Friday, five days ago, my hubby and I stopped at one of the farmer’s markets in town. We hit the jackpot with large zucchinis for a buck each. ZUCCHINI BREAD.
Since my husband is diabetic, last summer I experimented with the recipe I had made for years. Although it came from my mother’s files, I only know that it came from a former neighbor of ours: Fran’s Zucchini Bread.
It was an overly moist, sticky dessert bread. With the original amount of sugar it contained, the top of the loaf would get a sweet, crackly crust.
I dropped the sugar by a third and ended up with a moist, almost banana bread consistency. And it freezes beautifully.
Saturday, we decided to bake as many zucchini breads as the vegetable allowed us to make.
My husband is a fabulous cook, and when he is home on the weekends, he likes to help OR take over the kitchen. He is the grill master, the breakfast omelet and skillet chef, the soup maker, and the dinner chef. But he usually leaves most of the baking to me.
His contribution on Saturday was to cut, scrape out the seeds, and grate the zucchini. As usual, I had more than enough zucchini to make at least 4 or 5 recipes (which means I could make 16 or 20 mini loafs), but only time to make two.
With the zucchini drained, I put it in a plastic container and slid it into the fridge. I should have put it into plastic bags in 2 cup measures, but optimistic, I thought I would get to baking on Sunday.
Sunday was overly hot and humid, and I didn’t want to over-tax the AC system, so I put it off until Monday? Tuesday? Oh, heavens no. Both were too busy. I got to it today.
I always start by measuring out the dry ingredients and setting them aside; then I proceed to the wet stuff.
Flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon. Measured and mixes with a whisk.
Eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla – violla!
Let’s get out the zucchini and measure it out. Right? Yea, no!
The rest of the shredded zucchini was a mush in the container as if someone had overcooked it and was making zucchini sauce. VERDICT? TOSS IT INTO THE TRASH! PUT THE EGG MIXTURE INTO THE FRIDGE AND GO TO THE STORE TO GET MORE ZUCCHINI.
I should have known that the store wouldn’t have the healthiest specimens. So, with the dry ingredients measured and mixed, and the wet ingredients beaten, I cringed at throwing them away.
As I sat here eating dinner, a brainstorm came to me. Could I drain applesauce and substitute it for the zucchini? Even if it didn’t work, at least I had tried to salvage my disaster.
-PAUSE HERE FOR EXPERIMENT-
(This is the recipe that one of our neighbor’s gave my mother some 45-50 years ago. There is no source credit on the recipe card except for the neighbor’s name: Fran.)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease the bottom of 2 foil bread pans OR 4 foil mini bread pans and set aside.
3. Measure the following dry ingredients and mix together with a wire whisk:
2 cups unbleached white flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4. In an electric mixer
Crack and beat three eggs.
Continue to beat eggs and add
2 cups of sugar;
and then 1 cup oil (I use either olive oil or canola oil);
and finally add 2 teaspoons vanilla.
5. Stir in 2 cups shredded and drained zucchini (no peel and no seeds).
6. Fold in dry ingredients.
7. Divide batter between the 2 large loaf pan or among the 4 mini loaf pans.
8. Bake at 350 degrees
2 large loafs = 1 hour or longer
4 mini loafs = 40 – 45 minutes (maybe more)
9. If you can resist, let sit overnight for flavors to meld. This is always the hardest part.
10. If you want to preserve the flavor of summer, these loaf freeze well. Because I use disposable foil pans, I can cover with foil and place in the freezer overnight. Then, I put the loafs in freezer bags – especially if I can find the vacuum saver bags.
TO MAKE IT HEALTHIER FOR DIABETICS
(and those of us watching our weight and health)
Decrease the sugar to 1 1/3 cups.
THE VERDICT: RECIPE SAVED / NEW RECIPE CREATED
When I came up without usable zucchini, I drained four 4 ounce containers of unsweetened applesauce for about 30 minutes. Then I added it to the wet mixture instead of the zucchini.
Divided into two large foil pans, I baked the mixture for 1 hour and approximately 20 minutes.
- Only grate what zucchini you plan to use in the next 24 hours.
- There has to be some sort of substitute for an ingredient.
- Be creative and daring because you might create something tasty.