the search for the best zucchini bread (the winner is surprising!)

This past weekend, the market was full of bright, colorful summer squash. I picked up a few baskets of yellow squash and zucchini and was inspired to make zucchini bread. I had so much zucchini on hand, I didn’t want to make just one big loaf… so the experimentation began.

I used two recipes in mini loaf pans, one highly rated one from Fine Cooking, and one healthier one from Simple Bites. Then came the taste test — and there was a clear cut winner (my mom, my dad, and I all favored one bread over the other). I assumed everyone would love the Fine Cooking version, because of the stick of butter, the coffee essence, and the eggs… however, the healthy version won.

Yes, my entire family including me favored the healthy version over the regular, buttery version in the taste test. The winner was made with Greek yogurt and whole wheat flour, and was the much more flavorful and delicious than the buttery Fine Cooking version. Talk about a win-win situation! This loaf is super moist, fluffy, with a flavorful cinnamon aroma. The Fine Cooking loaf was slightly dull and gummy. 🙁

Today I learned that the healthy version can actually be the tastier version. I also learned that my mom is not a fan of chocolate chips (go figure?). So next time, I will use some pecans instead.

Zucchini bread makes the perfect cloudy day treat. I like to toast slices of this fragrant quick bread and spread with a little bit of cream cheese.
I have seen variations such as banana zucchini bread and lemon zucchini bread — have any of you tried those?
With love, 
Erica

Winning Zucchini Bread

ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (or peanut)
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (I used 2%, but full fat would be ideal)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (or regular milk with a splash of vinegar)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups finely grated zucchini
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips (for those of you who like chocolate)
  • OR 2/3 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts)
  • OR you could do 1/3 cup chocolate chips, 1/3 cup nuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a 9×4 inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Line a 6-cup muffin tin with papers OR oil a mini loaf pan. In a bowl, sift together dry ingredients and set aside.

  • In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy; beat in yogurt, buttermilk, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Combine well. Stir in grated zucchini and chopped chocolate.
  • Fold flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  • Spoon batter into 6 muffin cups (or mini loaf pan) and pour the rest into the 9×4 loaf pan. Bake for approximately 50 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes in the pan. Loosen the sides and remove from pan. Cool loaf completely before cutting.

From Simple Bites

caprese breakfast tartines and zucchini fries

 These caprese breakfast tartines speak for themselves: crunchy herb bread from the local bakery, slathered with homemade herb butter, fresh basil, juicy tomatoes, golden, bubbly melted cheese, and topped with a perfect sunny-side-down egg. I like to serve them with a side of perfectly crunchy, herb-y, Parmesan-y baked zucchini fries (one of the French-fries classier cousins…). Instead of explaining to you all how good these are, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
With love,
Erica

butter=melted
tomato-ed
cheese=grated

cheese-ed
cheese= bubbly, melted perfection
egg-ed
parm + panko
baked
crunchy!

caprese breakfast tartines

ingredients:
  • good bread (I used herb)
  • herb butter (this is my favorite recipe)
  • basil
  • tomatoes
  • sundried tomatoes
  • cheese (I used white cheddar, but mozzarella or Gouda would be very yummy too!)
  • eggs

Heat the broiler to 500 degrees. Slice the bread into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch slices. Butter the bread and place on a baking sheet. Bake until butter melts (2-3 minutes).
On the non-buttered side, assemble the basil, tomatoes, and sundried tomatoes.
Grate the cheese and sprinkle on the tartines.
Return them to the oven, and broil until the cheese becomes golden and bubbly (keep your eye on them! mine usually take about 5 minutes).
Cook the eggs however you like them best (I like mine sunny-side down) and place one egg on each tartine.

parm-zucchini fries
 ingredients:

  • 3 large zucchini
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups panko (other bread crumbs would be fine too)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped rosemary (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut zucchini into thick French-fry-size sticks.
Now make the assembly line. Arrange 3 shallow, wide bowls or pie plates in a row. In the first bowl, mix flour, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. In the second bowl, whisk together eggs, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. In the third bowl, combine panko, Parmesan, rosemary (if using), and 1/2 tsp. salt.
First dip zucchini in flour, shaking off excess. Transfer to egg mixture and toss until coated, then coat zucchini in bread crumb mixture.
Arrange fries, in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes and then rotate the pans. Continue to bake until panko coating is golden and crisp, 7 to 12 minutes more.

inspired by Oprah.