Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread
I plunk a zucchini plant in the ground every single summer, even though I don’t technically like zucchini. I can’t help myself; it’s just so green and reliable. Maybe the carrots are mediocre or the beans are wimpy. There will always be the loyal zucchini plant!
It says, “You can grow things. Look at me! I turned into a baseball bat overnight! Love me!”
I try to return the affirmation, “You are a good plant. You are strong and green. You are one of my top producers.”
But I think it knows how I secretly feel about its bland, watery existence. That I give it away at every opportunity. That I shred it and freeze it, not because I am looking forward to enjoying it in January but because, good grief, how much zucchini can you eat in August and September?
I have tried to get on good terms with zucchini (I have squash issues). I have sauteed it and grilled it and turned it into pancakes. None of them really get me excited. (Any new ideas? I would happily be proved wrong.)
I am now a firm believer that zucchini is best used as an adjective for “bread.” After running through a bunch of recipes over the years, I finally settled on this combination. It calls for basic ingredients and doesn’t involve a ton of oil & sugar, the darlings of most quick bread recipes. The bread is sturdy and moist and gets gobbled up by my people about as fast as the zucchini plant cranks out new ones.
I try to bake extra loaves to hide in the freezer. My husband has a serious weakness for quick breads; they are great for breakfast or snacks. My favorite combination: slightly frozen, thinly sliced, and smeared with butter. You could also whip these up into muffins. I told you zucchini tries to be agreeable.
So if you have a confusing relationship with zucchini, it’s okay. I understand. Let’s just make some bread together.
If you have a gluten allergy in your home or are just trying to cut back, try this Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread recipe!
Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread Recipe
Yield: 1 large loaf, 2 small loaves, or 12-14 muffins
1 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. flax meal or flax seeds, optional
1 T. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. oil or melted butter
1/3 c. milk or buttermilk
3/4 c. plain yogurt or sour cream
1 c. brown sugar or coconut sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. grated zucchini
1/2 c. walnuts, chocolate chips, or shredded coconut, optional
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Prepare a loaf pan (or two, if using smaller loaf pans) with cooking spray or muffin tins with paper liners or cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, flax meal/seeds, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat the eggs; then add the oil, milk, yogurt, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the grated zucchini; add any additional ingredients (nuts, chips, or coconut), if desired. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan or muffin tins. Sprinkle the top with sugar, if desired. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour (loaf) or 20 minutes (muffins) or until the bread is set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely before cutting. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
I use glass & stoneware loaf pans, but if you are in the market for a new loaf pan, this Farberware nonstick 9×5″ loaf pan (Amazon) is a great deal. It’s usually less than $5, has a 4.7 (out of 5) star rating, and over 1,000 reviews. Check it out!
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