Do you still have a refrigerator drawer full of zucchini from your fall harvest? I do, and after I’ve eaten all the squash casseroles and all the fried, baked, and stuffed zucchini I can handle, I bake bread.
I know, some people run from zucchini bread as fast as they run from offers of the fresh stuff. But not if they’ve bitten into this recipe, courtesy of my mom. Once they’ve tasted it, even diehard zucchini bread haters will follow me almost anywhere for another slice. I think it’s the pineapple, an ingredient that adds a sweet little zing and makes the bread extra moist.
This versatile bread is good any time of day. Warm it for breakfast; serve it alongside quiche and a salad for a filling lunch; enjoy as a snack; serve as dessert with a dollop of whipped cream or a side of applesauce.
The following recipe makes two loaves of bread. It freezes well, so you can eat one now and freeze one for later. During the prolific zucchini season, you can mix up several batches and store the loaves, well-wrapped, in your freezer. You’ll find they come in handy when the next potluck rolls around—or any other occasion when you’re called on to take a dish. No muss, no fuss. An all-around winner.
Another option is to freeze grated zucchini and bake bread after outdoor temperatures have cooled down and you actually welcome the heat your stove produces. A food processor will make short work of grating a whole basket full of squash. When I freeze grated zucchini, I freeze it raw, three cups per freezer container. When it thaws and I squeeze out the extra moisture that inevitably accompanies frozen zucchini, I have just the right amount for this recipe.
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
• ¾ cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
• 3 eggs
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 cups vegetable oil
• 2 tsp vanilla
• 2 cups grated zucchini (I leave the skins on)
• 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, lightly drained (in other words, don’t press until there’s no evidence of liquid at all. A hint of juice will keep your bread moist and extra flavorful.)
Other optional ingredients include raisins or chocolate chips (up to 1/2 cup each).
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two loaf pans.
2. Combine first six ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Lightly beat eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, oil, and vanilla. Beat until creamy.
4. Stir in zucchini and drained pineapple.
5. Add dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
6. Spoon batter into loaf pans.
7. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, approximately 50-60 minutes.
8. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans; turn out on rack and cool completely.
You could also use this recipe to make zucchini muffins by filling muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes for regular muffins, slightly longer for large, or Texas, muffins.
Carole Coates is a gardener and food preservationist, family archivist, essayist, poet, photographer, modern homesteader. You can follow her Mother Earth News blog posts by following this link. You can also find Carole at Living On the Diagonal where she shares her take on life, including modern homesteading, food preparation and preservation, and travel as well random thoughts and reflections, personal essays, poetry, and photography.
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