Zucchini bread: two words that conjure up many memories for me. This recipe was the first way, and for a long time the only way, I would even touch zucchini.
My grandma, Dolores, was an avid home cook and gardener. She and my grandpa used to tend a large vegetable and flower garden in the suburbs of Seattle and when I'd come over in the summer, she would always exclaim that there was far too much zucchini to harvest. Her solution was to make several batches of zucchini bread during our visits because she couldn’t get my cousins and I to eat fresh zucchini any other way -- sneaking it into bread was probably the only secret she kept from us.
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Slightly warm from the oven was my favorite way to eat it. I could hardly wait for it to cool before cutting a thick slice and happily sitting down at her kitchen table to enjoy it. As I got older, she would insist that I try every zucchini recipe she discovered. I finally gave in and tasted a lightly breaded and fried version that was completely unlike the watered down, mushy zucchini that I was expecting. This was good news for her and my grandpa -- and when I lived in their basement for a year during college, I could finally help them out with their zucchini problem. She and I would swap recipes and spend afternoons in the garden weeding or eating something delicious.
Sometimes I wish I could still go over for a lazy afternoon and bake, but at least I have the memories and recipes from the times we did share together.
Grandma's Zucchini Bread Makes 2 loaves
3 cups whole wheat or all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 3 eggs 3/4 cup canola or melted coconut oil 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 3 cups grated zucchini 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional) 1 cup dried cranberries (optional)
I'm a Pacific NW native, nature lover and outdoor enthusiast, with a garden behind my home that keeps my belly full. My husband and I have a weekly ritual of gathering with friends for a laid-back feast; it’s possibly our favorite night of the week.
My husband and I also run a small handmade and graphic design business called Year Round Co. Please check our work out at www.yearroundco.com