We are still enjoying the bounty of our CSA share every week. Honestly, I’m not sure what I’ll do with one more cucumber or squash (although my oldest is enjoying the pickles immensely. Maybe I’ll post about those, too.) The zucchini, however, doesn’t present a problem. I just keep making bread and sticking it in the freezer. I know there are other great things to do with zucchini – like roasting it – have you done that? Yum. But, I really like having loaves of bread stuck away for the future.
This particular recipe is a hybrid of about 3 other recipes that I kept toying with…and while I’m not going to say it’s “healthy,” I will say it is considerably healthier than any of the original recipes. I cut the oil down by more than half and substituted applesauce. I nearly doubled the zucchini and reduced the sugar by about half as well. (I omitted the walnuts…though that would be some extra protein and good fat…you could certainly add them in if that floats your boat.)
It freezes very well and also keeps in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. If you have an abundance of zucchini, I recommend making a double or triple batch for the freezer. The last time I made it I had left over batter that wasn’t quite enough for a loaf, so I made muffins. They had all disappeared by the next morning. I only ate one. No one else is talking, of course. Suffice it to say, next time I’m making more muffins!
A lot of zucchini recipes will give you elaborate instructions for getting all the water out of the grated zucchini. I’m pretty lazy about stuff like that (see tomato sauce) and really don’t want to spend the time wringing water out of vegetables. So I don’t. I grate all the zucchini a day or two ahead of time, layer it lasagna-style in a bunch paper towels in a big Tupperware container and stick it in the fridge. The paper towels soak up most of the liquid and the zucchini is crisp and cold when it’s time to go into the batter. It seems to work out just fine.
This recipe has proven to be pretty flexible…so if you want it sweeter, add a little more sugar….moister, add more oil or applesauce. As long as the ratios stay pretty close it really turns out every time. So consider this a template for your own experimentations…enjoy!
Almost-Healthy Zucchini Bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 cups grated zucchini (I use three)
Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans. Preheat oven to 325°. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, soda, cinnamon in a bowl. Beat eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla and sugars together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in zucchini until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 50 minutes (up to 60…use tester until it comes out clean.) Cool in pan on rack for at least 15 minutes, then remove and cool completely.