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Emigrated from America to New Zealand and never looked back. Couldn't have asked for a better husband, family & life!

ZUCCHINI BREAD

ZUCCHINI BREAD

I love the smell of freshly baked holiday-style loafs and cakes, and this one is one of my all time favourites (right up there with bananna nut bread and carrot cake). There is just something about the sweet cinnamon & clove aromas that just say to me, "Thanksgiving is nearly here!" or, "Christmas isn't far off now!".

Kiwis don't celebrate Thanksgiving because it's really just an American tradition...or so I thought. Some of my formerly Canadian, now Kiwi, friends have pointed out that Canada actually has their own version as well. Good on 'em, I say!!! For those of you who don't really know what it means to us, it's basically a day to be thankful for all you have...your health, friends, family, and anything else you can think of. A common question I get regards gift-giving... We do not exchange gifts until Christmas, but usually the invitees bring something to go with the main holiday meal or else bring a dessert. Some folks bring salads or their favourite side dish, others bring the traditional pumpkin or pecan pies. The host usually roasts a stuffed turkey and mashed potatoes with gravy, however not being a huge turkey fan, I sometimes opt for a honey-baked style ham or a leg of lamb is nice provided it's prepared well.

In any case, for many Americans, Thanksgiving is just a test-run for holiday recipes before Christmas, as the feast is usually similar as are the guests often times. My grandmother was an amazing cook and came up with all sorts of goodies. Even when my family lived far away, we could always count on some christmas baking in the form of a black walnut & cinnamon Christmas tree-shaped stolen and some homemade fudge & divinity.

The loaf I made here, the Zucchini Bread, is a favourite with many Americans. To you Kiwis & Aussies out there unsure of what a zucchini is - you call them courgettes! This loaf is very similar to carrot cake or bananna bread, so don't be afraid to put veggies into your baking now and then.

In my own version here, I sometimes add carrots and various nuts (whatever I have in the pantry, usually), so this one was made with carrot and pistachios rather than only courgettes and/or walnuts. It's a thick batter and makes one large loaf or two medium loaves, so I usually split it into two just to keep my loaf pan from overflowing!


INGREDIENTS:

2 ½ Cups (315gm) High Grade Flour
1 ½ Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
½ Teaspoon Ground Cloves
¼ Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 ½ Cups (375gm) Sugar
¾ Cup Salad Oil
3 Eggs
2 Cups (500gm) Unpeeled Zucchini
1 Small/Med Carrot Peeled & Grated
1 Cup Finely Chopped Nuts
(Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds, or Pistachios work well)
1 ½ Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) oil-spray loaf pan (22 ½ x 12 ½ x 7 ½ cm) then line with baking paper cut to fit pan. (Baking paper is optional, but I found it very clean & easy to use.)

Sift together – Flour, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a separate mixing bowl, with heavy wooden spoon or electric mixer, combine the sugar, oil and eggs and beat until smooth.

Slowly add in sifted dry ingredients until well combined and smooth.

Now add grated zucchini and carrot, vanilla extract and nuts.

Bread will rise, so carefully pour batter into prepared loaf pan/s leaving approximately 1 cm of space at the top, then bake 60-75 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean (I cooked mine 70 minutes).

Allow the loaf to cool in the pan at least 10 minutes prior to turning out onto cooling rack/wire bread rack.

D├ęcor Ingredients (optional):

½ Teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ Cup Sugar
10 Walnut Halves
DECORATING IDEA:

If desired, before serving combine ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and ¼ cup of sugar.

Turn the loaf upside down to decorate edges with cinnamon sugar then use approximately 10 walnut halves to decorate the top.

This bread is lovely served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. It is also nice just served warm or cold with butter or margarine.

Enjoy!

1 Thoughts & Remarks:

Cheryl said...

Looks good chica, I just made zuchinni bread for the first time this summer, my neighbor gave me a buttload of it!