Tag Archives: bread

When the garden gives your zucchini, make Chocolate Zucchini Bread!

12 Aug

 

 

One of the joys of having a vegetable garden is that you know exactly what went on in the growing of those veggies. The other joy is getting virtually free food, right from your own back (or side) yard, from space that would otherwise be grass or weeds. This year, I planted about 10 total squash plants.  A mix of crookneck, zucchini, and what I THOUGHT were yellow squash but turned out to be mislabeled croocknecks. Production was going pretty good once the bees started pollinating the flowers, but the plants are all now starting to die and will need ripped out and replaced with a second crop of squash – the butternut variety! But for right now, I still have a bin full of the zucchini and crooknecks, so I decided to whip up another batch of Chocolate Zucchini Bread. The first batch was delicious, and since it was such a hit, I decided to make another batch. Hopefully this round lasts a little longer.

This bread is moist and has a nice crumb without being soggy like some zucchini breads. The chocolate flavor from the cocoa powder is rich and deep without being overpowering. All in all, I’d say this bread is a winner in my book and will probably be made just one more time before I run out of zucchini.  The picture doesn’t do it justice. Seriously. You should make it just so you can see the loveliness that is this bread with your own eyes.

Enjoy!

chocolate zucchini bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

makes 2 loaves

adapted from Simply Recipes

  • 4 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour – I use King Arthur brand
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Zulka Morena Pure Cane Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup butter, melted

Place your shredded zucchini in a colander or sieve placed over a bowl and let drain for 30 minutes.

While your zucchini is draining, preheat your over to 350 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter and a little flour to prevent sticking

In a small bowl, add your flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and kosher salt. Whisk together until well blended, with no lumps.
In a large bowl, add your eggs and sugar, whisking until smooth. Add your vanilla extract, whisking until incorporated. Last, add your butter, and whisk until smooth.

Add your shredded and drained zucchini to your wet mixture, stirring to combine. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, stirring to combine completely after each addition.

Spoon the mixture into your 2 loaf pans, evenly divided between the two. Smooth out the tops with the back of your spoon so it’s level.

Place pans in oven for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely before slicing. Try not to devour it.

I don’t know how long this bread will last, other than a week since that is all the longer it took for the hubs to devour both loaves. Since it makes 2, you can store one in the freezer for later consumption. Just wrap in a double layer of plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn and store. To thaw, remove from freezer and place in fridge overnight.

Breakfast Deliciousness – Strawberry French Toast Bake

8 Apr

Breakfast is that one meal you should really eat each day. My mornings are usually a rush to get  myself showered and presentable, get the dog fed and outside for potty time, and make sure the chickens have food and water. I could rush less if I got up a little earlier, but I’d rather sleep in a little longer. Those precious extra minutes help to make me a pleasant human. Otherwise…you don’t wanna know. That being said, breakfasts on a weekday consist of cereal, a couple of eggs and an english muffin and coffee, or recently, a smoothie.

Saturday and Sunday I usually put in extra effort for breakfast. Percolated coffee. Bacon or sausage. Fresh made pancakes or Belgian waffles. Biscuits and gravy. Quiche. Not all of those items at once, but a mixture of them, making breakfast more of an event rather than just food for nourishment. Enter in the invention of my Strawberry French Toast Bake. I like to keep a couple of baguette cut into sandwich sized chunks in the freezer. They freeze nice, thaw quickly, and are great for impromptu guests or invites to a party where I will take an appetizer. And, they make for amazing french toast. I had a whole one, unfrozen just hanging around and was in the mood for french toast. But I wasn’t in the mood to soak those little rounds and make a bunch of 3 bite french toasts. I wanted something quick, simple, and hearty. I also wanted something with berries. Whenever strawberries go on sale, I buy a bunch and then cut some up into cubes, freezing them for later uses. The berries took it to another level. Served with some bacon it was a very filling breakfast. This recipe will easily serve a family of 6. Hubs and I had it for breakfast on a Sunday, and then throughout the week. It’s fantastic. A must make.

strawberry french toast closeup

Strawberry French Toast Bake

2 cups frozen chopped strawberries, thawed and excess liquid drained

12 eggs

1 1/2 loaves baguette bread, cut into slices and torn in half

1/2 cup milk

sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla

Grease a baking dish (I used a heart shape that was roughly 9×9).

In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, spices and vanilla, whipping to combine. Sprinkle some of the strawberries on the bottom of the baking dish. Add in your bread chunks. Scatter the rest of your strawberries all over the top. Pour on the egg mixture, being sure to coat all of the bread.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While your oven is preheating, you’re going to let the bread soak up all that egg mixture.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until top of the french toast bake is golden brown, and the center is set. Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup.

strawberry french toast