Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Mike has quite the garden going this summer, growing tomatoes, beans, squash, and zucchini in the best spot in our backyard. And because you can only grill so much zucchini, I decided to grate some and mix it into this chocolate bread.

The recipe below is adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread, which is simple to make and smells delicious when baking. I strongly recommend shredding your zucchini in a food processor rather than grating it by hand to save time, but you could hand-grate if you like. Also, if you add your vegetable oil before you add your honey, you can use the same measuring cup and the honey will slide right out because of the residual oil on the sides of the measuring cup. Very convenient!

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini, gently pressed to release some of the liquid
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease an 8 x 4 loaf pan.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

Add the salt, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, and flour, mixing until well-combined.

Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips.

Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for 60-70 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean or with a light smear of melted chocolate chips.

Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Wrap well and store at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Zucchini Bread

zucchini breadIt’s zucchini season, and in my opinion the best way to eat zucchini is to shred it and mix it into quick bread batter with pecans and orange zest. We have a bumper crop of zucchini in our garden this year, and so I suspect I’ll be making many more loaves as the summer goes on.

For this recipe, it’s important to choose a smaller zucchini, which will be more tender, and to shred it finely using the smaller side of your grater so you have (although this sounds strange) a very mushy pile of zucchini shreds instead of strips like shredded cheese. This helps the veggie blend into the batter better, so you’re left with a finer texture when the bread is baked. Next time, I might stir together some orange juice and powdered sugar for a drizzle icing and top that with some toasted pecans.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded, unpeeled zucchini
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • zest of 1/2 medium orange
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of an 8 x 4 loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine sugar, zucchini, vegetable oil, egg, and orange zest; stir to combine, then pour into flour mixture and stir until just combined, until there are no dry streaks remaining. Be careful not to over-mix, as over-mixing can yield a tough texture in the end result. Gently fold in pecans.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Check the bread around 45 minutes and cover if necessary to prevent over-browning.

Cool completely in loaf pan before serving. Store at room temperature.

Zucchini Bread

zucchini breadYes: I am baking with vegetables. People who know me well will be astonished by this, given that until recently I’ve lived a fairly vegetable-free life. My aversion to these nutritional powerhouses began early in life, and I’ve kept most vegetables at arm’s length (or hidden in mashed potatoes, so I don’t really have to taste them) until the last month or so.

You’d think that a kid raised by health and phys ed teachers would eat spinach omelets for breakfast, salads for lunch, and grilled veggies for dinner…but you’d be wrong. I’ve spent most of my life shunning veggies, especially the green ones…and most especially, the leafy green ones. But last month, I committed to improving my overall health and began to work with a health coach (read: my friend and former intern Kate, who is awesome) and she’s helping me figure out ways to sneak vegetables into foods that I already like. Enter zucchini bread.

Skeptical, I was, but curious too. As the bread baked, a lovely cinnamon aroma wafted from my kitchen. Once cool, I cut a slice, then stared it down. I could do this, right? Long ago I adopted an attitude of no fear in my baking, so why should tasting be any different? For the record: this bread tastes amazing. It’s cinnamony and moist and studded with chocolate chips, which makes anything better, really. If all vegetables tasted like this, I’d be the healthiest person in the world.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spray two 8 x 4 loaf pans with baking spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, vegetable oil, sugar, and vanilla, mixing well. Add to dry ingredients and stir until well-combined and no dry streaks remain.

Add zucchini and chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Divide batter evenly between loaf pans.

Bake for 60-65 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely before serving.