This is a great high-fiber food for breakfast, snacks, or side dish and an excellent way to use the zucchini that is abundant at this time of year. I just made a batch yesterday and served it with baked beans from a can (traditional Fourth of July food, and easy to prepare after all that baking!) for a nutritious meal to kind of counter-act whatever we might eat at the party today. I started making zucchini bread a few years ago using a recipe I’d gotten from a co-worker, but now I’ve made enough modifications that I consider it my own, different recipe.
I started with 5 small-to-medium zucchini from our weekly farm share, shredded them in the food processor, and measured the shreds. This is how I decide how many loaves to make: Each loaf requires 1 cup of shredded zucchini, and I have 4 loaf pans, so if I have at least 4 cups then I can make 4 loaves (for maximum efficiency in heating the oven and in using my own energy), and then I freeze any extra shredded zucchini, labeling the bag to show how many cups it is, and I can use it to make zucchini bread in the winter or to supplement a smaller weekly share of zucchini. This time, I had 6 cups, so I froze 2 cups and made 4 loaves.
For each loaf of zucchini bread, you will need:
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded zucchini (If it was frozen, thaw it and drain off some of the liquid–just the part that pours off easily.)
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. baking powder
- optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I usually don’t include nuts because I prefer a soft, smooth bread to one with scratchy bits.)
- 1 loaf pan
- grease for the pan (I like to use coconut oil.)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat egg until frothy.
Add sugar a little at a time and beat it in.
Add oil and vanilla. Beat another minute or so, then shake off the whisk/eggbeater and switch to a rubber scraper for the rest of the stirring. (Alternatively, you could use an electric mixer.)
Mix in zucchini.
Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. (I usually do this in my big measuring cup, which has some extra space at the top.) Gradually add this mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring as you go.
Mix in nuts.
Let the batter stand a minute while you grease the baking pan. Then pour it into the pan–it will be only about half full.
Bake 40 minutes and test to see if a chopstick poked into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. It may need another 5-10 minutes.
Let it cool in the pan until you can hold the pan in your bare hands. (You can serve some of the bread while it’s still hot! Hold the pan with an oven mitt, cut a slice, and carefully scoop it out; it will be very crumbly.) Then run a knife around all sides of the bread and push gently at the bottom edges to loosen it. Turn the pan upside down and turn the loaf out. If the bottom is still warm to the touch, let it cool completely before you put it away.
I like to store each loaf in a plastic box (the semi-disposable type that actually can be washed and reused for years). They can be kept at room temperature for about 3 days or in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. If you won’t finish all the loaves within that time, wrap the extra in aluminum foil, place in a plastic bag, squeeze out all the air, seal the zip-top or fold the bag around the loaf and put a rubber band around it, and freeze it. When you’re ready to use it, thaw in the refrigerator–if you thaw it at room temperature, it gets soggy.