Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
I love to bake quick breads, and this summer, my uncle had an overabundance of zucchini, so I started looking for recipes for zucchini bread. I wish I had my grandmother's recipe -- hers was so good. This one isn't exactly like grandma's, but it is darn good. I've modified a Paula Deen recipe (trying to make it semi-healthy). The recipe below is the one I made with various substitutions to try to lower the fat content and to adjust for personal taste (like omitting the pecans -- I hate biting into chunks of nuts in otherwise soft foods). The recipe indicates 15 minutes of prep time, but that can't possible include the grating time for the zucchini. It felt like we spent hours grating zucchini. I used a rotary grater (like the kind often used to grate parmesan cheese directly onto your dish at an Italian restaurant), but about halfway through, my hand was giving out and we switched to the mini food processor to chop it up, and that worked just fine too. I did not peel the zucchini, but if you have an aversion to peels, or seeing little green flecks in your food, you can peel it first.
This recipe yields 2 9x5 inch loaves, or 5 mini loaves.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup honey (or you can omit the honey and increase the granulated sugar to 2 cups)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce (or you can omit the applesauce and increase the vegetable oil to 1 cup)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups grated zucchini (original recipe called for 2 cups)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used the mini sized chips and since I didn't add nuts, I used the whole package)
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1 cup chopped pecans (optional -- I did not use them)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease (2) 9x5-inch loaf pans or (5) mini loaf pans (usually 5x3-inch).
Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon & nutmeg
In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar and honey and continue beating until well blended. Stir in oil, applesauce, vanilla, zucchini, pecans (if using), chocolate chips and orange zest. Make sure everything is well mixed. Stir in sifted dry ingredients until just combined. (Don't overmix -- just mix until all the dry ingredients are moistened and no large lumps remain, some small lumps are okay). Pour into prepared loaf pans.
Bake for 50 minutes (mine took closer to a full hour) or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pans on cooling racks for about 5 minutes, then remove from pans and finish cooling. (I used glass pans for the large loaves and removed them from the pans to finish cooling. I used the disposable aluminum mini loaf pans and did not remove those from the pans for cooling).
The loaves freeze well -- I had one mini loaf that was in the freezer for 6 months and was still delicious when thawed. This recipe would also make delicious muffins.
I hope you enjoy!