Recipe :: Zucchini Bread
As the rain poured down last week here in Northern California I was struck with the realization that indeed, Summer had ended and Fall was officially here. The leaves have started to change and the days are getting shorter, a sure sign that early nightfall, freezing cold temps and hibernation are just around the corner. And while I will miss Summer and it’s hot lazy days and ripe luscious produce, the advent of Fall means that I can fire up my oven again! No more sweating every time I think about turning on the stove top!
Time to bust out the cozy sweaters, awesome new boots and those recipes for comfort food.
Zucchini bread is actually the perfect recipe for the end of summer. There are still plenty of zucchini to be had at the farmers markets and CSAs but the warmth of the cinnamon and spices in this bread scream Fall!! Eat me! Be Comforted!
Now don’t be afraid of the somewhat health-nut substitutions that I’ve made. You’ll find a good whole wheat pastry flour in the bulk section of your local supermarket and you will not miss that extra oil. I promise. After all, Winter may be coming but I’ve heard that Summer will come back again eventually, along with bikini season, and I don’t have the desire to pack on weight like a hibernating bear. It really is a fabulously moist and amazing treat though, one that utilizes the last of the Summer’s produce and paves the way for a delicious Fall.
1.5 cups of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1.5 cups of All Purpose White Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Baking Powder
3 Tsp of Ground Cinnamon -you can also do half pumpkin pie spice, which has nutmeg and other spices in it for some fabulous flavor
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Applesauce – I know it seems weird, but it cuts back on the oil and you can’t tell at ALL. I was skeptical, but it really works
1 cup of Brown Sugar
1 cup of White Sugar
3 Tsp of Vanilla Extract
2-3 cups of Shredded Zucchini – The more zucchini you put in, the more moist the bread will be. I used approximately 4 small zucchinis and it turned out just fine.
Optional Addition : 1 cup of chopped walnuts/pecans – I’m not a huge fan of nuts in my bread so I took them out. But if you love ‘em? Go for it.
Grease and flour two 8x 4 bread pans. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon/allspice/pumpkin pie spice, whatever you wanted to use, in a bowl. If you don’t have a sifter, or don’t want to deal with the mess of using one, add all of the dry ingredients in the bowl and whisk them. I mean, how many people really have a sifter??
In a different bowl (sorry, there might be some cleanup here… get the hubby to do it) cream the eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla and sugar together. Add the “sifted” ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in the zucchini and nuts if you are using them and mix well. Do NOT over mix!!! I did this all without my kitchen aid mixer (*gasp*) and just did it all by hand. Easy stuff.
Pour the batter into the two pans and bake for 40-60 minutes, or until the tester comes out clean. Just know that I set the timer for 40 minutes and then proceeded to check it every 5-10 minutes or so. You really don’t want to overcook this because it becomes a LOT less moist… and moist is what we’re shooting for.
Cool in the pan on a rack for about 20 minutes. Take it out of the pan and let it cool completely if you can before devouring it.
Sit outside, wrap yourself in a blanket and enjoy the falling leaves and temperatures!
What do you like to do or make to celebrate the cooler temperatures?
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