Monday, September 12, 2016

Best, Easiest Zucchini Bread Ever

I know I say this every time the seasons change...but I am so, so excited for fall this year. I had a record-breaking roller coaster of a summer, reaching some of my highest highs and lowest lows and let me tell you, I am ready for change and blankets and the end of the insanity that is my lawn these days. I've lost animals in that lawn. Children. My children disappear into that lawn. But I digress.

One of the craziest, most interesting things about autumn is the ironic pull this feminist single mama feels toward her kitchen. Oh yep, I said it. I love female power and challenging stereotypes and teaching my girls they can be warriors and anything else they want to be....but I also love, love, love being barefoot in my kitchen. It's true. I love cranking up the oven, sprinkling flour on my counter, and baking the crap out of my garden harvest. I love smell of my crockpot as it melts chicken bones into broth and I love pulling out my huge old-school pressure canner and listening to lids pop. I love rinsing off heirloom tomatoes and looking out the big kitchen window and watching my chickens bobble across my yard. I love, really love, being in my kitchen, especially after visiting my garden. And with autumn around the corner, my trips to the garden are becoming more and more frequent.

Now normally I have zucchini up the yim-yam by now, but some of you may remember I had an epic battle of ungodly proportions this year with massive amounts of teeny, sneaky little chipmunks. Everything went in late and as a result, my zucchini just started blooming a few weeks ago. You know. In August. My summer squash, zone 5, typically comes in ready to harvest by June. Juuuust a bit late, yes Jen?

I had all but given up hope and resigned to learn from my mistakes and try again next year when one day, I went out there one day to grab some Moonglow 'maters and noticed a stretch of dark green peeking up at me from under those huge, giant zucchini leaves. Sure enough, when I swept them back, I found this.

Blessed be thy giant zucchini. The kiddos were so excited we took pictures with the thing. And then we promptly decided it was time to make bread.

This recipe is adapted from Iron Oak Farm, a delightful little blog I follow on Pinterest and Etsy. 

3 cups of flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups zucchini (see below on how to prep it)
1 cup raisins (optional)

Zucchini Prep: Now once upon a time I read you needed to shred your zucchini by hand with a cheese grater. This, dear readers, is about as fun as shredding 5 blocks of cheese or 4 bars of soap. Anything that requires me to use a cheese grater automatically makes me want to punch myself in the face. So here is how I do it instead:
1. Cut the zucchini in half longways

2. Scoop out the seeds (you can save these for planting next year if you grow heirloom!)
3. Cut the zucchini into smaller pieces
4. Throw the pieces into a blender and/or food processor and pulse, pulse, baby

That's it. I don't add water, I just pulse away. I tamp stubborn chunks down between pulses so they get good and shredded. If I have more than 2 1/2 cups of zucchini, I toss the extra in a baggie, write how much is in there on the baggie (this helps later, trust me), and freeze it for the winter. Taa-daa! :)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and move your oven rack to the highest position possible. The higher you bake in your oven the more even your stuff bakes!
2. Grease two bread loaf pans - I use butter but you can use anything slick. *heh heh heh*
3. Mix up all your wet ingredients - this includes the eggs, olive oil, coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and zucchini.
4. In a bigger bowl mix up all your dry ingredients - so your flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well blended. If you like raisins in your bread, add them now. It'll look pretty liquidy and that's perfectly ok....great, even.

6. Pour half your batter into one loaf pan and the other half into the other loaf pan.
7. Bake for 60-75 minutes. You'll know it's done if you can shove a toothpick in there and have it come out clean. I like to live dangerously and go based on color and smell alone - a nice, deep, golden color combined with that perfect "not quite burned but soon to be" smell means it's ready. Or, you know, toothpicks n' stuff.
8. Let the bread rest in their pans for a little while then turn the pans over onto a cooling rack or clean towel and let everything cool down. You can eat some now and burn yourself like I always do - yes, it's worth it.

This bread freezes really, really well so if you think it'll stick around long enough, go ahead and put that second loaf into the freezer or gift it away like the angel you are. In my 3-girl-household we usually eat an entire loaf in about 2 days. Yep. Not even a little ashamed.

print recipe

Best, Easiest Zucchini Bread Ever

3 cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Baking powder
3 Eggs
1/2 cup Olive oil
1/2 cup Coconut oil
1/2 cup Honey
1 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 cups Zucchini
1 cup Raisins (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees2. Grease two bread loaf pans3. Mix up all your wet ingredients4. In a bigger bowl mix up all your dry ingredients 5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well blended. If you like raisins in your bread, add them now.6. Pour half your batter into one loaf pan and the other half into the other loaf pan.7. Bake for 60-75 minutes.

Found on Flaws, Forgiven:

What are some of your favorite fall recipes, dear readers? I'd love to hear them in the comments down below and as always, thank you so very much for reading :)


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