Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Might As Well

I just want to start off by letting you all know that I am sacrificing time that I could be folding laundry in order to write this post for you. That's right, be grateful for the lengths I go for you.

Anyways, I thought I might as well post my zucchini bread recipe, because I've already made dozens of dozens of mini muffins and loaves so far this season. And no, I have not actually harvested any zucchini yet--this all came from a nearby friend (thanks again, Debbie!).

I've already declared my love for yogurt in baked goods, and this recipe is another beautiful example. Now, lest anyone try to fool themselves by thinking that zucchini bread is somehow healthy, trust me, it's not. Zukes are not very high up on the nutrient-dense ladder of vegetables, and most quick bread recipes are laden with fat and sugar. Basically cake, really.

BUT, you know me. I've modified this recipe enough to boost the nutrients while keeping a yummy taste, plus the mini-muffin package keeps the portions in check.

Some tips:
-Most normal recipes call for 1 cup of grated zucchini, but if you're using the big, bloated, only-good-for-baking zukes, one squash will yield at least 2-3 cups. My recipe will use one of these bad boys.
-I sub honey for sugar. It's more natural, less processed, and can help your allergies! I do this for most recipes these days and you can do cup for cup, because sugar is technically treated as a liquid in baking.
-Make things easy on yourself and use the same measuring cup for the vegetable oil and honey. Leave a tiny bit of oil in the cup before measuring the honey, and it will all slip out easily without being a sticky, slow mess.
-In this recipe, you can use nonfat, plain yogurt and add a few tsps of vanilla extract OR use vanilla, low-fat yogurt and cut some of the vegetable oil.
-You can throw in "accessories" like walnuts, raisins, chocolate chips, etc. I've done all of these, and I think next time I'll shave in some coconut. Which is totally local to Oklahoma. In my dreams.
-I always use a mix of whole wheat flour and unbleached, all-purpose white flour. It adds a nutty, hint of crunch, fiber, and heart-healthy goodness.


-1 medium zucchini, grated
-1 cup vegetable oil
-1.5 cups honey
-1 cup yogurt (see above hints)
-2 tsps vanilla extract (which I use regardless of the yogurt flavor cuz I love it)

Mix these wet ingredients together, then ADD 4 eggs and blend. Try not to overbeat the eggs so the batter stays light and airy. Next, combine:

-4 cups flour (I use 1.5 cups whole wheat, 2.5 cups white)
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp salt

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined. Fold in any additions like nuts or chocolate.

At Christmas, I bought myself the greatest baking investment ever:

Yes, my pride and joy. The 24-mini-muffin pan. Two dozen tasty little beauties all at once. This recipe will yield two panfuls, or FOUR delightful dozens of muffins. I bake them at 350 degrees for around 25-30ish minutes. Honestly, I'm not really sure. I bake by smell and when a cake tester poked in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

These babies freeze REALLY well and we usually keep a ziploc bag full of these handy in the freezer. Joe doesn't wait for them to thaw before he starts devouring.

Okay, neither do I.

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