Slowly but surely, the zucchini in our CSA share have been growing by the week. It was easy to deal with the cute little patty pans, the small heirloomed striped zucchinis, and the lovely crook-necked yellow squashes. I was adding them to scrambled eggs, sautéing them with garlic, and happily managing the slow-build of summer squash that was entering our kitchen. Then came the big guns: large, unwieldy dark green and bulbous zucchinis….and I was a little bit frightened.
You see, my husband and I aren’t huge fans of summer squash. While I’m coming around to actually starting to like zucchini (a huge step in my personal development), my husband’s smile wavers when there’s some zucchini staring up on his dinner plate. He’ll eat it but he isn’t happy about it. However, he does like zucchini bread. In fact, the loves it. When I made some chocolate zucchini muffins a few years ago, he went crazy for them. So I figured that the easiest way to deal with one of the monster squash was to grate it into a pile and make zucchini bread.
This recipe makes 2 loaves of the quick bread which is perfect. Cornelius is heading out for a two week bike tour next weekend which will take him and a friend up to Nelson and Kaslo and the surrounding area. One of the loaves will be eaten this week and the other one will be frozen so that he can take it with him in one of his panniers. I’m sure he’ll be very happy to tuck into a slice or two of homemade zucchini bread while resting from the hilly ride along the Crows Nest highway.
While I didn’t stray to far from the original recipe posted by Elise, I did make a few changes. I subbed in roasted walnut oil for the melted butter and added a couple tablespoons of molasses because I was worried from the comments on her post that this loaf could be dry. My zucchini yielded just over three cups so instead of saving the small amount of zucchini for another use, I just stirred it all into the batter. I also added in ground cloves since I thought it would go nicely with the rest of the spices in the recipe. No harm done whatsoever. This quick bread had great flavour and I loved the buttery crunch from the walnuts. The loaf was moist without being greasy and despite the added molasses, this bread wasn’t too sweet at all. It was zucchini bread perfection.
And just a reminder to those using the roads and highways to keep an eye out for cyclists and give them plenty of room when you pass! And this goes out especially to those RV drivers who seem to love to hug the shoulder. Thank you.
walnut & cranberry zucchini bread
(recipe adapted from Simply Recipes)
2 large eggs
1 1/3 c sugar
2 T molasses
2 t vanilla
3 1/3 c grated zucchini
2/3 c roasted walnut oil (or melted unsalted butter or another oil)
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t nutmeg
2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1 c chopped pecans or walnuts
1 c dried cranberries or raisins
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine the eggs, sugar, molasses and vanilla together until well creamed. Stir in the zucchini, oil, salt and baking soda. Add in the flour, a cup at a time, until well blended. Sprinkle in the spices and fold in the nuts and the cranberries.
Butter and flour 2 loaf pans. Divide the batter between the two pans – each will be about half full which will give the loaves room to rise. Bake for 1 hour or until the done – when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then invert them onto racks until throughly cool. Makes 2 loaves.