As the month of February winds to a close, so does the task of baking with vegetables (for now). Get excited though, March is dedicated to all things citrus, and I already have a couple of delicious looking recipes to try out (and one final one for February veggies…sorry folks I’m running behind)!
I first tasted zucchini bread in 8th grade. Though I took Spanish, I was placed in the Latin teacher’s homeroom, and was extremely lucky. You see, she baked for her classes. And quite often. Brownies, cookies, you name it. But her favorite thing to bake for us was always zucchini bread. For anyone who’s never eaten zucchini bread…I know what you’re thinking. Vegetables in dessert, how is that supposed to taste good? Don’t worry, there’s a lot of sugar in this recipe, making the final product delicious.
Speaking of sugar, I’ve recently been reading up on the topic of how sugar is overused in processed foods. This summer, I read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which has me curious about the food and agricultural business and their motives. I would also highly recommend reading this NYTimes article by Michael Moss, which explains how some businesses may have manipulated their products and advertising to get us to buy more as consumers. It’s a sickening, scary, and frank outlook on what led to America’s obesity crisis.
Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this recipe for Zucchini Bread! Truthfully, I’ve had better breads. When baked as muffins they also came out a lot fluffier than the much denser loaf. Still delicious though. And after waiting a few days, this bread becomes surprisingly better.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips or a combination thereof (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans, liberally. (See those pictures of the cakesinside their non-stick pans? Yup, they’re pretty much hanging out in there for the time being.) Alternately, line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla.
Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt, as well as nuts, chocolate chips and/or dried fruit, if using.
Stir this into the egg mixture. Divide the batter into prepared pans.
Bake loaves for 60 minutes, plus or minus ten, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.