When I have a bit of spare time during the weekend, I try to make a large loaf of quick bread that I can enjoy at breakfast or for snacks throughout the week to come.
Today I want to teach you one of my favorite recipes that is not only simple to make, but also incredibly delicious! Plus, I’ll also share the secret to ensuring a firm but moist texture.
Infrequent bakers are often cautious about making their own bread at home.
But quick breads are just that – quick! Combine your dry ingredients with wet, stir in grated zucchini and chopped nuts, pour into a loaf pan, and bake.
It’s as simple as that!
Shall we make a loaf today? Let’s go to the recipe right now!
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Get Your Mise en Place Ready
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a large loaf pan.
Step 2 – Grate and Squeeze
Here’s the secret to getting that perfect texture:
Once grated, squeeze every bit of water you can from the shredded veggies, either using paper towels or a cheesecloth. As an alternative, you may also drain the zucchini in a colander, pressing with a large spoon.
When you think you’ve squeezed all the water out, squeeze some more. There’s a lot in there, and you don’t want to water down your batter!
It’s important that you don’t skimp on this step. Too much excess moisture will make this baked good soggy. And I have yet to find anyone who says their favorite food is soggy zucchini bread!
Step 3 – Chop
If you’re allergic to walnuts, try substituting pecans instead. Dried fruit or candied ginger may also be used. Reduce to 1/2 cup fruit and 1/2 cup nuts, or 1/2 cup fruit with the nuts omitted altogether.
Step 4 – Combine and Mix
To up the healthy factor of your loaf, you may substitute half the flour with whole wheat. If you choose to do this, just add two teaspoons of water to the wet ingredients.
In another bowl, beat the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, and sugar together.
Something you might like to try is substituting regular granulated sugar with coconut sugar. It’s an even substitution, cup for cup. And this will replace an empty calorie sweetener with one that has a lower glycemic index, with a bit of fiber and trace minerals as well.
Gently sift the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir well until you get a homogeneous mixture.
Fold in the chopped walnuts until they are evenly distributed in the batter.
Step 5 – Bake
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, making sure that the batter fills about 3/4 of the pan. Less is fine, but your pan should be no more than 3/4 full because the batter will later expand and rise. Extra batter can be baked in a muffin tin – just reduce the baking time and keep an eye on the muffins while they’re baking to avoid overcooking.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
I like to check my loaf about halfway through baking and rotate it in the oven. If the top of the loaf starts getting too brown, you can cover it with a sheet of aluminum foil for the last 20 minutes of baking. This is more likely to happen if you’re using coconut sugar, since it caramelizes easily, more like a brown sugar.
Step 6 – Cool and Slice
Once the loaf is baked, let it cool in the pan for 20 minutes on a cooling rack before removing the loaf and allowing it to cool fully before you slice. A serrated knife is perfect for the job.
Store in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic for up to a week in the refrigerator.
A Slice of Fiber-Rich Bread for Breakfast or Tea
If you want to increase your intake of fiber but don’t like to eat vegetables on their own, this recipe is a great way to do so. Packed with grated zucchini and chopped walnuts for texture and crunch, this freshly baked treat makes for a delicious and nutritious breakfast or snack.
Do you have a family recipe for zucchini bread? What special ingredients do you add to it? Share with us in the comments below!
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Photos by Felicia Lim, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on April 22nd, 2015 by Jennifer Swartvagher. Revised and expanded on September 30th, 2017 by Felicia Lim.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Felicia Lim
Felicia Lim is a Singaporean who moved to Argentina for love. Based in Buenos Aires, also known as “the Paris of South America,” she fills her days with freelance writing, recipe development, and food photography – three passions that give her endless joy. When she isn’t typing away at her computer, cooking in the kitchen, or shooting in her balcony-studio, you can probably find her curled up on the couch, lost in the pages of a good book.