My Grandaddy was a prolific gardener. He had a huge lot behind his house in Huntsville that just seemed to produce on his command. Of course, what seemed effortless to those of us who enjoyed the fruits of his labors surely took hours each day for him to be able to cultivate and care for, but it was a hobby he was passionate about and it showed.
I only wish I had of taken an interest in gardening when I was younger. Instead, my interests were in my Grandaddy as I tagged along behind him while he walked in between the rows, waiting expectantly for a ride in his wheel barrow once we were done.
Most gardeners do it for the pure pleasure of it, but sometimes we end up with a bit of an overload as the crops come in. To me, zucchini has always been one of those vegetables that turns out in a big way like this. That is why my sister in law’s zucchini bread is such a treat. The grated zucchini serves to add body, texture, and moisture to this dense and fragrant spice bread. You can’t taste it, but you couldn’t have such a wonderful final product without it!
The first time I ever made Zucchini bread was on July 5, 1999. I put it in the oven around 8:05 PM. Around 8:10 my son decided he was ready to be born. My first thought was “BUT I JUST PUT ZUCCHINI BREAD IN THE OVEN!”. After a frantic phone call to Mama (who we lived just across from the street at the time), I left for the hospital confident that my bread would be taken out of the oven when the timer was up. About seventeen hours later I was treated to my first taste – and boy was I hungry by then!
Five and a half years later, when Katy Rose decided to join us, I had just got finished making banana bread. I had barely enough time to put a lovely cream cheese glaze on the mini loaves and wrap them to give as gifts to my nurses before heading out.
So I bake quick breads and children appear. Maybe I’m on to something here.
If anyone reading this is expecting, you might want to keep a copy of these recipes handy!
See that pic? Yeah, you’re gonna need a whole mess of ingredients!
Raisins, eggs, crushed pineapple, cinnamon (and nutmeg if you like nutmeg, which I don’t so I have ostracized it from my kitchen coz I’m evil like that), vanilla, oil, sugar, pecans (can omit if you like), all purpose flour, baking soda, salt, and zucchini. I also used a weee bit of allspice but the recipe doesn’t call for it. I just felt my cinnamon deserved a friend since I denied him his buddy, Nutmeg.
You’re also gonna need baking soda, which isn’t pictured because sometimes ingredients get camera shy.
Y’all don’t shoot me if I left something out here, just see the recipe at the bottom of the page.
If you like, you can sprinkle a tablespoon or so of flour over your raisins…
and stir them up a bit.
This will prevent them from sinking in your batter and you’ll have more evenly distributed raisins in your finished bread.
Shred your zucchini. I’m using my Hamilton Beach Big Mouth food processor.
As far as I know, they didn’t name it “big mouth” after me.
You can also just use a standard cheese grater if you like, whatever you have on hand.
Place eggs and oil in a mixing bowl…
If you have any zucchini left over, place it in a freezer bag. You don’t have to do anything special to it, just peel, shred, and freeze. This is what my sister in law does when zucchini starts coming in by the truckloads and then she bakes this delicious zucchini bread to go in her Christmas baskets.
It always helps to label your bag with how much is inside.
Did you know that you can also do this with bananas that are going bad? Just peel and smoosh with a fork, place in a freezer bag and write how many bananas are in there on the bag. Next time you want to make banana bread, simply take out and thaw! They don’t change colors in the freezer – I’m often asked that.
It is best, when freezing things, to smooth them out flat in the bag like this. They thaw much faster. I even do my casseroles this way.
Add a touch of vanilla
Note: I’m using my fancy imitation vanilla that I paid a whopping 98 cents for. As I’ve said in previous posts, all of the high falootin’ chefs will tell you to get the expensive stuff but I reckon my Alabama palate isn’t sophisticated enough to know the difference. Been using cheapo vanilla ever since I could remember and haven’t got a complaint yet!
Add in your drained pineapple.
You can tell by this pic that I didn’t put too much work into draining mine. A token effort is fine
Mix all of that up with your mixer.
In a separate bowl, place your flour.
Add baking soda
and baking powder
Sometimes people ask me if they can’t just substitute self rising flour for the all purpose and baking soda/baking powders. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t. In general, if the recipe is for a dense cake such as a pound cake, you shouldn’t substitute. Those cakes aren’t meant to rise as much as a regular cake and the self rising flour will often make it rise too much and overflow out of the pan. When I’m making quick breads like this though, I usually do use self rising in place of the all purpose. Although I have never done it in this recipe, I certainly wouldn’t balk at giving it a shot – I bet it would be just fine.
Add your cinnamon. This is also where you are supposed to add nutmeg but I’m not a nutmeg fan so I just put in a pinch of allspice instead. Usually, I double my cinnamon in place of nutmeg.
You go with whatever cranks yer tractor here. I won’t mind either way.
The recipe calls for sifting but I prefer to use my sifter as a pretty little decoration up there on that shelf over my kitchen window :).
I’m not a sifter, I’m a stirrer. No sense in complicating things.
Add this to your batter.
Mix it up well.
Add raisins and chopped nuts and mix that until well combined.
I usually leave nuts out of any recipe that calls for them because they add a lot of expense to it. Sometimes I make an exception though, when I’m cooking for y’all because I love y’all s’dern much and I want you to see it done the right way :).
Now we need to grease our loaf pans.
You can make two full sized loaves out of this but I always like to make mini loaves myself. I like to give them away to folks and I ended up with seven mini loaves out of this one recipe!
To grease my loaf pans I just fold up a paper towel and dip it into the shortening like so. This keeps it off my hands.
I’ve also seen folks do this with a plastic sandwich bag.
Smear the inside of your pans good with the shortening and then put a spoonful or so of flour in each well.
Tilt your pan around while patting the sides with your hand to distribute the flour evenly. Pour excess out.
Fill about 1/2 full with batter.
Bake as directed below and when done, allow to cool for ten minutes in the pan before turning out.
Hello, yummy zucchini bread!
~looks around in sudden alarm and then exhales in relief~
Whew! No new babies this time!
- 3 eggs
- ¾ Cups vegetable oil
- 2 Cups sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 Cups shredded zucchini (1 – 2 good size ones)
- 1 – 8-oz can crushed pineapple, drained
- 3 Cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp nutmeg
- 1 Cup chopped nuts
- 1 Cup raisins
- Mix first 6 ingredients together.
- Sift together flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and nutmeg (if you’re using nutmeg). Add remaining ingredients. Mix all together.
- Pour into two 4" X 8" well-greased loaf pans and bake at 350 for an hour. Or, pour into four to six well greased mini loaf pans and bake at 350 for about thirty minutes, or until centers are no longer soft.
Those who judge don’t matter-those who matter don’t judge.
Submitted by Southern Plate Reader, Sue (y’all wave at Sue!). To submit your quote, click here!