Friday, July 1, 2011

Zucchini Time!

Tomorrow I will be driving up to Arkansas with my family and will be spending a few days there at my aunt's lake house. I'm pretty excited, since I'll get to see a bunch of my extended family that I rarely get to see AND actually see some fire works since they're banned here in Austin (because of drought).

I won't be blogging for a week but to keep you guys cooking and baking, I got some great zucchini recipes for you all! Zucchini is in season right now so I know some of you are trying to find creative ways to use this wonderful and versatile vegetable :D

These two recipes are honestly two of my favorite ways to use zucchini. One is for a wonderful zucchini bread and the other are for crab-like zucchini cakes (not cake cake, but like patty cake).

I've tried many zucchini breads in my past. Usually when I see a recipe, it will call for a ridiculous amount of oil and sugar. I'm not looking for a cake, here! I want a nice moist bread packed with zucchini and this one fits the bill perfectly.
Instead of a bunch of oil, this bread is packed with the moisture-filled good stuff. It has almost as much zucchini as it does flour! One of the main reasons I chose to make this recipe was because it actually had a substantial amount of zucchini that did not compare to other recipes. You know you have a real piece of zucchini bread when you can still see little green specs throughout the loaf.
Of course, the bread only gets better with the addition of dark chocolate and toasted walnuts. It also gets an undertone of caramel flavor with the addition of turbinado sugar and is saturated with the spicy aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Need I say more?

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Kim Klietz
Makes one smallish loaf.

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (I like a blend of white w.w and w.w pastry flour)
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, room temperature
2 tablespoons canola oil or coconut oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons low fat buttermilk
1/3 cup Turbinado sugar (or light brown sugar, firmly packed)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups grated zucchini
2 oz dark chocolate chips (1/3 cup)

1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a loaf pan.

In a bowl, sift together dry ingredients and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the egg until foamy; beat in yogurt, buttermilk, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Combine well. Stir in grated zucchini, walnuts, and chocolate.

Fold flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until combined.

Spoon batter into the loaf pan. Bake for approximately 50 minutes. (Check with a tooth pick at 40 minutes)

Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes in the pan. Loosen the sides and remove from pan. Cool loaf completely before cutting.

 As I said, this is my favorite zucchini bread. It remains absolutely moist even with only 2 tablespoons of oil. It also develops a lovely crust and is just absolutely perfect! The chocolate chips and the walnuts just add to it's amazingness. 

Also, I haven't tried this but I'm guessing if you don't have buttermilk lying around you can just use a total of 9 tablespoons of Greek yogurt instead (1/2 cup plus a tablespoon). This bread is AMAZING!

Next up? Zucchini Cakes! 
These cakes have similar ingredients to a crab cake but are completely vegetarian. They could be vegan, too, but contain egg so vegans would have to use a substitute instead.

These are so easy to make and are very hearty! They really do have the texture and similar taste to a meaty crab cake. I think it's the Old Bay seasoning that really takes it there. I've made these cakes many times and they're always a crowd pleaser!

I didn't change the recipe at all, so here's the link. Trust me, you'll want to check this one out. Its packed with veggies (red bell pepper, green onion, and of course, ZUCCHINI!) and uses an egg and bread crumbs to hold it all together. 

I use whole wheat panko bread crumbs (or even fresh whole wheat bread crumbs work) and use Greek yogurt instead of the tablespoon of mayo called for. With these changes, these zucchini cakes are a complete nutritional power house!
The original recipe calls for pan frying them in a little oil but I find it easier and faster to just do them all in the oven. I like to separate them into cakes (one recipe will make 8 or 9 cakes, which is enough to feed 3 people, but a double recipe is what is pictured above) and then put them on an oiled baking sheet. Make sure it's really oiled because these cakes sometimes like to stick! Bake them at 450 for about 20 minutes or so (flipping them half way through) or until they're nicely browned on both sides. This way you can make them all at the same time and a lot less oil saturates itself into the cakes.

My favorite way to serve them is with a little tzatziki sauce (the creaminess and dill go really well with them!) and a light salad on the side.
Yummm. These are the best!

I don't post recipes that I don't whole-heartily believe are amazingly delicious. I make A LOT of recipes and very many of them don't make it to the blog. Although I say "this is amazing!" on basically every recipe I post, it's because they are! 
Here's some other great zucchini recipes I've (MORE than) enjoyed--
-and I never blogged about these because I discovered and made them "pre-blog", but these are THE best Chocolate Zucchini Muffins from Cookie Madness. Great w/ coconut oil!

And if all else fails, grilled zucchini is always great. Plain and simple and absolutely delectable!

What's your favorite zucchini recipe?!
It's a toss up for me, but the zucchini cakes and zucchini bread definitely takes the cake for dinner and breakfast consecutively. The zucchini brownies take it for dessert.

Off to Arkansas! And since I won't be back to blogging before then, happy 4th of July! I hope you all blast some fire works and eat wonderful food (and fun red , white, and blue desserts!) :D

1 comment:

  1. I have always loved zucchini in my baked goods. My mom always made us zucchini spice cake when I was young, so that's definitely one of my favorites. Really I just think it's best grilled with balsamic vinegar or grated raw into yogurt. That 2nd part is a little weird, but it's one of my quirky food habits that I just can't shake because I like it so much!

    Have a great time in Arkansas!