RECIPE. Sep 13, 2010

Abundant Zucchini Bread

We had a garden when I was a kid. It was pretty impressive and I loved planting all the seeds. I did not enjoy weeding and the first season all we seemed to have grown was zucchini. I felt like a slave to the kitchen as I made hundreds and hundreds of loaves of zucchini bread and muffins. Now this might be a slight exaggeration, however, it is how my child mind related to the labor. After that first summer I was happy if I never saw another zucchini or ever had to make it into a loaf or muffin again. As time passed, however, and I started to enjoy baking I realized it is one of my favorite quick breads.

As the zucchini harvest started to roll in from the cooperative garden, however, I began to wonder whether I would maintain that love or quickly grow to hate the vegetable once again. To my excitement and surprise I have found so many things to do with zucchini that have nothing to do with baking it in bread. As you have noticed in a few previous posts, it is an easy ingredient to add to most casseroles or pasta dishes. I began using it so often, however, I almost ran out of enough to make bread.

I was going to begin my search for a great recipe when I visited a friend who said another friend had made muffins and she saved me a piece to try because I HAD to try it. Once I put the piece in my mouth I realized why she was so insistent I try this particular recipe. It sang of orange, spice, ginger and poppy. It was zucchini bread in disguise. She informed me the recipe was obtained from the famous Heidi from 101 Cookbooks. My recipe follows Heidi’s almost exactly so I am giving her full credit. I just changed a few things to fit my personal and dietary tastes.

I decided to use a very ripe banana in place of 1/2 cup sugar and 1 egg. Feel free to follow Heidi’s recipe if you do not have a ripe banana. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly butter and flour two 5x9 bread pans. Mix together walnuts, poppy seed, ginger, coconut and lemon zest. Set aside. Beat butter with mixer until fluffy, add sugar and mix until creamy, add eggs one at a time making sure they are well incorporated. Add vanilla and banana and mix. Use spatula to fold in zucchini.

In separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until lumpy. If you do not have curry powder and would like to try out this optional version then I usually combine 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp turmeric. Fold in walnut mixture but leave some to sprinkle on top of loaves. Divide batter between pans, top with remaining walnut mixture and bake in oven 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 min before taking loaves out of pans and letting cool on wire rack. I have also made this recipe into muffins. I did not use the optional ingredients and added chocolate chips. I used the same oven temperature and baked for 18-20 minutes. They were just as delicious. Enjoy!