When it comes to summer eats, zucchini [also known as courgette] is one superfood that should be at the top of your shopping list.
First introduced to North America from Italy in the early 1920s, zucchini is technically a fruit. Yet it is treated as a vegetable and has become a wonderful addition to a variety of dishes – from fritters to desserts and everything in between. Fried zucchini flowers are even a popular appetizer in upscale restaurants.
Which leads to one of our favorite ways to use this delicious summer squash: zucchini bread! This extra-moist quick bread recipe has a sweet and warm cinnamon flavor. The zucchini keeps the bread moist and light while adding the perfect texture. It’s amazing on its own, or lightly toasted with a tad of butter. No yeast required and it lasts for weeks in the fridge, too. In fact, it tastes even better on day 2!
Why We Love These Ingredients
Zucchini is a digestive health superstar. Not only is it naturally hydrating, it also contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stools and helps food move through your gut more easily. Soluble fiber feeds the beneficial bacteria living in your gut. Plus, Zucchini’s high fiber content helps stabilize blood sugar, preventing levels from spiking after meals.
Zukes are also high in health enhancing antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. These compounds support your vision, skin and heart and may offer some protection against certain types of cancer.
Craisins are dried cranberries, and they’re packed with iron, potassium, manganese, and other important minerals. They are also high in immune-supporting Vitamin C as well as antioxidants that protect cell health.
Last but certainly not least—Fiber. The fiber in craisins keeps your gut running smoothly, supports a healthy weight and promotes healthy cholesterol levels.
Walnuts are a great source of omega 6 and plant-based omega 3, healthy fats that fight inflammation and support your heart and brain. Studies show that eating walnuts can help lower LDL as well as total cholesterol and even support healthy levels of good bacteria in the gut.
Some Pro Tips to Get You Started
Grate the zucchini with the larger size of a box grater, or grate in the food processor. Once grated, simply add the zucchini to the batter. Zucchini naturally contains a lot of water, but there is no need to squeeze the zucchini dry. That water is the secret to all that delicious moisture in your bread.
There is also no need to peel the zucchini. Zucchini skin is thin and softens while baking and does not add any noticeable flavor. The skin also contains lots of nutrients.
This recipe makes two loaves so you can make one to enjoy and one to freeze. The loaf lasts in the fridge for at least 2 weeks [although it won’t last that long!]
To freeze, simply wrap the loaf aluminum foil and put in the freezer. Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before slicing and serving. Freezes well for up to 6 months for the perfect fall and winter snack.
You can easily customize this recipe by swapping the craisins with golden raisins. If you are not a fan of nuts, you can leave them out completely and use chocolate chips. Dark chocolate chips add delectable flavor plus a dash of health-boosting antioxidants.
Let’s get baking!
Rustic Zucchini Bread
This zucchini bread is moist and delicious for breakfast, snacks and everything in between. This recipe makes two loaves, but it freezes well and will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40-60 minutes.
Total Time: 80 minutes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 TBSP ground cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup coconut, canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1-1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 TBSP vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 cups grated/shredded zucchini
- 1 cup craisins or golden raisins
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts [plus more if desired]
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8x4-inch pans.
- Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
- Beat eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla together in a separate large bowl with an electric mixer until combined; add flour mixture and beat well. Stir in zucchini and walnuts until well combined. Pour batter into the prepared pans.
- Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a table knife around the edges to loosen. Invert carefully onto a wire rack and let cool completely.