Harvesting the first zucchini of the season calls for breaking out my recipe collection to use this much-anticipated harvest in a very special way. No, I didn’t grill it, or roast it or even pickle it. All likely much healthier options to utilize this organic, homegrown zucchini fresh from the garden. The very first recipe I broke out of the recipe vault was my favorite Zucchini Bread. Call it comfort food, this Zucchini bread is a real treat!
An Old Fashioned Treat
I always find it interesting when I share zucchini bread with friends, that so many people have never had it. Even better, my favorite reply is, “oh I remember that my grandma used to make it.” While I am a proud grandmother, I certainly do not consider zucchini bread a treat that only white-haired grannies make. I often made zucchini bread for my own children while they were growing up. We also served zucchini muffins at my oldest daughter’s wedding reception along with an array of other muffins. I’ll admit, many guests, selected the tried-and-true blueberry muffins over their moister and more flavorful muffin companion, the zucchini muffin.
As with any kitchen task, I prefer to dirty as few dishes as possible. Almost every recipe instructs the baker to use multiple bowls to mix the dry and wet ingredients, I rarely follow those instructions. Afterall a recipe is just a guide, right? I don’t know how many times a week I tell Philip, “well… I didn’t follow those directions exactly”, which is always accompanied by a grin.
Usually, I mix the ingredients in my kitchen aid, utilizing a single mixing bowl. However, we are in the midst of moving, so the kitchen aid is already in the RV anticipating our final move-in. I had to do things the old-fashioned way this time, even breaking out the hand grater to grate the zucchini.
Shredding the Zucchini
This recipe calls for 2 cups of shredded zucchini. The beautiful zucchini that I harvested from the 2021 container garden yielded exactly 2 cups of shredded zucchini. I prefer to leave the skin on the zucchini, the bright streaks of green in my bread are aesthetically pleasing. The skin does have more nutrients, but let us be honest, zucchini bread isn’t exactly a health-conscious food choice.
Moist Ingredients Added to the Bowl
I start by adding three eggs to the mixing bowl. I’ve long had a habit of breaking fresh eggs into a separate bowl to make sure there is no problems with the eggs. While I rarely encounter issues with our eggs, it is a habit worth keeping. A bad egg can ruin a recipe and is a waste of ingredients. Once all the eggs are cracked, I stir them with a fork to break up the yolks and stir until foamy.
Next, I add the zucchini, vegetable oil, sugar and vanilla and stir until mixed. You can substitute applesauce instead of oil in an equal amount. I do this in many recipes I want to reduce oil in baked goods, however in this recipe, I usually just use the oil as the amount of sugar in the recipe just does not seem to merit the need to lighten the recipe up. I enjoy it in moderation, in all its natural deliciousness.
Adding the Dry Ingredients in the One-Bowl Method
To continue with my one bowl method, I add the salt, baking soda, baking powder and spices to my wet ingredients stirring until mixed. The last ingredient I add is the flour. By adding all the spices first, I ensure they are mixed evenly throughout the recipe before the batter gets too thick with the addition of the flour. If your family likes nuts or raisins, this is the time to add them. ¾ cups of either is appropriate for this recipe.
This recipe makes two loaves of zucchini bread. Prepare the loaf pans by spraying with oil. Pour half the batter into each pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the bread.
Mini Loaves of Zucchini Bread for our Empty Nest
Since Philip and I are in the empty nest stage of our lives, I typically make treats like this in mini loaf pans and freeze the bread after baking. The mini loaves are more appropriate for our family size and make for a great treat on a Sunday morning for breakfast. Mini loaves do take a little less baking time, but not as much as you might expect, I watch them closely at about the 45-minute mark until done.
The complete recipe is below, I printed this recipe from an online source many years ago, unfortunately, I can not credit the original author, as I am not quite sure where I got it. It has become my go to recipe for all zucchini bread and I hope that it becomes a favorite of yours as well.
Do you make Zucchini Bread?
How about you, have you ever had zucchini bread? Do you consider it the kind of food that only grandmothers make? What recipes do you have any recipes that you cannot wait to make as you tend your garden, anticipating the harvest?
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp allspice
Beat eggs until light and foamy, add vegetable oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly blended.
Add salt, baking soda, baking powder, and spices, stir until mixed through.
Add flour and stir until just mixed.
Pour batter into two prepared loaf pans.
Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. Test doneness by inserting a toothpick near the center. Bread is done when toothpick is clean when removed.
About the Author: Barbra-Sue Kowalski grew up on a small hobby farm. She was always drawn to farm life, however, she was stuck in an urban life far from her roots. Barbra-Sue was a single mom for 13 years, raising her 3 children on her own. She met Philip in 2018 and they married in 2021. Between the two of them, they have 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren. These empty nesters are following their dreams! As they both turn 50, they are building their off-grid homestead to live the life that they dream about. Learn more about Philip and Barbra-Sue here. Contact them here. To leave a comment on this post, please scroll down.