Summertime! Warm days finished with flashes of lighting and loud cracks of thunder. Gem-colored petunias heavily scenting the air on my balcony, cascading in a riot of color over the railing. People splashing in the pool and the smells from the grill wafting gently up to tempt my tummy. And proliferate zucchini crowding the fridge as my plants go into high production in the hot summer heat.
It’s time for zucchini casseroles, stir-fried, grilled, lasagna, bread and any other creative ways that can be thought up for using up this over-zealous veggie from the garden. As I look around the community garden, I see I’m not the only one who is figuring out what to go with onslaught of summer squash. I’ve been more lucky than some because my plants seem to be producing more male flowers than female, so the amount of zucchini is less than many plants. Now I just need to time my visits correctly and harvest some of those extra blooms to make stuffed squash blossoms.I’ve felt the need for a little extra love and comfort lately, so decided to make the latest batch of zucchini into a spicy, gingerbread style zucchini bread. I have to be completely honest about the decision to make bread as well. A small part of it was made because I didn’t visit the garden for three days in a row, which gave the zucchini time to become giant-sized. Still zucchini bread is always perfect for sharing warmth and comfort and this recipe makes two loaves, so think about sharing with someone who might need a little yummy gingery hug.
Ginger-Spiced Zucchini Bread
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 dark molasses
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
Zest from 2 large lemons
4 cups shredded zucchini, squeezed in a towel to remove water
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour or use 1 1/2 cups all-purpose and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cardamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 cup nuts or dried fruit
Preheat oven to 325° F. Prepare 2 loaf pans by slightly greasing with butter, oil or non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine all the wet ingredients into a large bowl. Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
Fold the dry ingredient mix into the wet mixture, just until mixed. Do not over mix.
Fold any optional ingredients into the mixture before dividing the batter into the 2 prepared load pans.
Bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean.
Allow the loaves to completely cool in the pans before removing.
Serve immediately or wrap and store in the fridge. The baked loaves can also be frozen.