Forget Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, 4th of July- the end of August, early September is the most wonderful time of the year. It has finally arrived and I couldn’t be more excited. After taking a trip out to my parent’s garden, I felt like a little kid in a candy store. Zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, cabbage, green onion, basil, thyme, chives, my oh my.
After a few months of eating highly processed, sodium filled meals out of a box, the food snob in me came out in full force today. My dad and I canned some pickles and with the overwhelming amount of zucchini, I decided it was a perfect day to bake up some zucchini bread. Nothing special, but it is the first time in months I have attempted to use my culinary skills. Honestly, I was a little shaky. Quick breads are one of the first things we learned to make in school; so this was the ideal way to test the waters.
Zucchini Bread Recipe:
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups grated fresh zucchini
- 2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- Pinch salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins (optional)
1. Grate the zucchini.
2. Combine sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
3. Add the (melted) butter.
4. Slowly add flour, one cup at a time.
Make sure not to over mix. This will causing tunneling in the final product.
5. Fold in raisins & walnuts
6. Pour batter into 2 buttered loaf pans.
7. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 45-60 minutes.
One of my loaves was done after 45 and one took about 55 minutes, so be sure to check on them.
8. Remove from oven when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes and run a knife around the outside.
Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
It might be tempting to cut into the bread before it's completely cool- but don't do it! The bread will continue cooking even after you remove it from the oven. Patients is key. :)
9. After the bread has cooled completely, slice and enjoy!
We made some honey butter tonight to go along with it that wasn't too bad, if I do say so myself!
I'm not sure what was more exciting for me today- being back in the kitchen again or actually being able to enjoy something I created without guilt. With my time in treatment coming to an end in a couple of weeks, it's pretty liberating to have my zucchini bread and eat it too. Recovery might take years, but this is definitely a leap in the right direction.
Happy Late Summer Harvest Season!