Monday, August 25, 2008

What to do with all that zucchini...

It's zucchini time! I've been trying new recipes and as you can see, the results are great!

I think the zucchini is an amazing vegetable because it is so productive and fruitful. People start giving away zucchini just like they do tomatoes because they run out of ideas for using it and they get tired of it. When we walked through the vegetable exhibits last week at the fair the vegetable "guard" was sitting at a table with a sign that said, "Free Zucchini." How could I resist? This is my first year growing zucchini and the poor plant has had to put up a tough fight against the overshadowing tomato and the intrusive cucumber. So let's just say I haven't picked a single zucchini.

When I got home I started looking for healthy baked-goods recipes my little family could enjoy. Cooked zucchini isn't a favored dish in our house. It doesn't matter how many seasonings I add, it's still zucchini to my husband. Here are two recipes we've tried:

1. Zucchini Bread


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups shredded zucchini (12 ounces)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through baking soda) in a large bowl.

Combine egg substitute and next 4 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl; add sugar, stirring until combined. Add zucchini; stir until well combined. Add flour mixture; stir just until combined. Stir in walnuts.

Divide batter evenly between 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

Yield 2 loaves, 12 servings per loaf (serving size: 1 slice)

CALORIES 150(26% from fat); FAT 4.3g (sat 0.4g,mono 2g,poly 1.6g); IRON 1mg; CHOLESTEROL 9mg; CALCIUM 21mg; CARBOHYDRATE 25.3g; SODIUM 96mg; PROTEIN 2.7g; FIBER 0.6g

Found here on the Cooking Light website.

2. Chocolate Zucchini Cake


Cooking spray
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
2 cups shredded zucchini
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
8 teaspoons fat-free milk
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cake, coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; dust pan with 1 tablespoon flour.

Place sugars, cream cheese, and vegetable oil in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Lightly spoon 2 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour and next 5 ingredients (2 1/2 cups flour through cinnamon) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in zucchini, 2/3 cup chocolate chips, and nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

To prepare glaze, combine 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons cocoa in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Combine milk, 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, coffee, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in a 1-cup glass measure. Microwave at medium 45 seconds or until chocolate melts, stirring after 20 seconds. Combine powdered sugar mixture with chocolate mixture, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over cake.

Yield 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

Nutritional Information

CALORIES 281(30% from fat); FAT 9.5g (sat 2.4g,mono 4.2g,poly 2.4g); IRON 2.2mg; CHOLESTEROL 27mg; CALCIUM 96mg; CARBOHYDRATE 45.6g; SODIUM 241mg; PROTEIN 6.6g; FIBER 2.6g

Found here on the Cooking Light website.

We've enjoyed both of these recipes, and I think it's great that neither of them contain much vegetable oil. I froze one loaf of zucchini bread for a rainy day, and I may end up freezing some of the cake - I'm just not sure how the glaze will hold up. I hope your family can enjoy some healthy zucchini baked goods! Here are a couple more recipes from Common Sense With Money that I plan on trying once our zucchini is ready to pick.

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