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Friday, July 31, 2009

Eat the Seasons - Nuke the Zuke

When you grow zucchini, even a single plant, you get inundated with the stuff. A great way to use the bounty is in zucchini bread.

Maybe you're like me, though, and absolutely hate to fire up the oven on hot summer days. One option is to grate zucchini and freeze it in bags to use later like, say, winter. (Pick portion sizes that match the quantities in your recipes.)

Or, you can keep your cool with baked goods by using your microwave. Truly!

I used my favorite zucchini bread recipe, which makes two loaves. I have silicone loaf pans (which are great for the microwave and my preference for this recipe), but I also tested this in a glass loaf pan. Silicone pans do not need to be greased; glass should either be lined with wax paper or greased and floured.

The method for micrwave quick breads is as follows: Do one loaf at a time. If using a glass loaf dish, place on inverted microwave-safe saucer or small plate. Cook at medium power (50 percent) for nine minutes, rotating pan a quarter turn every three minutes if you don't have a turntable. Then cook at full power for 7-10 minutes. Check for any "wet" spots in the center after 7 minutes, and cook in minute increments if needed. You don't want any unbaked batter in the center. Watch closely, as the loaf can go from done to overdone quickly. (The glass pan cooked faster.) Let stand 5-10 minutes, and remove from pan.

Despite cooking the two loaves separately, this still was faster than the hour they would have spent in the conventional oven -- and the hours it would take for my house to cool back down.

Combine:

3 eggs
1 cup total of oil and applesauce -- I like to use 1/2 cup of each
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Sift together:
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon cinnamon (yep, 1 whole Tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Add sifted dry ingredients to zucchini mixture and stir well.

If using microwave, follow directions above.

If using conventional oven, place in two greased and floured loaf pans, and bake at 325 degrees for one hour.

What's in season (from here until the end of summer!): zucchini

~ Jennifer

5 comments:

marisa said...

We have 8 Zucchini sitting in our fridge right now. Great idea.

marie said...

any idea how you'd adapt this to cook this in muffin pans instead of a loaf? I don't have silicon loaf pans, only silicone muffin trays - but I'd love to try this!

Saren said...

Thank you so much! It is a great idea & will save heat from the oven and then the A/C trying to compensate for it!

:)

Jennifer said...

Marie, for muffin cooking I'd suggest cutting the time in half (maybe more!) So do about 4 minutes at 50 percent power, then cook on full power a minute at a time afterwards, checking for wet spots in center after each minute. I'd say to fill the muffin cups half full. Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

Saren said...

Made it yesterday, turned out really well. With the glass loaf pan 7 minutes was by far enough. May have been able to get by w/ 6 minutes.

Thank you so much for the instructions!