One of my favorite things to harvest from my summer garden is zucchini. We turn it into zucchini fritters, saute it, make zucchini breakfast pancakes, use ribbons of it to sub for pasta, and of course, zucchini bread. I love the simplicity of quick breads, and the healthy-ish nature of zucchini bread. My favorite way to enjoy it is warm with a little butter, but I also found it’s delicious with pear butter. Whenever I make a loaf, it’s gone so quickly I wonder why I didn’t make two.
Here in Portland, OR, the weather suddenly became Fall about 2 weeks ago; right on schedule I suppose. This means the squash plants are quickly winding down, so I may only get a few more small zucchini.
This recipe works equally well in loaf or muffin form, although I like to add fresh cranberries when I make it into muffins. (See variation below)
(Yield: one 8×4 inch loaf or 10 muffins)
- 1 1/2 cups mixed flours (1/2 – 3/4 cup all purpose flour, plus almond flour, ground flax, whole wheat, spelt, millet, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3/4 cup white or brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- (optional) zest of one lemon
1. Grease bottom and sides of 8 x 4 loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium mixing bowl combine the flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg, and set aside.
3. In another medium mixing bowl combine sugar, shredded zucchini, oil, egg, and lemon zest (optional). Mix well and then add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Stir just until moistened, and fold in chopped nuts.
4. Spoon batter into greased pan and bake for 55 mins. or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 10 mins. Slice and serve; or remove from pan and let cool completely if you wish to store it or gift it. Wrap with foil or plastic wrap.
Cranberry Zucchini Muffin Variation:
Measure about a generous 1/2 cup of fresh (or slightly defrosted) cranberries, cut them in half, and mix with a tablespoon of sugar. Add cranberries to batter with chopped nuts (above). Grease or line a muffin pan and fill cups. Bake at 350 for about 20 mins. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Yield: 10 muffins.
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook 1996)