How to Make Zucchini Disappear

In the peak of the summer, when the zucchini plants in your backyard or your friend's garden are in full bloom (and overflowing at the farmers markets), I love nothing more than to make zucchini bread. With cranberries and nuts. To share with friends and fellow food lovers.

I can remember one hot summer day several years ago when I impressed a particular, yet much younger, single female chef friend who was working at Central Market with a loaf of my still-slightly-warm-from-the-oven zucchini-cranberry-walnut bread.

She fell in love at first bite and, after I left, proceeded to distribute generous slices of the bread to any handsome man who passed by her demo station claiming it as her own culinary success, or so she told me. I am still honored at the thought and smile and laugh at her utter boldness. But that was and continues to be one of the reasons she is my friend. She reminds me of myself at her age.

But back to zucchini. I needed to do something with the dizzying supply that was in our vegetable drawer and thought bread would do the trick and even make a few people happy in the process. I wondered, however, if this time I could replace the flour with a grain-free substitute such as almond or coconut flour?

Why not?!

Almond flour won out when I stumbled upon this recipe by Danielle of Against All Grain. It sounded like just what I wanted. Naturally, I added my signature cranberries and walnuts. And a touch of vanilla. The bread was moist from the eggs and zucchini, the nuts added just the right amount of texture and the pop of the dried cranberries were just right for a balance of flavor. It was neither too sweet nor not sweet thanks in part to the ripe banana and a touch of honey.

If you have a garden that is producing pounds and pounds of zucchini--or if you have a friend or neighbor with this problem or a farmer friend who wants to unload a bunch on you--offer to make some zucchini bread and spread the love!

I promise, it will disappear in no time--the zucchini and the bread!

Buen provecho!

Almond Flour Zucchini Bread with Cranberries and Walnuts
The Cowgirl Gourmet adapted this recipe from Against All Grain

Print recipe

Yes, trust me when I tell you that adding zucchini to bread really is delicious and it's a great way to make large amounts of garden or farm fresh zucchini disappear. Replacing all-purpose flour with finely ground almond flour produced a hearty, flavorful and healthy grain-free, gluten-free bread.

Makes 1 loaf or 2 mini loafs

Wet ingredients:
3 pastured eggs, beaten
1/4 cup honey
1 ripe banana

1 cup shredded, unpeeled zucchini

Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (I use almond meal and then puree it in the food processor some so it becomes very fine)
2 teaspoons cinnamon, heaping (I love cinnamon!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the wet ingredients--eggs, honey and banana--in a food processor (or stand mixer) and puree for 1-2 minutes until frothy and fully combined. 

Add the zucchini and blend just until incorporated.

Slowly add the dry ingredients and blend again until the flour mixture is completely mixed in. Pour the batter into 2 mini or 1 regular prepared loaf pans (sprayed with cooking spray and lined with parchment paper). [Note that the parchment paper should be positioned the long way to prevent any sticking.]

Bake 2 mini loaf pans for 30-35 minutes, bake 1 regular loaf pan 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan and carefully use a knife to separate the bread from the pan before flipping the pan onto a plate. Remove the pan and let bread rest until cool. 

Slice and serve with butter, cream cheese or jam.

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