August is always a month of abundance. Farms are full of fresh picked fruits and produce. The vegetables in your backyard garden are ripening faster than you can eat them. You need to save and store the fruits and vegetables you cannot possibly eat in a week. Many of us freeze, can and add the fresh vegetables to recipes we can also save for a “rainy day”. When your zucchini is producing a bumper crop, and your neighbors close their lights when they see you coming up to their house with more bags of tomatoes and zucchini, it’s time to make zucchini bread.
If my sons had their way, they would rather I make fried zucchini fritters instead. And I might just do that, but zucchini bread is just so good to eat fresh or toasted with some cream cheese. It freezes really well so you can make multiple loaves and keep them for winter. Now, zucchini bread is about as american as apple pie. But the fact that so many Italians grow and eat zucchini I’m going to call this an “Italian/American comfort food”. Zucchini bread became popular after WWII and really took hold in the early 70′s when people were looking for a healthier version or reason to eat sweet breads. Just add vegetables. Makes sense to me. This recipe takes it a few healthy steps further by using yogurt and unsweetened apple sauce. It has to be good for you. Just a warning…while this zucchini bread is in the oven baking, your family will come from all corners of the house to find out what smells so good in the oven. You were warned.
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 4 tablespoons of Stony Hill Farms whole milk French Vanilla Yogurt, or non-fat plain yogurt.
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 2 cups of grated zucchini, skin and all
- 2/3 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1/3 cup of raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray two 8 inch loaf pans with cooking spray, or butter. I just bought these loaf pans, Sur La Table Platinum Professional Loaf Pan 21140LF , 8½” x 4½”, and was thrilled with the results. You can also make great American bread in these pans with excellent results.
In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, salt, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside. In another large mixing bowl beat the eggs, then add the oil, applesauce, yogurt, sugar, and vanilla. Mix well till all the wet ingredients are combined well. Now add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir till you have a smooth batter. Now you can fold in the grated zucchini, walnuts and raisins. Mix till everything is combined.
Pour equal parts of the batter into each of the loaf pans. Bake for 50 to 60 minuets until golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 30 minuets, remove from pans and continue to cool on a rack until ready to store.