I’m sure the comparison has already been made, but when I think of zucchini season I think of Lucy and Ethel working at the chocolate factory, stuffing candy anywhere they could, while the chocolates just kept coming faster and faster and desperation mounted. If you’re too young to remember that episode, or don’t even know who I’m talking about, check out YouTube. All you have to do is type in “Lucy and Ethel” and the first thing to show up is the chocolate clip!
Yes, roll up your car windows and don’t answer the door; it’s zucchini time! Those bad boys double in size overnight and just keep producing. It took me just one gardening season to learn I only needed to plant a few zucchini plants in the garden each year. We love zucchini fritters, stir-fries, baked zucchini, and fried zucchini with cheese. But most of all, we love zucchini bread! Banana-zucchini, oatmeal-zucchini, chocolate-zucchini, and (drum roll, please) strawberry-zucchini!
Quick breads are…well…quick! The loaves of Strawberry Zucchini Bread have to bake for an hour, but the preparation time is twenty minutes, tops. You don’t need a mixer, just a bowl, a spoon, and two loaf pans. I jazzed my loaves up by stirring a little lemon juice into a cup of powdered sugar and glazing the tops once they’d cooled. I like the appearance of a frosted loaf, and I have a ferocious sweet tooth.
If you aren’t “fortunate” enough to have a never-ending source of zucchini, you can substitute a cup of mashed bananas for the zucchini and double the cinnamon. Throw in a few blueberries if you like, or white chocolate chips. Experiment and have some fun with this; you can never have too many loaves of quick bread in the freezer!
Here’s how you do it:
STRAWBERRY ZUCCHINI BREAD
Makes 2 loaves
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
1 1/2 cup zucchini, grated
1 cup chopped walnuts
Heat oven to 350 F.
Prepare two loaf pans by greasing and flouring them (or by spraying with a combination oil/flour spray like Baker’s Joy)
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sugar.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs well and stir in the oil, lemon juice, vanilla, strawberries, and zucchini.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
Fold in the walnuts.
Divide between two loaf pans and gently smooth the top. If one pan has more batter than the other, that loaf will be a little bigger–and no one will care! Don’t fuss.
Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
Remove pans from oven and allow bread to cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack before turning out and cooling completely.
Quick breads are much easier to cut when they’re chilled. And for the record, I think this is one of those baked items that tastes better the next day, so hide one of the loaves, quick!