Paula Dean’s Zucchini Bread

zucchini-breadI’m new to Zucchini. It’s is not something I am familiar with.  I’ve never eaten it or cooked with it. Why? I really don’t know other than the fact that it wasn’t a food that I grew up with and neither did anyone that I was close to. When I told my son’s girlfriend, who is a transplant from Italy that I’d never eaten zucchini, she looked at me in disbelief. Thankfully, throughout the years, I’ve been exposed to new foods through people close to me and I really enjoy expanding my palate.(Palate, as opposed to the wooden pallet and color pallete).

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My daughter was given a zucchini by a co-worker and  intended to make zucchini bread with it, but she realized she didn’t have time to do it and ended up giving it to me. So I’m looking at this large green over-sized cucumber-looking thing and wondering what exactly do I do with it. Once again, Google to the rescue. I learned that Zucchini is a summer squash and the larger Zucchini needed to have the seeds removed, much the same what as pumpkins do and that I needed to peel it (not exactly necessary, but suggested) and then grate it.

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But did you know that zucchini, as well as others in the squash family, as well as corn, beans, bell peppers, peas, eggplant, pumpkins, cucumbers, squash and tomatoes are all fruits? That’s because, botanically speaking, fruits are the part of flowering plants that contain the seeds and are the means by which such plants disseminate those seeds. (http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/09/what-is-the-difference-between-fruits-and-vegetables/) Who knew?

In looking for a Zucchini bread recipe, I knew that I couldn’t go wrong if it was a recipe from Paula Dean and I wasn’t wrong. Even though this recipe calls for tons of sugar (and I’m sure you could cut down on the amount if you wanted to), the zucchini itself is loaded with vitamins and minerals and other good healthy stuff, which I use as an excuse to say it’s a healthy bread.

Zucchini Bread

Total Time: 1 hr. 10 min. Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 1 hr.

Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients:

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon lemon juice (I forgot this ingredient, but I don’t know the difference)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I used pecans)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 ° F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.

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Slice Zucchini in half lengthwise and using a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Peel skin from zucchini and discard.

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Cut large zucchini pieces into chunks. Grate zucchini either using a hand grater or in a food processor.

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In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice. Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in.(I mixed it all on low speed on my KitchenAid).

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Bake in 2 standard loaf pans, sprayed with nonstick spray, for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean.

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Clean up the huge mess you just made. But trust me, it’s worth it.

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I guess because the zucchini is something like 90% water, it makes the bread incredibly moist. As for the flavor, I’m not sure there’s a distinct flavor, but the bread is delicious either warm slathered with butter, or served cold.

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