Saturday, October 2, 2010

Zucchini ideas and Zucchini Bread

I love this time of year! I'll be posting some fun fall recipes soon...but recently we have been harvesting lots from our garden! Since I'm not a pro at canning (yet!) I have been doing simple things like making freezer jam (raspberry peach...yum!) and shredding some zucchini to freeze and use during the winter. If you like baking with zucchini and you have some big ones from your garden, this is a must!

I made some low fat zucchini cookies while we were shredding.

We had this pasta for dinner this week. I used peppers and zucchini out of my garden. Mmmmmm....

Also, Zucchini Bread! When I have those big zucchini's sitting on my counter, all I want to do is make zucchini bread. Zucchini Bread is so moist and yummy. I experimented with my recipe and made a healthier version so that I can eat it more often, or eat more in one sitting...or (insert here whatever YOU tell yourself to make yourself feel better about stuffing your face).

When I say "healthier", please don't think "yuckier". I really try not to sacrifice taste to make something healthier. I thought this bread turned out really good and I got some good reviews from others as well! I have included the original recipe, and in the parenthesis, I included the changes I made to make it a bit healthier. I may or may not have added a bunch of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to my "healthier" recipe. shhhhhh!

Zucchini Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour (substitute half whole wheat pastry flour)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil (substitute half vanilla yogurt, so 1/2 C oil, 1/2 C yogurt)

1 C brown sugar

1 1/4 C white sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped walnuts or chocolate chips (optional)

Cinnamon and sugar (optional)

Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch or two 9x5 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl. In a large bowl, beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together for 1-2 minutes, or until well combined. Add sifted ingredients gradually to the creamed mixture, and mix just until combined. Stir in zucchini and nuts or chocolate chips. (Tip: Combine nuts and/or chocolate chips in a small bowl with 1-2 tsp of flour before mixing into the batter. Sometimes this helps the nuts and chocolate chips not sink to the bottom of the pan.) Pour batter into prepared pans and sprinkle the top with some cinnamon and sugar. Bake for about 60 minutes (or about 50 minutes for two 9x5 pans), or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

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