Zucchini Bread and Beyond ~

From the Sustainable Foodie Blog

It’s that time of year again. The garden is in bloom and we have zucchini coming out our ears. At first we chopped, diced, pureed and minced our way to adding our bountiful harvest to the dinner table. We started giving bags of green goodness to our friends. Then to our co-workers and even complete strangers if they slowed down enough to hook a grocery bag over their arm. Our neighbors have a garden this year too, so we awoke one Sunday to a gift of zucchini on our porch. This little green gem of the garden was fast becoming the Summer Fruitcake of doom. So I began researching other optimal uses of zucchini. I’ll share some of the secrets with you dear reader and I hope you put them to use.

1. Classic way to use up your surplus is to make zucchini bread. If you’ve never had it, this is a sweet (not savory!) and Google list over 675,000 recipes for this treat so you can get creative
2. Grate and add to baked goods for extraordinary moisture in your recipes. Your kids will never know they are eating veggies!
3. Make zucchini pancakes – use your favorite potato pancake recipe but substitute the z for the p! Check out my mom’s recipe below
4. Use the small ones to make pickles
5. Make zucchini people out of it. Fun for the kids, encourage them to decorate the zucchini with yarn for hair, other vegetables for eyes…use your imagination
6. Feed it to your chickens
7. Carve into your favorite historical figure and use for a center piece
8. Add to your avocado facial for an extra special home spa treat
9. Bake with your favorite chocolate and forget you are eating your veggies
10. Give to local food bank or shelter

Zucchini Facts
• A summer squash that contains only 17 calories per cup is a popular choice for pasta dishes and healthy side dishes
• Zucchini is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid and niacin
• Zucchini is also an excellent source for protein and fiber as well as valuable minerals
• Zucchini is also rich in potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc
• One cup of zucchini contains 1.65 grams of protein and 2.5 grams of fiber
• The zucchini eventually found its way to Italy where it was named zucchino
• The French call it courgette, a name that has been adopted by the English

Zucchini recipes
Nana’s Chocolate Zucchini Bread
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon cardamom
• 3 eggs
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 3 cups turbo sugar
• 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 ½ cups grated zucchini
• 1 cup chopped walnuts
• 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and spices together in a bowl.
3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined.
4. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth and add to bowl.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Pour batter into prepared pans.
7. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool (or in out house, start slicing as soon as it does not burn us

Mom’s Zucchini Pancakes
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 tsp fresh oregano
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
• 1 egg, beaten
• 2 tablespoons chopped onion
• 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
• 2 tablespoons butter or EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
• Sour cream

1. In a bowl, combine the flour, Parmesan cheese, oregano, salt and pepper. Combine the zucchini, egg, onion and mayonnaise; stir into dry ingredients until well blended.
2. In a large skillet, melt butter. Drop zucchini mixture by cupfuls into skillet; press lightly to flatten. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with sour cream if desired.

Enjoy~ and till next week ~ eat Sustainably for Life

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