Monday, August 3, 2009

Guest Blogger: Zucchini Bread by Mary C.

Thanks for being our guest blogger again, Mary!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t look at a beautiful zucchini without thinking of zucchini bread. A few weeks ago, I woke up one morning and decided to make some.

I have a very small vegetable garden in the back yard, but this was before the zukes were burgeoning. Now it is a different story. So I selected several, small zucchini from the local supermarket because the small ones are more tasty.

The wonderful thing about zucchini bread is that because it has a vegetable in it, one can rationalize that it is healthy.

And it is, but there still is a fair amount of sugar called for. In this recipe, I used Splenda sweetener in place of sugar, and the taste came out great!

I used the same amount of Splenda as I would have used sugar, and there are no calories in Splenda. So hurray!

I’ve noticed in our Wegman’s supermarket that there now is a Splenda product called “Sugar Blend” which is a combo of Splenda sweetener and sugar. So you would use one half a cup in place of sugar.

There also is a brown sugar Splenda and another product called ” Truvia”, which is supposed to be a natural product, coming from the stevia plant. We bakers have lots of choices. Sweet!

On to the recipe…..this recipe makes two zucchini loaves or 24 muffins. I chose to make one loaf and 12 muffins.

· 3 eggs
· 1 cup olive oil
· 1 ¾ cups Splenda sweetener
· 2 cups grated zucchini
· 2 tsp. vanilla extract
· 3 cups all purpose flour
· 3 tsp. cinnamon
· 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
· 1 tsp. baking soda
· ½ tsp. baking powder
· 1 tsp. salt
· ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
· 1 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or craisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one 8x4 inch loaf pan and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Or if just making bread, grease and flour two loaf pans….if just making muffins, line 24 cups with liners.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla.

To grate the zucchini, I used a Microplane which makes the zucchini come out very moist.

Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt, as well as nuts and/or dried fruit, if using. Stir this into the egg mixture. Divide the batter between the loaf pan and the muffin cups.

Bake loaf for 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

I made the muffins because I thought that they were more kid-friendly. But I will say, that the zucchini loaf was consumed by the kids and my husband pretty quickly, too.

Even Muffin the cat wanted to get into the act. The blue bulb in the photo is a decorative piece of glass.

Looking at all of the beautiful zucchini today, lined up in the supermarket bin, made me want to make some more bread tomorrow for breakfast. It certainly is a good time for baking or cooking or grilling zucchini.
----Mary C.

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