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Zucchini Bread

zucchini bread loaf

Well, it’s a windy, blustery day that is leaving our patio plants in disarray.  One of those days where you feel autumn is in the air and you want to curl up with a hot cup of chai and a warm cinnamony snack.  Speaking of chai – I love tea, but what on earth happened to saucers???  I mean, where am I supposed to leave my soggy tea-bag if I want to reuse it for a second cup?  I have to get out a separate salad plate to put my tea bag on while I’m drinking my first cup of tea?  Seriously, they don’t make cups like they used to.

Confession – before I made this zucchini bread, I had never eaten zucchini bread before. So I had no idea what it was supposed to taste like. Now, I’ve discovered that I LOVE zucchini bread! It’s like carrot cake, but with delicious, in-season and dirt-cheap zucchinis (69 cents a pound at my local grocery). Keep the skin on, and you’ll get even more vitamins and minerals (zucchinis are a good source of Vitamin C, folate, potassium, Vitamin A and beta-carotene).

The base recipe for this bread was a Paula Deen recipe (what? It was the first recipe that came up on Google, ok?), though I’ve modified it quite a bit.

(Long list of alterations coming up; skip this paragraph if that’s boring for you) I swapped the water for buttermilk and replaced some of the white flour with whole-wheat. I also used olive oil instead of vegetable oil, and reduced the sugar by a whole cup while at the same time swapping half of the white sugar for brown.  I kind of hate nutmeg (sorry nutmeg lovers!) so I upped the amount of cinnamon, omitted the nutmeg, and added a teensy bit of ground cloves.

zucchini bread tall

The result is a deliciously moist cake that is not too sweet, perfect for making…Zucchini Bread French Toast!!! An absolutely delicious way of eating zucchini bread.

In fact, my craving for zucchini bread french toast is so strong that I’ve got another batch of zucchini bread in the oven right now.

For those of you who are blessed with gardens overflowing with zucchini – I’m jealous, and this is a perfect way to use up your veggies. Though of course, if you have a garden overflowing with zucchini, I’m sure you’ve already made a gazillion batches of zucchini bread, and you’re rolling your eyes right now saying, “so what, zucchini bread, whoo hoo”.

Well, try it as French toast and let me know what you think. I adore it. The egg forms a crisp crust on the outside of the bread and the inside of the bread is meltingly moist and soft with cinnamon and spice. Serve it with sliced strawberries and bananas, and the whole thing is worthy of a déjeuner chez Cora’s (a French Canadian chain of breakfast restaurants – yay Canada!).

Zucchini Bread
Adapted from a Paula Deen recipe. You can, of course, add walnuts or pecans if you wish.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup white sugar + 1 tablespoon
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium zucchinis, grated (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
4 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle lemon juice on the grated zucchinis to keep them green.
2. Combine the zucchinis, olive oil, eggs and buttermilk.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, sugars, and salt.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir together until moistened and more or less combined.
5. Pour into 2 greased medium loaf pans. Sprinkle loaves with remaining tablespoon white sugar. Bake in oven for about 1 hour (check at 50 minutes), until tester inserted into middle of cake comes out clean.

Zucchini Bread French Toast
Serves 2

4 slices zucchini bread
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons whole milk

Beat the eggs with the milk and a pinch of salt. Dunk the zucchini bread slices into the egg mixture before frying on a non-stick griddle over medium heat, about 2 minutes per side until golden brown.

Serve with fresh fruit and honey or syrup.

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