Mmmmm smells so good!
Today I started the day off with a vegetable with a funny name. A Zucchini.
Zucchini is squash technically and in general I avoid eating anything that is named after the sound a bug makes when I step on it.....but for Zucchini I make an exception (mainly because I leave the squash label off).
photo courtesy of about.com
This is a Zucchini. This photo shows a great cross section and how the "meat" looks when it is shredded and sliced. The Zucchini is versatile and tasty.
The best time to eat them is when they are highest in flavor. Fresh picked is best but the stores in warmer climates have good options this time of the year (winter) too. When Zucchini is short, about 6 to 8 inches in length. The longer /larger that a Zucchini gets equals the lower the flavor value and the larger the seeds in the center. I have grown Zucchini longer than my 7 year old's arm and when tasted side by side to a smaller Zucchini the flavor difference is obvious. I know people who just flat out love to gnaw on the seeds of the larger variety and like the milder flavor. It is up to your uses and likes but I have to be honest, the smaller version really is the best for overall flavor and most recipes.
I shredded several medium sized Zucchini after cutting off the ends and removing the skin before 830 a.m. Zucchini bread is the goal of the day!
I am a big fan of the Betty Crocker recipe for this bread. I have tried others they are well..... sad in comparison. The BC version, is delicious and moist and healthy. I say it is healthy because it has veggies in it of course, but please dear friends, don't email me that it could be healthier if I changed or omitted this or that. Somethings shouldn't be messed with and baked goods are one of those things!
I have adapted the recipe ( I double everything cause we are eaters in my house) and I am sharing it here for you my dear bloggy buddies.
6 cups shredded Zucchini (3 to 6 medium sized Zucchini)
2 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 tsp vanilla
8 large eggs
6 cups all purpose flour (the book says you can substitute whole wheat flour I haven't tried that version)
4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat to 350 degrees F. After shredding your Zucchini mix all the wet ingredients including the Zucchini together and in a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients. Then mix the dry into the wet slowly until well incorporated. Split the batter into four and pour into greased loaf pans. I bake 2 loaves at a time.
I find they cook better this way. Might be my stove or my craziness but either way it works : P
At 350 degrees a 8" pan will bake in approx. 50 -60 minutes, a 9" pan 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes approx.
Stick a toothpick in the center if it comes out clean you are good to go. I also watch for the edges pulling away from the pan.
Let these cool and enjoy the delicious smells. I let them cool in the pan about an hour and then remove them and let them cool the rest of the way on a wire rack. Total time about 2 hours.
After they are cool, wrap them really tightly in saran wrap. You could even slide a wrapped loaf into a freezer bag and freeze this bread for a later date. It freezes very well without changing the taste or texture.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know
Zucchini can be used in so many dishes but this was the one that helped me get past the squash issue ((cringe)) and my aforementioned 7 year old who runs screaming from all things veggie will eat this like there is no tomorrow.
Want more Zucchini recipes? Or maybe you have a food that you want to like but just can't bring yourself to try it? Let me know I ain't skerd! I will try to find a recipe a nose clip, a great seasoning or something to help.
Thank you again I read every comment and email and I appreciate you following my blog!