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Recipe: Zucchini Walnut Quick Bread

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A coupe of weeks ago, my mom came into town to visit and we spent a lot of time cooking and baking—one of our favorite activities to do together. I had bought some beautiful zucchini at the supermarket and wanted to use it before I forgot about it. Zucchini has always been one of my favorite vegetables and I am always looking for new ways to eat it. For as often as I cook and eat zucchini, I have never made a zucchini quick bread before. I usually make Banana Bread or Cranberry Walnut Bread. But now, this Zucchini-Walnut Bread has been added to my list of quick breads I love. I enjoy making quick breads because, well...they're quick! I make quick breads year-round to have on hand for breakfast, with a cup of tea in the afternoon or to satisfy that sweet craving I often have some before bed while I am unwinding and watching TV. One of the best characteristics about quick breads is that they usually do not require the use of an electric mixer—the batter can be mixed entirely by hand with ease.

Zucchini Walnut Quick Bread

Now that the kids are starting school, it is time for many households to have breakfast options ready the night before so the kids can have something ready to eat before leaving for school. Quick breads are great to have on hand because they can sit out on the counter (well wrapped) for a week and any extra loaves can be frozen for up to one month (also well wrapped). You can also take the quick bread batter and make muffins or mini loaves for the times when breakfast needs to be eaten on-the-go. Quick breads are just sweet enough, but not overloaded with too much sugar. They are also vehicles for healthy ingredients like nuts and dried fruit. You can also substitute some of the white flour with whole wheat flour to add more fiber and a nuttier flavor. It is also a healthier breakfast option for the whole family as opposed to grabbing a fast-food breakfast on the way to school. If zucchini is not your favorite vegetable, try substituting shredded carrots instead. The end result will always be delicious and flavorful.

Zucchini Walnut Quick Bread Recipe

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients:

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs using a whisk. Add in the oil and sugar and mix well to combine. Next add the grated zucchini and vanilla extract.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in the chopped walnuts and stir to combine. If you are using dried cranberries, raisins, or chocolate chips, stir those into the flour mixture as well.

Transfer the flour mixture into the egg mixture and use a spatula to incorporate all the ingredients together. Divide the batter into the prepared loaf pans. Bake the loaves for about 1 hour, or until a cake tester/skewer comes out clean. Cool the loaves in the pans set on a wire rack for about 45 minutes before turning them out to finish cooling completely. Store on a plate covered with plastic wrap, or wrap the loaves in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost and serve at room temperature.

What recipes do you like to put zucchini in?

Flavia Scalzitti is a food blogger based in Houston, Texas. She is originally from Maryland and comes from an Italian family. Flavia grew up around people who used food and cooking as a way to keep their traditions alive, celebrate their Italian culture, express their love for their family, and nourish the people they cooked for with the freshest and best quality ingredients. She is entirely self-taught and is also passionate about baking. In addition to cooking and baking, Flavia enjoys learning about and practicing photography, reading, traveling, practicing yoga, and spending time with her husband, Peter. She blogs at Flavia's Flavors: http://www.flaviasflavors.com

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