If you’re looking for a way to enjoy all your zucchini this summer, this sweet zucchini bread recipe will come to your rescue. Made with some simple pantry ingredients, your entire family will love how moist this sweet zucchini bread is. The bread also freezes well in case you find yourself having to make more than one batch.
Every year zucchini plants are the first item to go on my list when planning my summer garden. I’ve learned the hard way that I really only need 2 or 3 plants, and I’ll still have plenty to share with friends and family. I do enjoy the challenge of using up all that zucchini. Especially if it means making this sweet zucchini bread recipe.
Tips for Growing Zucchini
Sometimes called summer squash, zucchini are renown for producing more than you are expecting. Pick the zucchinis regularly to ensure that the plant continues to produce zucchini. When planting your zucchini, allow each plant to have about 3 feet of space to grow. Clip off the larger leaves along the base of the plant to encourage it to continue to grow. If the leaves start to overlap with the plants beside it, simply remove them to give more space to grow. If you see some leaves turning white, remove these leaves immediately to prevent the powder mildew from transferring to other leaves.
Depending on the length of your growing season, I recommend starting your seeds indoors 2-4 weeks before the last frost. Seedlings are usually available at local nurseries as well. When transferring the seedlings into a sunny spot in your garden, build up a hill of soil around the base of the plant to allow for drainage. Add compost and other organic matter into the soil before placing the plant in the soil
Layer mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and keep the roots cool.
Water zucchini frequently giving one good watering each week. Apply at least an inch of water so it penetrates the soil. Fertilize occasionally (once a month) to help with growth.
Hand pollinating Zucchini Plants
You will see zucchini plants have far more male flowers than female flowers. While the bright yellow blossoms should attract the bees to help with pollination, you can also take nature into your own hands. Select a male flower and remove the surrounding petals. These petals are edible so you can enjoy a snack while you are pollinating. Gently brush the anthers of the male flower on the stigma of the female flowers. The female flowers will have a zucchini forming under it for easy identification. You can also notice a difference between the anthers and stigmas (see below).
Harvesting your zucchinis
Zucchini becomes seedy as it grows so harvest them young for best results. If you leave for the weekend and come home to one the size of a baseball bat, this is an ideal candidate to use to make this sweet zucchini bread recipe.
Use a sharp knife to cut the zucchini off the plant, leaving an inch of the stem attached to the zucchini. You can store the zucchini for up to 10 days in the fridge.
Do you have to peel zucchini to make zucchini bread?
I only recommend you peel your zucchini if it’s very large and has a tough skin to it. Otherwise the skin is soft and tender and packed with extra nutrients. Some people are discouraged from trying zucchini bread because of the small green flecks they see in the bread. If this is the case, I tend to peel my zucchini. So while you do not need to peel your zucchini, you may want to take these points into consideration.
Can you shred zucchini and freeze it?
When you’re faced with too much zucchini, it’s easy to shred up any excess zucchini and store it in the freezer for another day. Here are some tips:
- Shred your zucchini using the large grater on your box grater. If you have a lot of zucchini and have access to a food processor with the grater, I highly recommend you use it. It makes quick work of the zucchini. Make sure you remove any mature seeds from the inside of the zucchini if you have a large zucchini. Transfer the grated zucchini to a strainer for about 20 minutes to remove any excess liquid.
- Portion the shredded zucchini into plastic bags. This will make it easier to use when you’re going to use it in recipes later on. I suggest freezing it into 1 cup portions. I like to use the little snack sized baggies then store those in a larger freezer bag. Try to remove as much of the air out of the bag as possible.
- Label your freezer bag with the date and store it in your freezer. Simply defrost your zucchini overnight in the fridge when you are ready to use it. There will be a lot of liquid released from the zucchini while defrosting it. Discard this liquid before using the zucchini in your recipe.
I love to keep extra shredded zucchini in the freezer to make this sweet zucchini bread recipe throughout the winter.
Looking for some other zucchini recipes?
- Mexican Ground Beef Zucchini Skillet
- Taco Zucchini Boats
- Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches with Goat Cheese & Pesto
- Rainbow Vegetable Chicken Bowls
Sweet Zucchini Bread
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup grated zucchini peeled, seeded
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 4x8 loaf pan with cooking spray or butter. Set aside.
Grate your zucchini using a box grater. Peel and seed the zucchini if it’s a large zucchini. Transfer the zucchini to a colander. Set it aside for about 20 minutes to drain excess liquid from the zucchini.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vegetable oil. Add in the vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Stir together.
Add the zucchini to the bowl and stir everything together until well incorporated.
Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan.
Cook in the preheated oven for about 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
Transfer the pan to a baking rack to cool for about 10 minutes before removing the loaf. Allow the loaf to cool completely on the baking rack.
Tip: wrap zucchini bread in plastic food wrap to keep fresh on counter for up to 5 days. Optional: Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips to loaf along with zucchini
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