I have never been a fan of zucchini, but I’ve always loved zucchini bread. When I was a kid, my mom used to make it for us all the time and we’d eat it as a snack after school. Fall always makes me think of zucchini bread because that’s when we’d usually have a lot of zucchinis coming from our garden. My mom had the best recipe, which she got from a little old lady who lived across the street from us when I was 4 years old. It was her family recipe, and it became our family recipe.
When my kids were little, my grandma would bring me huge zucchinis, and I would peel them (you don’t have to peel them, of course), grate them, and freeze it in 2 cup bags so I could make zucchini bread for my kids all winter. They loved it as much as I did.
Unfortunately, at some point I lost our recipe. Coincidentally, my mom and brother both lost it too. I tried many other recipes, but none of them were right. This year, I had my own garden for the first time, and I got a lot of zucchini out of there. So I set out to recreate that family recipe that we all loved. I used 2 other recipes as a base, and then added and changed things until I got it as close to our original as I could. I’m pretty happy with the results, and I wanted to share them with you.
1 c vegetable oil
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 c grated zucchini
3 c flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 T vanilla
1 T cinnamon
1 T nutmeg
1 T ginger
1 T lemon peel
1/2 t cream of tartar
*1/2 c water, if you’re using fresh zucchini. When you use frozen zucchini, it will be watery when you defrost it so there’s no need to add water. Also, add this at the very end, and adjust it for consistency.*
Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease 2 loaf pans.
With electric mixer, beat eggs, sugars, oil and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix in zucchini. At this point, if the batter is really thick, slowly add the water. It should be the consistency of brownie mix. Pour evenly into loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour, testing after 50 minutes.
We eat ours warm with some butter melted on it, and it is sooo yummy. If you grate your zucchini with the peel, it will have nice color to it too.
Don’t like zucchini? You can substitute the zucchini for grated carrot if you’d like. I made a batch where I did 1 cup of zucchini and 1 cup of carrot, and it was really good.
Here are some other variations that I did:
Pumpkin-chocolate chip bread
I substituted the oil for 1 can of pumpkin puree, then added 2 cups of mini chocolate chips instead of zucchini. This one was really good. I made a glaze with powdered sugar and milk to put on it, but it’s really good all on its own too.
For this one, I substituted the oil for unsweetened apple sauce, then added grated apple instead of zucchini. You could make a homemade caramel sauce to put on it, or do what I did and get some caramel topping that you use for ice cream. This one turned out alright, but it didn’t taste as much like apple as I wanted. I think next time I may use apple chunks in addition to the grated apple.
There are so many different things you can do with this recipe. You could even just make the bread without the zucchini because it has so much flavor in it. If you come up with any other variations, drop me a comment and let me know. Or head on over to my Facebook page
and share a photo with me.