I LOVE FALL! I love everything about fall! I love the crisp foggy mornings, the smell of harvest candles burning throughout my house and soups simmering on the stove. I love jeans, sweaters and boots especially because they cover my glaringly white skin (there is no chance of getting any color when you live in the Pacific Northwest). I love the sound of football games playing in the background
and my husband yelling at the TV and the “horrible refs ” and the . Wait, where was I?… Oh yeah, foot ball games playing in the background, open windows and doors, falling leaves and I especially love the smell of all of the fall breads baking in my oven.
I majorly over-did it in my garden this year with the zucchini and squash. I currently have 3 paper bags overflowing with them and can’t give them away fast enough. I have frozen about as much as we could ever eat in a year and am still left with 3 full bags and more coming out of the garden! So let’s make some delicious Zucchini bread to kick off fall.
This recipes is wonderful. It is sweet, spicy, moist and so healthy. Okay, so maybe not healthy, but it does have veggies in it right? So at least when I eat half a loaf in one sitting I feel better than when I sit and eat a dozen chocolate chip cookies. Let’s bake!
3 cups shredded zucchini (2-3 medium) – I like to squeeze some of the excess moisture out of my freshly shredded zucchini.
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups all-purpose or whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 – 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Move oven rack to low position so that the tops of the pans will be in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottoms of 2 8-inch loaf pans with cooking spray or shortening. I like using parchment paper because there is nothing more disappointing than turning out your bread only for the bottom half to stay in your pan. You can also make them into muffins (which I love) for easy individual snacks. I usually add chocolate chips to the second half of he batch so half can be for desserts and half can be for snacks.
Stir flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and baking powder together in a small bowl. In a large bowl, stir zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs until well mixed. Stir dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips (optional).
Divide batter evenly between 8-inch pans or lined muffin tins (2/3 full). Bake 8-inch loaves for 50-60 minutes or muffins for 20-25 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on the bread as it is baking (especially if you are making the muffins). Every oven is different and sometimes you might fill your cups more or less than I did so keep your eye on them so you can be sure to catch them at their prime. You will notice when they near perfection, the tops begin to have cracked look instead of a wet look. Before you go poking holes in your cake with toothpicks, just lightly touch it with your finger. If it bounces back and leaves no imprint, it is ready to come out of the oven. If the imprint remains, keep baking. Again, touch lightly so you don’t make a big dent in your cake. If it seems pretty firm, press just a little harder to be sure. This seems to result in perfectly moist breads and cupcakes every time. Sometimes it is really hard to tell with a toothpick.
Cool in pans on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on cooling rack. Cool completely, (yeah right) about 2 hours, before slicing.