Trader Joe’s is a fine, fine place. Their array of produce begins with apples, grapefruit, bell peppers, ginger roots, squash and ends with…well, it doesn’t end. The greatness is infinite.
Somewhere in there is zucchini. These beauties are bundled together like a small, sleeping vegetable family, right next to the cucumbers. It’s actually a little confusing (those two look freakin’ identical sometimes). What sets them apart here, however, is zucchini’s contribution to thick, spice-ful bread. Just delicious! The recipe even came from a mom’s index card! An unnervingly old-looking index card.
(Don’t worry, those cards usually come through, despite any vegetable mispellings.)
Cucumber bread is probably something Krisla will make – stay posted.
How to describe this bread, the product of impulsive zucchini-buying at Trader Joe’s? Well, the crust: wonderfully crispy to contrast the soft middle, yet not a workout for your jaw. The soft middle: soft, full of shredded zucchini, in the middle. Sheer eloquence!
As far as the guiltiness behind this bread’s pleasure…we’d need a guilty scale. It’s not on either extreme. But scales are in Trader Joe’s and we’re passed that produce speech. So let’s just focus on being pleased!
Adapted from Jane Camp’s ol’ recipe
Makes one fluffy loaf in a standard pan
Total time involved: roughly 1 hour, 15-20 minutes
2 cups shredded zucchini (2 somewhat small zucchinis did the trick for us)
1/2 cup oil
3 cups all-purpose flour (wheat flour would be grand, too; it’s just already a fairly dense bread)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 ish tsp cinnamon (or to taste, as we divvied this amount up with the proceeding spices)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 cup raisins (chocolate chips are an option, too, though raisins and spices make an excellent team)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Shred your zucchini, of course! Slice it up with a decent knife to get your shreddin’s on the finer side, if necessary.
3. Combine flour, salt, spices, baking soda and powder in a small bowl. Mix it well with a whisk (Bette Jane’s mom liked to stress the horrors of poorly mixed baking soda and powder). Set aside.
4. In a medium-sized bowl, get the oil, eggs and sugar together (also mixable with a whisk, unless you prefer an electric gadget of some sort…a mixing sort). Once combined, toss in the zucchini.
5. Slowly pour the flour mixture into the medium bowl. Stir together carefully and, when evenly beautiful, sprinkle in your 1/2 cup (or amount to your liking) of raisins.
6. Bake for an hour. Our bread took a little longer than that, but there were speculations of over-baking (it still tasted amazing).
7. Slide any cats off the linoleum with your foot so you can access the fridge. Once butter (or pseudo-butter) is attained, slab it on a slice and savor the goodness!
This is Bette Jane’s sister/mom’s cat, Willy. He is a pretty indifferent being. His interests include: sniffing, lying on shoes, staring meaningfully at people, sprawling out on the kitchen floor (shown above) and occasionally getting very close to smell you properly. That kind of freaks out Krisla; he got a few inches from her face at one point.
P.S. Special thanks to Kathryn H., Bette Jane’s good friend and lender of lovely cameras! Also, thanks to Bette Jane’s mom for her kitchen and wisdom. Plus Willy, for moral support.
-Krisla & Bette Jane