Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Zucchini Bread Variations

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If life gives you zucchini, make zucchini bread. I've heard stories about towns where people sneak zucchini into each others' mailboxes, leave them on car seats, and pretty much have all out zucchini warfare. A student of mine has told me (on more than one occasion) that he can no longer stomach zucchini after his mother planted it in the garden one summer. I laughed at all of these stories, because I love zucchini, and, honestly, how bad could one little plant be? I suppose I learned my lesson when one weekend I had little zucchini and the next I had green clubs.

Our old neighbor, Sarah, once made us some zucchini bread, and I loved it. Luckily she gave us the recipe before she moved. The more I talked about zucchini and zucchini bread, the more people kept telling me about the different recipes they had. Who knew there could be so many variations? The best thing about zucchini bread, aside from its delicious flavor, is that it freezes well. In the summer I like it plain, but in the winter I like it slightly toasted with a little cream cheese. In any case, here are a few of the recipes I've tried:

J'aime: Vermont Summer Muffins

This recipe is originally from one of the Moosewood cookbooks. Although they're called muffins, they're really more like muffin-shaped biscuits. Scott has been eating these right out of the fridge and prefers them to the sweeter zucchini breads. I like mine warmed up in the toaster oven with a little butter. Makes about 20 muffins.

3 cups unbleached white flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup grated zucchini
3 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
2-3 Tbs. chopped scallions
1 Tbs. chopped fresh dill

2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Sift all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
3. Add cheese, zucchini, scallions, and herbs, and toss lightly to mix.
4. In another bowl, beat the eggs and then whisk in the buttermilk and melted butter.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the large bowl and stir enough to blend.
6. Spoon batter into buttered muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full.
7. Bake for 30-35 mins. or until golden.

J'adore: Laura's Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Chips and Pecans

This recipe came to me thanks to Facebook. An old friend from high school sent me her favorite recipe when she saw that I was making zucchini bread. The original recipe is from An Endless Harvest. Laura suggested adding chocolate chips to the batter. The recipe calls for pecans, but Scott is not a big fan of nuts in breads or cookies, so I made two mini loaves with plain batter and three with chocolate chips and pecan pieces. This has been my favorite recipe so far, and I like that you can sub apple sauce for the oil. Makes 5 mini loaves.

3 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (or 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup apple sauce)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 cups grated zucchini (with skin)

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

1. Grease and flour 5 mini loaf pans or two regular sized loaf pans.
2. Sift all dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl.
3. In a smaller bowl beat eggs slightly. Add oil (or apple sauce and oil), vanilla, lemon peel, and lemon juice. Beat briefly.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir.
5. Add zucchini and stir to blend evenly.
6. Add pecans and chocolate chips, if desired.
7. Batter will be thick and should be spooned into loaf pans. Fill pans approx. 3/4 full.
8. Bake at 325°F for approx. 45 mins. to 1 hr. depending on the size of the loaf pans. Bread should be golden on the top, and a knife should come out clean when inserted into the bread.


  1. This year I subbed 1 cup of oat flour for 1 cup of all purpose flour. The loaves taste just as good, if not better. (ref. Laura's zucchini bread)

  2. Laura's zucchini bread works great as muffins too. Cut the time down by about 10 mins.

  3. Two additional recipes here:

    Apple Zucchini Bread (haven't tried this one):

    Chocolate Zucchini Cookies: