Sometimes Mother Nature decides what I’ll be cooking up in the kitchen. Thanks to the extensive heat, and then abundance of rain, she decided I needed to use zucchini! I really love zucchini…however, I don’t really want it as the “side dish of the day for 7 days running”! The solution is Zucchini Bread. This is my favorite recipe for zucchini bread that I’ve found – so far 🙂 It is so moist and flavorful. It’s the perfect blend of garden fresh zucchini, crushed pineapple, nuts and spices.
The recipe makes 2 regular sized loaves, or 16 mini-sized. I found these great pans [8 loaves per pan] about 10 years ago and have used them to death. I love the smaller loaf size for several reasons: the loaves are a great “grab and go” breakfast [please don’t judge me!]; they’re the perfect give away size; the end of the loaf staleness doesn’t have a chance to set in. They bake up in about 20 minutes [quicker to my mouth :p]. The bread could just as easily be baked as muffins too. Just shorten the baking time.
I love the bread fresh out of the oven…the smell, the flavor, the steam rising to my nose. Pure heaven! As good as the bread is immediately, it also freezes beautifully. Towards the end of the gardening season, I’ve baked up to 32 mini-loaves in a day and froze them for fall enjoyment. I simply wrap each individual loaf in wax paper and store 8 or so in a freezer bag. It makes it so easy to thaw just what you want. Plus, the smaller size thaws rather quick. I’ve also been known to give it a 30 second wake-up call in the microwave to give it that fresh from the oven appeal!
This recipe is written for 2 standard sized loaves. If you’re making smaller loaves, or muffins, just make sure to adjust to baking time.
1 cup olive oil
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups zucchini, coarsely grated
1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple [in natural juice], drained
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease/butter and flour baking pans. [Two 5×9 loafs or 16 mini-loafs or 24 muffins.]
In a mixer bowl, beat eggs until blended. Add olive oil, sugar and vanilla. Continue beating mixture on medium high until thick and foamy.
Remove bowl from mixer stand. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the zucchini and pineapple until well combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in 1/3 increments, gently stirring by hand after each addition. Add the walnuts and blend gently.
Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans.
Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. [Note: my minis cook in about 20 minutes.]
Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.
When completely cool store in air-tight container or bag.