Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Zucchini Carrot Bread

Featured Ingredient: Walnuts (Optional)

Time to enjoy Summer's Fresh Bounty of produce.  We all are probably less apt to use canned goods this time of year, especially with the bevy of fruits and vegetables that the summer months bring at reduced prices.  I don't know about you, but  this year I'm not seeing as much of a difference in the cost of  the local fare than the produce that came from Chile in the winter time. Probably has a lot to do with the freight cost of $4+ dollars a gallon.  Fortunately, my area has one beacon of hope.  If I am looking to make a pie or something that requires several pounds of something, I tend to take a trip over to Food Bazaar a limitless international market, with prices that are more in line with what you would expect in Summer. Last week I got beautiful, just ripe peaches for 99 cents a pound. They were transformed into a Peach Pie, topped with Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream and Whipped Cream.  That's a recipe for another time.  Or the next time they go on sale.

Summer Zucchini Carrot Bread

This is one of the my favorite summer quick breads.
It's filed under Walnuts. If you don't want the additional texture, just omit them. (I had to put this entry somewhere). As all us foodies know, people eat with their eyes.  The beauty of this bread is when it's sliced, it's also very pretty with its little emerald and topaz flecks.  Let's be honest, quick breads are really loaf-shaped muffins in disguise and muffins are really heartier cupcakes.  However, the ingredients in this quick bread are rather healthy and could justify an additional piece or two.  There's beta carotene from the carrots, low cholesterol canola oil, antioxidants from the cinnamon and of course fiber from the unpeeled zucchini.  It's a great mid morning snack or accompaniment to your afternoon coffee or tea. Instead of big loaf make small little loaves to help with your denial. You can also freeze the loaves for up to a month, so none of this scrumptiousness goes to waste.  If you don't have one of these, I seriously recommend you buy one.  I got this one at Home Goods a while back.  It makes the perfect size little loaves, that are also great for gifting around the holidays.

I love this thing!
Zucchini-Carrot Bread

2 medium zucchini - washed but not peeled (about 1 lb)
2 large carrots (about 1/4 lb)
2 large eggs
1 3/4 granulated sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and lightly flour the bottom of a 9" x 5" loaf pan or multipe mini loaf pan.

2. In a food processor fitted with a shredding disk, process zucchini and carrots until shredded.  (You should have about 4 cups of shredded vegetables.

Shredded Carrot and Zucchini

3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla untl blended.  In another bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.  Gently fold dry ingredients into egg mixture, stirring until combined (batter will be thick).  Add zucchini-carrot mixture; stir until combined.

4. Turn batter into prepared pan (s). If using the 9" X 5" pan.  Bake 1 hour and 5 minutes and check with a toothpick.  If if does not come out dry, continuing baking. Baking time vary by oven.  You are better off, checking before it's overdone.  For smaller loaves bake about 45 minutes.

5. Transfer pans(s) to wire racks.  Let cool 15 minutes.  Remove bread from pan and let cool completely before slicing.

Moist heavenly-ness!

Zucchini Carrot Bread

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