During my first few years of college, I worked seasonally in a small but busy bakery in my parents’ home town who needed extra help around most of the major holidays. Although getting to work at 2:30 am and scooping out hundred pound batches of uncooperative dough was challenging, we had a lot of fun too; I particularly enjoyed listening to reggaeton (Spanish language rap) and silly pop music from Spain with my awesome early-morning co-worker before we opened. We made a ton of amazing breads, but my favorite that I saw there was definitely this chocolate zucchini bread. What I enjoy the most, aside from the delicious flavor of course, is how unique the idea is!
I tend to make this zucchini bread more frequently in the summer when zucchini are cheap and friends and neighbors are trying to get rid of the stuff. I wasn’t able to have a garden this year, with moving up to Tahoe and its challenging climate for vegetable growing, but I did get a few pounds on sale at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago and shredded it and froze it in 2 cup portions in zipper bags. Actually, freezing is the strategy that I use for almost all of the summer produce I can’t can or pickle. For things that I want to have not in one big clump I freeze them on a sheet tray then transfer to a zip top bag. For ingredients that I will use in small portions, like hot peppers, I freeze them in an ice cube tray so that I have approximately 2 Tbs portions. Lastly, if I’m lucky enough to get a good deal on meat or have a good day fishing I’ll bust out my food sealer.
Currently hanging out in my very full freezer are bags of sweet corn, cubes of jalapenos, blackberries ready for pie and cobbler, mixed fruit for sangrias, and a jar or two of pesto. Canned up in my pantry are roasted peppers, Mexican escabeche pickled veggies, blackberry jelly and preserves, pears in lavender syrup, preserved strawberries, strawberry syrup, a little applesauce (hopefully more to come as my fireman promised me a fall time date to Apple Hill!!!) and spicy tomatillo salsa. I love preserving summer’s yummy flavors to brighten up the chilly winter months, and since this will be my first winter in the snow, I think I’m going to need it…
While the sun is still shining, soak it up, enjoy the last few days at the beach, and make yourself a loaf of this sweet and chocolatey zucchini bread!
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
One loaf costs approx $2.09
(*note, I weighed out a cup of flour to be approximately 5 oz and a cup of sugar to weigh approximately 7 oz, but it’s just a guess because measuring by weight is always more accurate, so use the scale if you have one!!!*)
- 7oz or 1 1/4 cups All Purpose flour ($.24)
- 1/2 oz 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- pinch cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- 2 large eggs ($.20)
- 1 1/4 cup sugar, plus 1/4 more for coating the pan ($.35)
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil ($.50)
- 1 cup shredded zucchini ($.30)
- 1 tsp vanilla flavoring – extract or imitation, whatever you have on hand
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips ($.25)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix all the first six ingredients. Mix all the remaining ingredients separately. Combine the two sets of ingredients just until incorporated. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray (or maybe save your butter wrapper papers and rub it down with that. Thrifty cooks are always thinking!) and pour in the reserved 1/4 cup of sugar and coat the entire surface of the pan. This gives your quickbreads a crunchy and sweet outer crust. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. *Remember, I live at 6,500 ft elevation so your baking time might be different from mine!*