walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease two 8×4 inch loaf pans very thoroughly.  Or if you want muffins, line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla.

Combine dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt) as well as nuts, chocolate chips and whatever else you are experimenting with.

Stir into the egg mixture. Divide the batter into loaf pans or muffin tins.

Combine all the topping ingredients and crumble on top of bread batter in pans.

Bake loaves for 60 minutes, plus or minus ten, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

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