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Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

To me, zucchini bread is a comfort food.  It's like a plane ticket home in a pan.  I remember eating it a lot as a child and have always loved this slightly sweet, spiced bread with crunches of pecan tucked inside.  When I went away to college, I remember calling home for just a  few recipes -- and my mom's zucchini bread was one of them.

Last week we received several summer squash in our CSA shipment.  Since I was home alone for most of the week, I needed a quick and easy way to use up a lot of zucchini.  Zucchini bread was a great option.  It's super easy and doesn't even require you to plug in a mixer!

Lots of people joke that zucchini bread is a "healthy" snack -- after all, it has vegetables, right?!  Of course, no quick bread that I've ever seen is exactly a poster child for nutrition, but my version of zucchini bread does a lot to beef up the nutritional value.  I've included the regular version below with notes about how I often adapt it so that I can eat my favorite quick bread with a clearer conscious.

One last thing -- the hardest part of this very easy recipe is grating the zucchini.  You can do this in a snap if you have a food processor with a grater attachment. You'll have perfectly grated zucchini in...oh, about 5 seconds.  Funny thing is, I actually enjoy grating the zucchini by hand for this recipe.  I guess it just adds to the nostalgia...and the healthiness factor, since it gives my arm a nice workout!

Here ya go...

Zucchini Bread

This recipe has been adapted from several sources.
The notes are included if you'd like to make a healthier version.

You'll need:
3 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil (or, 1 c. apple sauce)
1 c. granulated sugarm(or, turbinado sugar)
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 c. grated zucchini (just wash first, don't bother peeling)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 c all purpose flour (you could sub 1.5 c whole wheat flour + 1.5 c all purpose flour)
3 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger (optional) 
1 tsp cloves (optional)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 c. chopped pecans (optional*)

Other possible additions: raisins, dried cherries or cranberries, chocolate chips, and/or flax seeds (ground or whole -- for the healthier version)

*I strongly hesitate to put the word "optional" after pecans.  As someone who grew up in the South, pecans are a critical ingredient in many desserts.  However, I am married to a man who does not appreciate nuts in foods.  Poor guy was born in Minneapolis and somehow missed the pecan gene.  When baking for him, I will set aside some of the batter as "nut free" and then shake my head and mutter something like, "How could anyone not like pecans?!?" 

Preheat the oven to 350.
Liberally grease and lightly flour two 8x4 inch loaf pans.  You could also use mini loaf pans or muffin tins.
(I was able to get 8 mini loaves plus 4 muffins...I think.  I probably should have counted them after eating one...or two.)

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk.
Next, mix in the oil and sugar and then stir in the zucchini and vanilla.  

In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients.
Then, stir these dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients.

Divide the batter into the prepared pans.
Sprinkle a few chopped pecans on top, if you added pecans to the batter.

If baking regular sized loaves, bake for approximately 60 minutes.
If you're baking mini loaves, you'll need about 30 minutes.
Muffins will bake in approximately 20-25 minutes

With any baking, I strongly suggest using light metal or silicon pans (as opposed to dark metal).  Dark metal tends to produce an overly cooked, dry muffin.   Always begin to check on the muffins/loaves about 5 - 10 minutes before the end of the baking time to ensure you don't over bake them.  Trust your nose -- if it smells done, it probably is. If you're not sure if they're done, do the tooth pick test.  Insert a tooth pick into the middle of a muffin or loaf and it should come out clean if the muffin is done.


  1. Great recipe! I made it today, but was too lazy to run to the store for things I didn't have.

    I subbed the veg oil for olive oil and used 1.5 cups all purpose flour and 1.5 cups spelt flour.

    The bread cooked more quickly, and was light and flaky. Yum!

  2. Sounds great! Glad it turned out well :)