A four pound zucchini. Yes, you read that right. My friend gave me a four pound zucchini last week. She said, “Can you do anything with a really large zucchini?” I said “of course!” I figured I could make some roasted zucchini for dinner. And then I saw it. I realized I could make roasted zucchini, fried zucchini, zucchini frittata, zucchini pasta….pretty much everything with zucchini.
The first thing I did with my extra-large zucchini was grate half of it. Now I have zucchini for quick breads, muffins, scrambled eggs, pasta sauce, etc. Quick tip, if adding it to bread….squeeze it dry in paper towels to get rid of the excess moisture.
My favorite way to use up zucchini is to make quick bread with it and then pass it out to friends and neighbors. People always like to get baked goods, right? I think so. And with a four pound zucchini, pretty much everyone that knows me can be sure that they will receive a loaf of quick bread.
I like to make quick breads because quick breads don’t contain any yeast. They are very cake like. There is no kneading, no rising, no hard stuff basically. It is perfect for breakfast, or a quick snack. You can make quick breads sweet or savory. Today I am going to show you my two favorite quick breads containing zucchini. That way, if you happen to have too much zucchini laying around because your backyard just flat out produced too much….you can give friends and neighbors bread. You don’t have to sneak over to their house in the middle of the night and leave zucchini on their porch (I swear I’ve known people that did that with peaches)…..make bread.
My first bread is a savory bread. It is a cornbread actually but I bake it in a loaf pan. I use a package of cornbread mix to start. Yep, there I go using packages again. But this won’t taste anything but homemade, I promise. Beyond the cornbread mix, I also use grated zucchini (duh), gruyere cheese, and thyme. And whatever else the package calls for.
The zucchini gives this bread a fresh almost sweet flavor. The gruyere is nutty and works perfectly with the sweet corn flavors. This bread is perfect with soup, salad, even pasta. I’ve even caught my husband making sandwiches with it.
My second quick bread happens to be my favorite. Because it is chocolate. Chocolate Zucchini Banana to be exact. I start this one with a box of Banana Bread mix. I add more grated zucchini, unsweetened cocoa powder, mini chocolate chips and vanilla Greek yogurt to this one. The Greek yogurt gives this bread great moisture and it adds protein to it. It also allows be to use half the amount of oil. To me, that makes it health food.
One of the greatest things about quick bread, besides what I mentioned above, is that you can easily mix your batter together in one bowl, with no mixers. You basically mix with a spoon until everything is blended. I swear it is easier to make then cookies.
If you have a surplus of zucchini, you must make one or both of these breads. You can give them out, you can freeze them, or you can eat them all at one sitting like I do with the chocolate version. Don’t laugh….there is zucchini in there so it is super good for me. Right?
Zucchini and Gruyere Cornbread
2 cups Marie Callender’s Cornbread mix
1 cup milk
¼ cup melted butter
1 cup zucchini, grated and squeezed dry
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 cup gruyere cheese, grated
1 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray loaf pan (8x4x2 ½) with cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients until just blended. Pour batter into loaf pan.
Bake at 425 for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown on top a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Chocolate Zucchini Banana Bread
14 ounce box Pillsbury Banana Quick Bread Mix
½ cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
½ cup water
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup zucchini, grated and squeezed dry
1/8 cup vegetable oil
½ cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a loaf pan (8x4x2 ½) with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, gently stir together all ingredients. Pour batter into loaf pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until brown on top and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.