My mom and dad always grow a large garden and most of the time it produces much more than we can actually eat. When I was a child, visitors to our house would usually leave with at least one bag of fresh produce during peak garden months. Often, that included massive amounts of zucchini. One year in particular, we were awash in zucchini and couldn’t find enough people to take them! But for whatever reason, my mom loves these plants and continues to grow them. While her zucchini isn’t yet ready, I’m anticipating another bumper crop this year.
Of course, mom is not alone. The owner of our favorite Mexican restaurant in town is also an avid gardener. We often talk about gardening as my husband and I sit down to our weekly Mexican meal at his establishment. Last week, he offered us a bag of zucchini, freshly plucked from his garden. Turns out that my parents aren’t the only ones who offer up produce.
Luckily, I really like this vegetable. It’s versatile; it freezes well and it’s also good for you. It’s low in calories and just one cup of zucchini contains up to 10 percent of your daily recommended allowance of fiber. It’s also a good source of vitamin C, folate and potassium.
A few years ago, I came across this recipe for “Mom’s Zucchini Bread,” on one of my favorite recipe sites, Allrecipes.com. It’s one of the highest-rated zucchini bread recipes on the site and with good reason. It’s seriously tasty. This is my go-to zucchini bread recipe for those times when you have lots of this summer squash on hand. I’ve decreased the sugar content a bit from the original recipe, but everything else is the same. This recipe makes two loaves — one for you and one to share.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 TSP salt
1 TSP baking powder
1 TSP baking soda
3 TSP ground cinnamon
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 cups white sugar
3 TSP vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 8″x4″ pans. Peel your zucchini and grate it into a bowl. I used a hand grater for this. One large zucchini or two small ones will easily yield two cups.
Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, vegetable oil, sugar and vanilla extract together. A hand-held whisk works fine for this. Add the sifted ingredients into the creamed mixture and stir, just to combine. Stir in the zucchini and walnuts until combined.
Pour the mixture equally into the two prepared pans. The batter will be fairly thick. Bake for 40-60 minutes or until a tester in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans on a rack for 20 minutes. Remove the bread from the pans and cool completely.