Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Zucchini (Zu-Nana) Bread

In a previous post, I showed off my score of veggies bought from my favorite local farmer. I am still up to my eyeballs in cucumbers – even after giving 8 away today! Same with zucchini – 2 to go, and the same with the 7 green bell peppers. I will get them eaten or given away or frozen before it’s over.
One thing I did do was make zucchini bread. I used a pretty good recipe off of the All Recipes website. It has a good amount of cinnamon in it so the bread turns out a darker color but the bread is sweet and moist and tasty. I remember my mom making zucchini bread and hers was much lighter in color and had a different taste (because it was not full of cinnamon). But I do like this recipe and will use it again, though I might try and reduce the cinnamon just to see how different the bread will look and taste. I may also try to make it a bit healthier as it has a lot of oil and sugar in it.
On the recipe, I did follow it to the letter until the very last second when I noticed that I had 3 bananas that were looking pretty ripe, I decided to smash up one banana and throw in the batter. The result is a slight banana flavor. I did peel the green skin off the zucchini hoping my kids would not notice it was make with zucchini. My daughter and I have been calling it zu-nana bread. Even my very picky son likes it, which says A LOT because he doesn’t like anything.
This got great reviews on All Recipes, however as I read the comments, I see that as usual on All Recipes a 5 start rating typically comes after the reviewer has completely overhauled the entire recipe to suit their own taste, so the 5 star rating is for the reviewers newly created recipe from the original. There were a few 1-2 star ratings where someone made it and it didn’t turn out right, but for the other hundreds of people it did turn out, so apparently the 1-2 star reviewer is a cruddy cook who is in denial.  I would give this 3 – 4 stars it is a good bread as written.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini (DO NOT SQUEEZE THE WATER OUT)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1.     Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
2.     Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
3.     Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans
4.     Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.
*Please note this recipe make 2 loaves of bread!
**When you make the batter (prior to adding the shredded zucchini) you will become alarmed that the batter is thick and dry like cookie dough, DON’T PANIC! Once you add in the shredded zucchini, the water in the zucchini will moisten batter a lot.
***Please note the 40-60 minutes of cooking time is not accurate. I did 1 regular loaf and a few mini loaves and it took between 1.5 – 2 hours. The 40-60 minutes may be correct for 1 loaf, but if you have a  really big loaf pan it will still take longer, remember that 325 is a low heat for baking. Also if you are in a high altitude you have to make adjustments to your temp and cooking time. So don’t be mad at me if your bread takes longer than an hour to cook through! You have been warned!!!
****If yours doesn’t turn out right, then YOU did something wrong, mine turned out perfect, so it’s not the recipes fault…. it’s the cook!
MY changes to this recipe to make Zu-Nana Bread:
I did not have walnuts, and therefore did not add them
I did have a very ripe banana, I mashed it and added it to the finished batter ( I could have easily added 1.5 – 3 mashed bananas to give it a more banana bread flavor)
(A future addition may be adding some mini chocolate chips to the batter).

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