Friday, August 27, 2010

Zucchini Week: Grandma's Zucchini Bread

Would you believe me if I told you I’d never made zucchini bread before? For the longest time, my grandma and Joe’s grandma kept us supplied in homemade zucchini bread all summer long. But then my grandma moved to an assisted living community, and Joe’s stopped making it on such a regular basis, and fast-forward to this summer when I realized I hadn’t had homemade zucchini bread for at least three years. The only solution was to make my own, and I certainly had enough zucchini on hand to do just that.

The only problem was deciding on a recipe. There’s no shortage of zucchini bread recipes out there, and I had no idea where to start. But then, on the bottom shelf of my kitchen bookcase, I spied an old, pea-green Betty Crocker recipe box. It belonged to my grandma, and she passed it on to my mom when she moved, and I inherited it when my mom passed away. I hadn’t looked through it for a while, but I thought I remembered seeing Grandma’s zucchini bread recipe in there, so I immediately started pawing through the old, stained recipe cards covered with my grandma’s spider scrawl. I ended up finding not just one zucchini bread recipe, but two.

The two recipes seemed to be variations on the same, with just a few changes here and there, and they didn’t include baking temperatures or times. So I had to do a little bit of guessing. I also changed up Grandma’s recipe just slightly, by substituting applesauce for half of the “salad oil” (which is really just vegetable oil, but that’s what she always called it).

When I smelled the loaves baking, I was immediately transported back in time. I love it when foods are attached to long-forgotten memories. This bread tasted exactly like I remembered Grandma’s tasting: rich and spicy and moist and absolutely perfect. I’m so glad I have Grandma’s recipe, and next time I make it I’m going to take her a loaf. I think she’ll get a real kick out of that!

Do you think I sliced myself a thick enough piece? ;)

Grandma’s Zucchini Bread

2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Beat on medium heat until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add to egg mixture and mix just until moistened. Stir in zucchini and walnuts.

4. Divide batter evenly between 2 greased 8 x 4-inch loaf pans. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (mine took the full 65 minutes). Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.


As if I haven’t shared enough zucchini recipes with you this week, here are some more of my favorites:

Zucchini casserole
Worcestershire-glazed vegetables
Zucchini alfredo

Zucchini-wrapped pork chops with pesto, tomato, and mozzarella cheese
Vegetable-stuffed zucchini
Summer vegetable and pesto tart



Unknown said...

I love zucchini bread and this one sounds delsih! glad you were able to make it from her recipe and it tasted good. i love grandmas.

Keri said...

I love that you recreated your grandmother's recipe! That's wonderful to be able to relive those special moments with your grandmother through food. I have a few recipes like that that remind me of my childhood or of special people and they are pricelss to me.

Debbie said...

I love zucchini bread but never seem to make it often enough. Looks delicious!

Larissa said...

Looks great! I love that you tried out an older recipe. Heirloom recipes are sometimes the best.

Monica H said...

I might have that same pea green Betty Crocker recipe box, that my grandma gave me too.

Thick enough slice? yes!

Ellen Zames said...

I make the exact same recipe except I use half the sugar (1 cup) and a whole cup of applesauce and no oil. I also use half whole wheat flour (1 1/2 cups) and half white flour. It comes out so delicious and you don't even miss the other 50% of the sugar at all. My husband kids love this and have me make it almost on a weekly basis so I know the recipe by heart now. I've also added other things like carrot baby food, a ripe banana, chocolate chips etc to mix it up a bit.

Allison said...

I bought a gigantic zucchini at a farmers' market last week and made his recipe with it. Delicious!!!