My Meme’s Zucchini Bread

Growing up, zucchini was a big deal in the town next door. There was a zucchini festival that I longed for every year. My favorite parts were the fried zucchini and, of course, zucchini bread.

My great-grandma, whom I affectionately named Meme, was always whipping up something in the kitchen and I have especially fond memories of her making zucchini bread. In her dining room she had incredibly long oval table. Well, it seemed so ginormous to me as a little one. This table was the absolute best for making forts. My cousins and I would drape blankets all around it and play under that table for hours. Such treasured childhood memories!

But when it was zucchini bread season, that table became the epicenter for Meme’s production line. Meme had a garden in the backyard so her cup runneth over with zucchini. I remember large metal mixing bowls lined up all along the table, bags upon bags of flour and sugar, eggs, and my Meme’s wooden spoons…perfect for mixing up batter and doling out spankings (although I’m pretty sure she never gave me one).

You need:

4c shredded zucchini
2c flour
1 1/2tsp of salt, baking soda, baking powder
2 1/2c sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp plus 1tsp vanilla
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/4c oil

Now you must know that when Meme was making this bread nobody was overly concerned with organic, unprocessed, low sugar foods. So you better believe that she was making this with bleached white flour, white refined sugar, and regular old vegetable oil.

All you gotta do is:

Grate the 4 cups of zucchini. Meme always did this by hand with a box grater, but I cheat and use my food processor. No need to salt or squeeze the zucchini. Just grate and leave as is.

Mix up the dry ingredients.

Beat your eggs. Add all your wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Don’t over mix. Fold in the shredded zucchini last.

Pour into 2 greased loaf pans and cook at 325 for about 50 minutes to 1 hour.

IMG_1030

I love this recipe because it’s SO easy to tweak and the results always end up tasting pretty yummy…except that one time I tried to cut the sugar by half…that was nasty. My kids ate it though so I guess it couldn’t have been that bad, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite.

Here are some variations I’ve tried:

  • using all whole wheat flour
  • using half whole wheat and half white flour
  • using applesauce in place of the oil
  • adding a tad over the 4c of zucchini (I almost always do this)
  • cutting the sugar in half (bleh)
  • cutting the sugar down by about 1/2c (much better)
  • cutting the oil by 1/4c

The only things I never mess with are the amounts of flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and eggs. I think there is some sciency reason behind all that and I don’t understand it so I just let it be.

We love eating the zucchini bread slightly cooled, but still warm.

We love it cold.

With butter. Without butter.

In lunches. For dessert. For breakfast.

We basically love it all the time.

We love it so much that my son asked me to make some for his birthday celebration at school. I’m pretty sure most of his classmates would have preferred cupcakes. I’m also pretty sure he lost any “cool” points he may have accrued. Who picks zucchini bread for your birthday treat?!

We do!!

 

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