Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Shawna's Zucchini Bread

This isn't really the season for zucchinis or for zucchini bread, but I saw Jill of One Good Thing By Jillee mention banana bread and it really got me in the mood for zucchini bread. Not that banana bread isn't amazing and delicious, but I only had two bananas left and they weren't nearly ripe enough, and let's face it: my teenager would eat them before I could make the bread anyway. Luckily for me (and the rest of my sweet-toothed family), I had a TON of zucchini come out of my garden this past year that I couldn't use quick enough, so in my deep freeze I have a bunch of pureed, grated, and cubed zucchini just waiting for the right time to use it. Like right now.

I'm sure you sweet bread lovers have had or at least heard of zucchini bread before- the basics are the same as quite a few other sweet breads. So what makes this mine? Well, for starters, this is my family's favorite deviation from a recipe I've found (The original recipe for 'Mom's Zucchini Bread' can be found on this was the closest I could find to an old family recipe that I had used long ago). Secondly, I made several changes to that recipe to make it a little healthier but not so much so that my kids won't eat it.

For starters, I'd like to mention that my husband said that my website needs to have smell-o-vision. My boys always love the way the house smells when my zucchini bread is baking! And until they have a slice in hand, I'm asked non-stop from the time it goes in the oven "is it done yet?". And heaven help me when it comes out of the oven and is cooling IN the pan! "How 'bout now? Now? NOW?" I do have to admit, though, while I love this bread anytime, it's best straight out of the oven and still warm. Ray and I like a little butter smeared on it and all melty, Codey likes dipping it in his milk like a cookie, and Dakota loves it plain (go figure, picky boy).

Without further adieu, here's the recipe:

Shawna's Zucchini Bread


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milled flax seed
2 cups pureed zucchini


1. Grease two bread pans (you can flour them too, but I never do) and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 

I love my stoneware, just wish I had two!

2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon together in a bowl.

3. Beat eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and flax seed together in a large bowl. 

4. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the zucchini and stir until well combined.
Pretty dry before adding the zucchini.

Make sure you include all the liquid from the zucchini!

Once the zucchini is thoroughly mixed into the batter,
it should be a uniform consistency and
easy to pour.

5. Pour evenly into the greased bread pans.

Ready to go in the oven

6. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes (mine take right around 50 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool (or eat it warm!).

Cooling... and tempting the boys. 


1. You can use 3 cups of all purpose flour and exclude the whole wheat flour if you don't have any.

2. The zucchini can be grated/shredded instead of pureed. I puree it in my Ninja blender for my picky eaters who don't do chunks. At. All.

I love my Ninja blender!

3. The milled flax seed is my addition, and can be excluded without affecting the recipe. You can also use the flax seed in place of one or all of the eggs- 1 Tbs of flax seed + 3 Tbs of water replaces one egg in baking recipes. I believe milled flax seed can replace some of the oil as well, although I would recommend against reducing the oil by too much. I simply added the flax seed for the healthy omega-3 fatty acids and added fiber. If you include it, just be sure you're getting the milled flax seed and not whole- the body can't properly digest whole flax seed, so you won't get any of the health benefits. 

4. Chopped walnuts can be added into the bread (1 cup) or simply sprinkled on top. I'm not a big fan of nuts in breads, and neither are my kids so I rarely include any nuts. 

5. The cooking time will vary depending on a number of factors. I recommend checking it after 40 minutes, but keep in mind that it could take as long as 60 minutes to bake completely.

6. If you have a stand mixer, by all means use it. I have a Kitchenaid mixer I recently got as a hand-me-down, and forgot to use it for this bread!

7. Make sure you clean up after yourself when waiting for the bread to bake. If you're anything like me, once the bread is cooled, sliced and in front of you, you will not want to wash dishes!

The dishwasher was full from dinner, and I knew I
wouldn't want to tackle these later.

8. Savor. Every. Single. Bite. It's that good, and if you don't really enjoy that first slice or two, you might regret that third slice. Not because it's not as delicious as the first or second slice, but because you know after somewhere around slice 3 or 4 you start to feel guilty that you won't have as much to enjoy later! I speak from experience here- the three of us have over half a loaf gone, and tomorrow evening the only thing we'll have left will be crumbs. 

Note that I had to limit us to 2 slices each...

Codey's the dipper in our family.

So now that you know what to do with it, be sure to grab some zucchini the next time you see it on sale (or sooner if you get a craving!) and make sure you have this recipe available for this summer when you're pulling zucchini from the garden.

Be sure to tell me in the comments below how yours turns out, and don't be stingy, share this with your friends!

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