Zucchini Bread

They’re ba-aaack! No, not the poltergeists—zucchinis.  No vegetable seems to be more prolific this time of year than zucchini.  People who grow them in their home gardens are awash with the green squash.  I once heard a story about someone who left a bag of them on his neighbor’s doorstep, rang the bell, and then ran away afraid his neighbor might refuse them!

A work colleague came home from a week’s vacation to find some rather large zucchinis in her yard and brought one in to me.  I think it would have placed at least 3rd in the state fair, and it had zucchini bread written all over it.  In fact, it had two batches of zucchini bread written all over it.  The timing was great since my college daughters are headed back to school, and my recipe makes two 9 x 5 loaves.  So, today Amy goes back to the University of Illinois with a loaf, and tomorrow Sara heads up to UW-Madison with the other loaf.  Once it’s quiet, I’ll make another two loaves with the other half of the gi-normous zucchini.

This recipe is all over the internet, but I first got it from a work friend of my mother’s some 30 years ago.  In a moment of what I now think of as sheer genius (but at the time I was just lazy), I decided to throw the raw zucchini in my blender with the oil rather than grate it.  Doing so makes the batter and, consequently, the finished texture more homogeneous; and the resulting zucchini bread is somewhat different from similar recipes.  The flavor is the same, but it is extremely moist and smooth-textured.  I liked the finished product so much that I’ve made it this way ever since.

It wouldn’t be summer without making a couple of loaves of zucchini bread.  It freezes really well, so no worries about having the extra loaf hanging around—not that I have that problem here.  In fact, if I want to be sure I’ll have a piece of some dessert I’ve made, I sometimes will hide it in the freezer.

So, if you find yourself with an overload of zucchini, I highly recommend this recipe.

Zucchini Bread

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Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups plus 2 tbl. sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups raw zucchini, peeled
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  • 1/2 cup raisins, optional

Directions

Beat eggs until frothy.  Beat in sugar.  Purée zucchini in a blender with the oil.  My blender has measurements on the glass, so I first pour in oil up to the 1-cup measurement.  Then I start adding zucchini and pureeing it until the level in the blender reaches the 3-cup measurement mark (1 cup oil plus 2 cups zucchini).

I run the blender using the liquefy setting, and it turns into a thick green liquid.

Add the zucchini-oil purée to the egg-sugar mixture along with vanilla and mix well.  Add baking powder, salt, cinnamon and baking soda and mix well.  Mix in flour until incorporated.  Stir in walnuts and raisins if using.

Pour into two greased and floured 9×5 loaf pans.

Bake at 350o for 50 to 60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean with tender crumbs clinging.

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