Sunday, April 22, 2012

Reg's Zucchini Bread

This fresh baked zucchini bread is moist from the oil and zucchini, making a sweet, dense loaf. 
Fresh loaves of Banana and Zucchini Bread
This is one of those recipes that comes out of the family cook book, one that I remember eating a lot as a kid.   My dad is a pretty picky eater and flat out refuses to eat most vegetables.  I don't know what happened, his parents scarred him as a kid or something.  I hear stories about a vegetable garden grown out of control paired with the depression-era mindset of "eat everything on your plate" and I can imagine my father as a child, sitting at the table pushing a plate full of zucchini around with his fork.  Not a happy child.   Over the years my mom grew fairly adept at compensating for his fruit and vegetable aversion, making sure he got his daily servings by hiding them in food he would actually eat.  I remember once as a kid she made this zucchini bread, my dad got halfway through the loaf before he noticed the green flecks and realized OH GOD THIS HAS VEGETABLES IN IT.  My little brother and I made fun of him for years about that one.  

During the 1960's people got this idea that anything that had a vegetable in it was good for you, leading to the rise in popularity of quick breads like banana bread, zucchini bread and carrot cakes.  This recipe is straight out of that time period, from the kitchen of Regina Maynard, one of my grandmothers friends.   I've never met Regina Maynard, but man I am glad her recipe made it into Grandma's cookbook.   The sad thing is it is no longer the 60's and it's hard to pretend something with this much processed flour and sugar is good for you.  To attempt to make it a bit healthier I used 2/3rds of the recommended amount of sugar, and instead of white sugar I used whole cane sugar.   I also replaced the vegetable oil with coconut oil.    The recipe below is the original measurements. 

Some people say zucchini has a "delicate" flavor, but this is just a nice way of saying it is basically flavorless.  What it really adds to this recipe is moisture, and the pretty green flecks running through the bread.  When you shred your zucchini make sure to do it on the largest sized holes, and leave the skins on.  The pieces will cook down significantly and won't be chunky in the bread. 

Ingredients (makes 1 loaf):

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup walnuts (Optional ingredient, I only used about a half cup)
  • Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a greased and floured loaf pan.
  • Beat eggs and sugar together.
  • Add oil, zucchini and vanilla to the egg and sugar mixture.  Mix well. 
  • Mix in dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg).
  • Stir in nuts and mix well.  
  • Pour into the greased and floured loaf pan
  • Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.   I needed to bake mine for 1.5 hours. 

MMMMM, now the challenge is to not eat it all in one day.  Some people enjoy this bread with a little butter, but because it is already so sweet and moist I normally skip the butter and just eat it plain.    Notice the pretty little green flecks?

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