Oh, zucchini. My plant has just about taken over the deck and I've got so many yummy squash growing I could probably fill two weeks worth of recipes using it all. But I won't. I'll just make extras of stuff and share. Like this yummy bread laced with zucchini, cranberries and shredded coconut. Delicious. This was my attempt to get Dave to eat zucchini. He actually did like it, but I have a feeling it was the cranberries and coconut that won him over, since the zucchini plays a minimal flavor role, coming in mostly useful to keep the bread moist. But that subtley (spell check is telling my that's not a word--subtleness? No. Whatever.) is exactly what makes zucchini bread so good. It's a sweet bread, moist, but can be paired with loads of jam or eaten plain and still be delicious. I particularly like this bread plain, but a light toasting is also tasty.
Most months, Food Network Magazine features a mix & match recipe, perhaps for pulling together a pasta salad or stuffing, but in May 2011, they did a mix & match for quick breads, starting with a shredded fruit or veggie, adding mix-ins like nuts, dried fruits or flavored candy chips, then the basic batter ingredients, all topped off with an icing or glaze. While I left off the topping, this bread would be delicious with a light vanilla icing. Using the mix & match recipe as a guide, I came up with this delicious recipe, making a few tweaks such as replacing some of the oil with applesauce. Bake this up in a standard or pan or easily adapt it to 3 mini loaves and bake for 40-45 minutes. Then you can share more zucchini goodness with more people.
Zucchini Cranberry Coconut Bread
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup shredded zucchini, drained or squeezed dry
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk in cranberries and shredded coconut.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, applesauce, sour cream and vanilla. Stir in drained shredded zucchini. (Note: I shred my zucchini into a strainer over a bowl to let some of the water drain out while I'm shredding. Then I gather the shreds in a clean dish towel or paper towels and squeeze the excess water out.)
Stir zucchini mixture into flour mixture until combined.
Pour batter into a greased 8 x 4 inch bread pan (or divide evenly among 3 mini loaf pans) and bake at 350 degrees F for 55-65 minutes or until golden and a tester inserted in center comes out clean. (Note: Bake mini loaves for 40-45 minutes.)
Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 1 standard loaf or 3 mini loaves.
The Cookie Princess
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