Half a dozen moist mini zucchini bread loaves made with Greek yogurt, only a tiny bit of oil, and no butter.
Around this time of year I hear a lot about the abominable zucchini monster.
Unwieldy zucchini crops overtake innocent vegetable gardens, kitchens become overwhelmed with the green (or yellow) vegetable, and people wonder how much zucchini they can eat before their face turns into a giant squash.
As someone who lives in an apartment and couldn’t be trusted with a houseplant, there’s no chance that I’ll be attacked by the zucchini monster. Instead, my problem is the ‘Claudia monster’. Since my local grocery stores have been selling large zucchini cheaply – and I’m virtually unable to resist a food bargain – bucketloads of zucchini have recently invaded my fridge.
So, it’s clearly time to start baking some zucchini bread.
On the off-chance that you’re unfamiliar with zucchini bread, here’s a five-second explanation: it’s a quick bread, it’s sweet, and it’s kind of similar to carrot cake. (So we’re not talking about the type of bread that you’d use for your lunchtime sandwich).
If your kitchen is currently stocked with some mammoth-sized zucchini (as mine is because of all that compulsive squash buying), then you’re in luck. Large zucchini are generally less flavorsome than the smaller squashes, so they can be quite bland if you’re simply baking or grilling them.
But those enormous zucchini are ideal for sweet recipes where the vegetable takes a supporting role. In things like zucchini bread, the main stars are definitely the spices, nuts and dried fruit or chocolate chips.
Notwithstanding, you could use smaller zucchini in this recipe too.
Many bread, cake and muffin recipes call for squeezing the water out of grated zucchini before adding it to the batter. Well, it’s important not to do that in this recipe.
All that water in the grated zucchini adds extra moisture to these mini bread loaves, which is why we can get away with only adding one tablespoon of oil (and no butter). Also, the water contains a lot of nutrients, and it would be a tragedy to see that goodness literally go down the drain.
Fun Fact: Zucchino is the singular of zucchini.
To add some extra flavor, I added a couple of tablespoons of blackstrap molasses to these mini loaves. If you don’t have any, or simply don’t like molasses, then maple syrup would be the best substitute.
As usual, I used dark chocolate chips in this recipe (to me, dark chocolate is the queen of all chocolates). But I’m sure good ol’ milk chocolate would be delicious too. Just don’t go and do something crazy, like replacing the chocolate chips with raisins. Trust me, it simply wouldn’t be the same.
And if you’re currently overloaded by zucchini, don’t forget that quick breads, muffins and pancakes can all be cooked, cooled and then stashed away in your freezer!
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup (50g) brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons (30mL) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons (30mL) blackstrap molasses
- 1 tablespoon (15mL) canola oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120g) Greek-style yogurt
- ¾ cup (90g) finely grated zucchini
- 1 cup (130g) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (50g) rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (50g) chocolate chips
- ¼ cup (30g) chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease 6 holes of a mini loaf pan with cooking oil spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with a fork. Whisk in the brown sugar, maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, canola oil and vanilla extract. Mix in the yogurt and grated zucchini.
- Add the flour, rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix until just combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans
- Transfer the batter to the prepared mini loaf pan, filling 6 holes most of the way up. If desired, sprinkle some extra chocolate chips over the tops of the uncooked loaves.
- Bake for 17 – 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs).
- Let the mini loaves cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooking rack. Store in an airtight container.
Blackstrap molasses: Use either light molasses (golden syrup) or maple syrup instead.
Pecans: Chopped walnuts or almonds would be ideal, otherwise add more chocolate chips.
Each hole in a mini loaf pan has approximately ¾ cup capacity