It’s the time of year when fresh fruits and vegetables are in abundance, and when I think abundant, I think zucchini! Memories of my father-in-law’s garden overflowing with zucchini come to mind, and the challenge was trying to come up with lots of ways to prepare it! We breaded it, baked it, sautéed it, grilled it, and made tasty sweet bread with it!

I’d like to share a zucchini bread recipe with you, and it’s actually fun thinking up different varieties with this batter! This morning I made my batter, divided into fourths and started adding things from the cupboard! Then I poured the batter into four small loaf pans (approx 6″x3″) and baked them for about 30-40 minutes or until toothpick came out clean. (Just test as you normally would for done-ness.)

Basic Zucchini Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease 2 loaf regular size pans or four smaller pans, as mentioned above.

3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable, coconut (my favorite), OR canola oil
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine above ingredients in a large bowl.
Add 2 – 3 cups of grated zucchini

Here’s a fun part….
Now add one of the following or a combination:
   1 large can of crushed pineapple, drained OR
   2 over ripe bananas OR
   1 cup of chunky applesauce OR
   A combination of the above.

Today I added about 2/3 cup chunky applesauce and one over ripe banana. There are no steadfast rules here. For instance, you could add a small can of crushed pineapple, drained, and about 2/3 cup of applesauce.

Sift together:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just mixed.

Here’s where you can get creative and come up with different varieties! Today I made a plain loaf, a walnut loaf, a dried Michigan cherry and walnut loaf, and a chocolate chip loaf!  Some other things I could have added or have tried in the past are sunflower seeds, blueberries, raisins, pecans, pumpkin seeds, coconut …pretty much anything you love will work! Of the loaves I baked today, my family’s favorite was the dried cherries and walnut!

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour if using 2 regular size loaf pans; 30-40 mins for mini loaf pans mentioned above. Cool for 15 minutes; remove from pans; continue to cool on wire rack.

Happy baking!