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Whole wheat chocolate zucchini bread

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I know. It's like something your grandmother makes in the morning after she walks with her friends along the Mississippi River. Brings to church for coffee time. And who wants to look at those big zucchini that sell for fifty cents at the St. Paul Farmer's Market? We like petite, tender zucchini no bigger around than a quarter. Wait, did you say fifty cents? Yepper. Fifty coppers. Two quarters. Ten nickels. A dollar bill cut in half (not.) What kind of food can you buy for fifty cents?

For some reason, no one particularly wants these gargantuan squashes and at the end of the summer you can grab them for nearly nothing. Well, maybe for nothing as well if you've a gardening neighbor, co-worker, or friend. And while they're also great shredded, mixed up with egg, parmesan and a little red pepper (fried up, naturally--recipe link at bottom), they do make wonderful tea bread even if you don't drink tea. Work in some whole wheat flour and chocolate for your heart, a bit of fruit for taste and texture, nuts for protein and you've got something a little more tasty and healthy for that break from raking the yard. Wait, you're not raking yet. Ask anyone, it's still summer. Even in St. Paul.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Zucchini Bread makes 2 9x5 loaves or a lot of muffins to freeze for breakfast

  • 2 1/2 cups grated zucchini (squeeze the shredded zucchini in a cotton towel until dry)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 t almond extract
  • 3/4 cup ea white sugar and brown sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t cinnamon (I like Vietnamese)
  • 1/4 t each ground cloves and nutmeg (or try cardomom in place of cloves)
  • 1/3 cups each raisins and chopped dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup each semi-sweet chocolate chips and chopped, toasted walnuts or almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9x5 loaf pans.

  1. In a large bowl, mix together zucchini, oil, applesauce, eggs, almond extract and sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together (or sift) flours, soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  3. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just barely combined. Add dried fruit, chocolate and nuts and stir well.
  4. Spoon batter into two greased and floured 9x5 pans.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes until tester comes out nearly clean and bread springs back when touched gently in the middle. Let cool in pans on racks for 10-15 minutes. Turn bread out and cool on racks.
  6. Lovely as is or with cream cheese. Store tightly wrapped on counter for 2-3 days or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and foil for up to 3-4 months in the freezer.

For more info:

Growing my own squash in Minnesota. I don't even want to pay fifty cents, thank you.

Mine's so good I'm entering it in the fair next year

Chocolate is good for your heart. Read about it at webmd.

Tim Curry sings "The Zucchini Song" on SNL in 1981

Make a fried zucchini patty for dinner tonight or 3 coffee cup zucchini muffins

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