Meatless Monday: Got Zucchini?

     I have on a few occasions discussed our love of gardening.  We also love zucchini, it is something that we plant every year.  This year we went a bit overboard. I believe my Dad planted 7 or 8 zucchini plants.  With all the plentiful rain we had this summer they have bursted forth and produced a lot of zucchini.  The leaves of the plant are as giant as elephant ears and the fruit all the plants produce is just as stunning.  It is ever so large and prolific.  The other day my Dad picked 15 zucchini, he told me to run over and pick out some of them to take home.  My response was that I had just picked 8 a few days prior to his harvest.  "Well, you missed some," he teased.
     I had plans for making a stuffed zucchini and roasting it in the oven, but haven't yet.  Instead I reached for a recipe that my mom gave me many years ago.  It is for zucchini bread.  This recipe requires 2 cups of shredded zucchini and after making 2 loaves I really didn't make much of a dent in the mass quantity of my giant sized fruit.  For the next 4 loaves I made, when measuring out the zucchini, I packed it down in the cup measure.  It did help somewhat with using up more of that zucchini, but I believe it also yielded a moister bread.  I never peel my zucchini when making this recipe just wash it thoroughly.  I enjoy the deep green flecks in each slice of bread that the peel imparts.  But do as you wish.  This recipe makes a delicious breakfast and is the perfect way to start out your meatless monday, or any day of the week for that matter!
     Zucchini is amazing produce.  I was told a hilarious story recently by a friend.  They had invited someone for dinner and made roast chicken.  For one of the sides they made a zucchini casserole.  The husband stated his disdain for zucchini.  He said he hated the taste of it, even the thought of eating it made him sick.  The wife chimed in stating how she had tried to fool her husband by adding it into things, (I do this myself adding it to the filling of my chicken enchiladas), but she said he could always tell it had zucchini in it. After dinner they had dessert.  The dessert appeared to be an apple crisp.  They served it as you would expect, with ice cream. What their guests did not know was what they thought were apples were really slices of zucchini.  It had been peeled, sliced in half longways and then sliced again to make half rounds that looked like apples.  Then she boiled it with lemon juice to give it a tart apple like flavor.  They ate and ate, the husband even had seconds of the dessert and raved about it. After raving about the dessert even saying how it was the best apple crisp he had ever had, she dropped the bomb.  It was zucchini crisp!  They all had a good laugh.  While zucchini is technically a fruit, it is also used as a vegetable in many savory recipes.  
     For my readers:  I would love to hear how you use zucchini!  Please comment below telling me your favorite recipe showcasing this amazing produce.  What tips do you have for using up mass quantities from your garden? Or maybe you are like my friend and have a good tip for adding it to a recipe and camouflaging it for even the pickiest of eaters.  I would love to hear you thoughts!  In the meantime here is my recipe for zucchini bread. I hope you enjoy!  I don't have any pictures at this time, because it was soon devoured after being made.






Zucchini Bread

Recipe adapted by Jordan from a recipe given to me by my mom
Ingredients
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Grease 2- 9 inch loaf pans.
  3. In mixing bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, fresh ground nutmeg, and salt.
  4. Measure out 2 cups of zucchini, firmly pack it into measuring cup. Add both cups of shredded zucchini to flour mixture and toss to coat.
  5. Add dates and walnuts to zucchini flour mixture and stir to combine. Set aside.
  6. With mixer beat 3 eggs in separate bowl for about 3 minutes. Add sugar and continue to beat until mixture is thick and ribbon like when beater is pulled up. This takes about 3-5 more minutes of beating.
  7. Add vanilla extract and oil to egg and sugar mixture and blend until well incorporated.
  8. Slowly pour dry ingredients into wet and stir until combined.
  9. Spoon mixture evenly into prepared pans and bake at 350º for 55-60 minutes or when knife inserted into center of bread comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool on cooling rack while remaining in bread pans. Once cooled remove from pans.
  11. At this point the bread my be frozen for later use, or cut up and devoured at once.
  12. Serve as I do: Toasted with a schmear of homemade almond butter.

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