Monday, September 01, 2008

Happy September

Because Labor Day is on September 1 this year, I have to admit, I feel like we were cheated out of a few days of summer.

But happily the end of summer does bring some wonderful culinary pleasures. I promised Dave that over the next week or two he would grow so sick of heirloom tomatoes that he wouldn’t want to look at another one until next August. And I’m gorging Rosa on the “peachy peachy”s that she loves since she won’t have another one until next summer.

Another annual end of summer treat for us is zucchini bread. My mom made this quick bread when I was a kid, and my brother and I always loved it. It's sweet with a hint of cinnamon and a brown top crust that adds a bit of crunch to the chewy, almost gooey interior. But looking over the recipe a few years ago I was frankly APPALLED at how much sugar there was in it. I’ve made a few tweaks over the years (subbing in some whole wheat flour, reducing the sugar, and cutting back on the oil), but it’s just as good as I remember. I’ve made two batches so far and have enough zucchini for at least another two.

So clear a little room in your freezer and spend 15 minutes putting together the ingredients for this yummy zucchini bread.

Mom’s (Healthier) Zucchini Bread

3 eggs, well beaten
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 TB cinnamon
1 TB vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease three small loaf pans. I use PAM.
3. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Spread into the loaf pans.
4. Start checking the bread after 35 minutes. It may take up to 15 minutes more. It’s finished when a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Try not to overbake though!
5. Cool the breads in their pans for 15 minutes, then take them out of the pans and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

It’s a great snack and delicious for breakfast. I especially like it smeared with a little peanut butter (then again I like pretty much anything smeared with a little peanut butter).

So enjoy some now and thaw some later in the fall to taste summer again.

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