Saturday, June 18, 2011

Zucchini Nut Bread

A nice tender quick bread, seasoned with cinnamon and studded with walnuts, made using some of that garden bounty of zucchini.

Zucchini Nut Bread

I suppose just about anybody that grows zucchini has a collection of recipes for their abundant bounty, including one for a sweet quick bread. On the other hand, those of us who are lucky enough to be the recipient of bags of that bounty, sometimes just don't know what all to do with them! This recipe is for the latter of us.

My savory preference from the group of summer squash is yellow crookneck, but I adore sweet bread made with shredded zucchini. If you've never tried zucchini bread before, just think along the lines of carrot cake, because it really is deliciously sweet and truly, but for the little specks of green that are scattered about in the bread, you'd never know you were eating something with zucchini in it. 

Back when I last worked at a law firm, the wife of my boss, a wonderful southern gentleman from Pontotoc, Mississippi, would flip over a loaf of zucchini bread. People love home baked goodies and frankly it never hurts to find favor in the wife of the boss!

This recipe makes two loaves - one to share or freeze, and another to enjoy, and it's a very simple recipe. You don't even need a mixer.

Beat the eggs, add the oil and granulated sugar and beat until blended and thickened. Beat in the brown sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, breaking up any flour lumps. If you're making chocolate zucchini bread, add in 1/2 cup natural, unsweetened cocoa here and up to 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips. Adding in 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder really enhances the chocolate version.

Stir the walnuts in with the flour mixture. Add the grated zucchini to the brown sugar mixture and stir.

Add the vanilla to the zucchini mixture and stir. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet and gently mix together. Don't beat!

Pour evenly into the prepared loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

Let loaves rest in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove from the pans and transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

Zucchini, like crooknecks and other summer squash, are great in casseroles of course, cut up and stir fried, cut into ribbons and skewered with shrimp or cut into long thick strips, marinated in Italian dressing and grilled, or even stuffed, but it is especially delicious in a sweet bread. Pick up some zucchini at the grocery store and give it a try!

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Posted by on June 18, 2011

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