Thursday, September 13, 2012

Zucchini Chocolate-Chip Walnut Loaf and Muffins

A few weekends back, Thomas and I made a trip out to his parent's house in Glen Valley. His parents grow a variety of herbs, vegetables and fruit on their property. Apart from some delicious blackberries and apples that we picked, his mom gave me a summer zucchini the size of about my arm. 

I've never been a big fan of zucchini, probably due to the fact that I don't really know what to do with it. So faced with a huge zucchini that I really didn't want to see go to waste, I decided to bake with it. My big inspiration was the vegan zucchini chocolate-chip muffins that are sold at JJ bean. Their muffins are moist, nutty, chocolate-y and delicious - so delicious that you forget that there is even zucchini in them! 

I found a recipe for a zucchini chocolate-chip loaf smitten kitchen which looked yummy, so I decided to give it a shot! 

Zucchini Bread
(I've made a few adjustments to the smitten kitchen recipe)

Yield: 2 loaves or approximately 24 muffins

3 eggs 
3/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup sugar 
3 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour (next time I would use a mixture of whole wheat flour and all-purpose) 
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus 1/3 cup to sprinkle on top
1 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour loaf pans and muffin tin. 

2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla.

3. Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt, as well as nuts, chocolate chips and/or dried fruit, if using. Stir this into the egg mixture. Divide the batter into prepared pans, or muffin tins. 

4. Bake loaves for 60 minutes, plus or minus ten, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 25 to 30 minutes.

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