A few weeks ago, my colleague Alex shared some of her garden’s zucchini harvest with me. She had a few different varieties and found that they all grew quite well in her garden – all the better for me, I say! Just take a look at these beauties:
After a little research, I discovered that this versatile veggie actually freezes quite well and is an excellent addition to baked goods. You can’t really taste it, but it adds moisture and texture much like bananas or applesauce might. So I set off to use my handy food processor and shredded the entire line-up! I ended up with 12 cups of it, which I separated into 2-cup Ziplocks to freeze for future use.
With my freezer loaded up, I’m all set to bake some veggie goodness throughout the colder months. And today I started with a fantastic Chocolate Zucchini Bread. It’s tasty, moist, and not too sweet. And for those of you who liked my Banana Nut Muffins, you’ll notice some similarities. It also makes use of olive oil and applesauce! This time around, I tried using some disposable tin bread pans in preparation for the holiday gift-giving season. I wanted to try them out to see if they bake nicely (spoiler alert: they do!) so I can make some as hostess or thank you gifts around Christmas. And bonus – they are petite enough to yield two loaves from a single loaf recipe! Here’s the one I used:
- 3/4 C white sugar
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 C applesauce
- 2 C flour
- 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 C shredded zucchini (go ahead and let you frozen bag thaw, then drain in a colander before use)
- 1/2 C chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet Chipets)
- Cooking spray to oil your pans (I really like Pam’s Baking version)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix first 3 ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Stir in applesauce, then add dry ingredients and mix well.
- Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips and mix until incorporated.
- Pour into oiled pan (or two pans, if you’re using tin ones) and bake for 1 hour.
- Cool for 10 minutes in pans, then remove to cooling rack (or your belly, whichever you prefer).
I have to be honest and say this was surprisingly good! I wasn’t fond of the smell of the batter (or of zucchini in general!) but once baked, these loaves turned out to be swoon-worthy.
I hope this post inspires you to pick up some late-season zucchini at your local market and get shredding! Happy baking :).