Although I did get a bunch of kale in last week’s Grant Farms CSA delivery, I’m getting the impression that zuchinni is about to become the new kale. Isn’t it about that time? When zucchini starts to push its way to the top of the food chain? Global veggie domination? Luckily I like zucchini. It’s a mild squash, moist and pleasant and quite easy to mix (or hide) in almost anything you cook or bake. Try adding some to pancakes or waffles, it’s seriously good. Plus, you won’t feel nearly as guilty eating pancakes floating in maple syrup if there’s a vegetable involved.
I made this bread several days ago and it was gone within 24 hours. As you might have guessed, it’s gluten-free, but my gluten-eating taste-testers absolutely loved it. So, those of you who have been inundated with zucchini and cherries, it’s time to make some breakfast bread. Or muffins. Or pancakes.
cherry zucchini bread (recipe adapted from a zucchini bread recipe from Pamela’s Products)
what you need
2 cups Pamela’s baking mix *
1 cup shredded zucchini (firmly packed)
1 cup pitted and chopped cherries
1/2 cup sugar *
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
what you do
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together baking mix, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil and sugar for 1 minute on medium speed. Add vanilla and mix well. Blend dry ingredients into wet ingredients and gently stir in zucchini, cherries and orange zest. Fold into well-greased 8 x 4 inch loaf pan and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or more, or until knife or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Check after about 30 minutes – I had to cover the top loosely with foil because it was browning too quickly.) Cool for 5 minutes, remove bread from pan and place on cooling rack.
I ended up baking this for about 1 hour and 8 minutes, to be exact. I also used a glass pan. Adjust according to your oven and pan selection.
* I rarely use sugar in my baking. I prefer maple syrup, but these ingredients (zucchini and cherries) provided a very moist batter, so I didn’t want to add more liquid. I used organic raw cane sugar.
* If you use regular wheat flour, make sure you add leavening agents. The leavening agents in Pamela’s Baking Mix are equal to approximately 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup. You might have to make some minor adjustments when substituting flours. Leave me a comment if you need more help with substitutions.
* For muffins, fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3rds full. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 to 40 minutes.
zucchini nutrition profile and tips
• Low in calories; good source of fiber, vitamins A, C, B6, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium and protein.
• No need to peel, simply scrub clean.
• Store whole in the refrigerator for up to a week.
• Puree and store zucchini in airtight container in the freezer. This is a wonderful thickening base for soups and stews (without using flour). You can also freeze grated zucchini for later use in breads and muffins.
• Use chunks in kebobs along with other veggies or meats.
• Add slices to homemade pizza (yum).
• Use in spaghetti sauce, casseroles, lasagna or baked egg dishes.
• Grate raw on salads or use in breads, muffins, cakes, waffles or pancakes.
• Add chunks to soups and stew at the end of cooking.
• Use thin slices in sandwiches.
• Use small chopped zucchini chunks in egg, tuna or salmon salad.
• Cut in large chunks or slice whole zucchini in half, toss in a small amount of olive oil, place on a cookie sheet, season and grill in a preheated 400 degree oven until lightly brown. You can also do this on an outdoor grill.
• Hmmm? Zucchini ice cream, anyone? I’ll keep you posted. My beet ice cream was wonderful. So was my rhubarb sherbet, so I’m not making any judgments until I try it.
Joy, peace and zucchini!