With a plentiful supply of zucchini and summer squash included in this season’s weekly farm share, little doubt that homemade zucchini bread will prompt heating up the oven to 350 degrees on a morning when the temperature is not too scorching hot.
Of course, recipes for zucchini bread do not require very much zucchini, but this home baker decided to bake a loaf of zucchini bread and six jumbo zucchini muffins. In this fashion, two medium sized zucchinis instead of merely one would be needed, and I’d put at least a minor dent in the supply of zucchini chilling in the fridge.
For 24 weeks (or approximately six months) starting the first week of June, 2022, for $688.00 ($29.00 per week), Roxbury Farm in Kinderhook (Columbia County), New York, has been the source of a bountiful supply of organic “whole” food this season, including beautiful and perfectly sized (not too big!) zucchini and summer squash (despite the challenges of too little rain and scorching temperatures in the upper Hudson Valley).
A recipe for Classic Zucchini Bread, yielding two loaves and described as a “quintessential quick bread,” from NYT Cooking included in the daily newspaper last month caught my eye. But this recipe required using 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar, and this home baker avoids using added sugar and decided instead to bake a savory zucchini bread instead. (For other sweet recipes, instead of using sugar, substituting maple syrup or honey is a go-to practice, but in this case, a savory zucchini bread seemed even a better solution.)
It’s been eight years since we spotlighted the documentary film Fed-Up, narrated by Katie Couric, which hammers home the point that sugar consumption, with its addictive nature, has spawned the obesity problem. The film notes that Americans consume an average of over 130 pounds of sugar during 2012, the most recent year with data available when the film was made in 2014.
Further, an article in the August 2022 issue of Consumer Reports On Health, Solve Your Blood Sugar Problems–With Food, Whether you have diabetes or prediabetes, or you simply want to eat healthier, these steps can help by the health, medicine and science writer, Sari Harrar, emphasizes that “foods with a lot of added sugars, can rapidly raise blood sugar and increase diabetes risk.” On the other hand, “carb-containing whole foods like fruit, beans, and whole grains have fiber and can slow the rise in blood glucose after meals.”
A few years ago, we shared a recipe for Zucchini Cheddar Bread from the All Purpose and well-used Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker (New York, NY, Scribner, 1997) and baked up a loaf of savory zucchini bread. Back then, we also noted the encouraging advice from that go-to cookbook that any “coffeecake, quick loaf, or corn bread batter can be made into muffins as well.”
It was an easy decision, if the oven was going to be heated up this extra-hot summer, to bake up a loaf and six jumbo muffins and use up two instead of one zucchini from a weekly farm share.
The Joy of Cooking cookbook also encourages home cooks to “remember that muffins invite substitutions and inventive flavorings.” And a few summers ago, instead of that cookbook’s recipe specifying “chopped scallions, fresh parsley and dill,” a red onion and basil were substituted.
This time around, scallions have been included in nearly each weekly farm share, but instead of fresh parsley and dill, chopped sage was substituted. This summer, a hanging pot of sage has been thriving on the front porch, and it was quick and easy to pick some leaves for this recipe.
Savory Zucchini Cheddar Bread
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9 X 5 inch (8-cup) loaf pan and a muffin pan
6 cups whole wheat all-purpose flour
8 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups coarsely shredded (medium sized) zucchinis
1 & 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped scallions
8 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
4 large eggs
2 cups kefir milk
8 tablespoons (one stick) warm melted unsalted butter
(1) Whisk together thoroughly in a large bowl: flour, baking powder, salt & baking soda
(2) Add and toss with the dry ingredients: shredded zucchini, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped scallions & sage
(3) In another bowl, whisk together: eggs, kefir milk, and warm melted butter.
Add to the flour mixture and mix with a few light strokes just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
Do not overmix; the batter should not be smooth.
Use half of the batter to fill the loaf pan. Use the other half of the batter to fill the muffin pan’s six cups evenly.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin come our clean, 55 to 60 minutes.
(Frank W. Barrie, 8/3/22)