When I was a child, there were hardly any vegetables that I really liked. I'm glad to say that has changed. But I went through the first couple of decades of my life convinced I didn't like zucchini. I had the good sense, at least, to recognize that there was an exception to the rule, and it came in the form of zucchini bread.
If you've never had zucchini bread, you might be skeptical. But you shouldn't be. Vegetables in sweet baked goods are not a new thing - perhaps you saw my carrot cupcakes last week? Well zucchini bread takes everything that is good about a zucchini - the color, the moisture, the nutritional value - and injects it in such a wonderful way into a dessert. Or more like a coffee cake, I suppose. Whatever you call it, it's delicious.
This is a simple, wholesome bread with a hint of spice. Make the two loaves and give one to a friend. Or keep it all for yourself; I won't judge.
An important note: I highly recommend shredding the zucchini in a food processor with the grater attachment. After you shred them, squeeze the shredded zucchini in paper towels over the sink to get out the excess moisture.
adapted from Betty Crocker's Best of Baking
makes 2 loaves
3 cups shredded zucchini (about 3 medium)
1 1/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1. Heat oven to 350. Spray the bottoms of two standard loaf pans with cooking spray.
2. Combine zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Divide between the two pans.
3. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
These will keep, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to a week. Enjoy!