One of the many reasons I love summer is because of the amazing fresh produce :) I love how everyone's gardens start to produce fruits and veggies and most gardeners I know are more than willing to give you FREE stuff! I love free, don't you? My mom's friends gave her some zucchini because their garden is producing far more than their family needs. Mom said she was going to make bread with hers and after she gave me 2 HUGE zucchini I decided to do the same and I'm so glad I did. Zucchini bread is so simple and yet so satisfying. My favorite is to smear some cream cheese on a slice :) YUM!!
These zucchini (wishing I had taken a picture before shredding them) were so large that I had 5 cups and only needed 2 cups for two loaves of bread. What did I do? Stuck them in the freezer for another day. If you don't have a food processor you can certainly grate zucchini by hand (I've done so several times) but if you do have a food processor it takes 15 seconds at most to get these babies shredded and ready for baking. Have I mentioned how much I love my food processor? I LOVE IT! It was a gift from my in-laws for Christmas this past year and I have already gotten their money's worth :) HEHE. It's so wonderful for so many things: making sauces, grating hard cheeses, veggies, etc. Oh, and it makes pie crusts a breeze! I've also made many a smoothie - practically retired my blender. A blender is too noisy anyway, right? Is anyone in need of a blender? I might be getting rid of mine-I've only used to twice I think and NONE since getting my food processor :) Did I mention I love my processor? HA.
Anyway, back to the bread....the recipe I used is pretty basic and yet so so good. The bread comes out nice and moist (my bread MUST be moist) and I love the hint of cinnamon you can taste-so good! This is such a "quick" bread, it only takes 5-10 minutes before you're reading to pop the bread into the oven for baking.
This bread, along with others like it (banana bread, pumpkin bread, etc) are good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a midnight snack-pretty much any time of day you're hungry! I really enjoy having things like zucchini bread on hand because it makes me feel much better to go grab a slice of bread (even with cream cheese on top) than a bag of chips or candy. And since zucchini is a vegetable, it's totally healthy and fat free, RIGHT? Who's with me? I love nothing more than a good slice of bread and coffee in the morning for breakfast on a weekend....
Source: The Taste of Home Cookbook (pg. 506)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
zest of 1/2 lemon
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium sized zucchini)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F & prepare 2 8x4x2 loaf pans-well greased.
In a large bowl, combine: flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder.
In a small bowl whisk: eggs, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and lemon zest.
Stir into dry ingredients until moistened then fold in zucchini.
Transfer to 2 greased loaf pans and bake 55-65 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean from the center of bread.*
Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove until cool rack and allow to cool completely before serving.
Go make this and ENJOY!
*Next time I make this I will only use 1 loaf pan. I have one loaf pan that is a bit larger than the standard size so I will just use that. This bread turned out great but the loaves were very small-about 1 1/2vinches in height and I really like my breads a bit bigger than that.