Dairy free quick breads are crowd-pleasers.
Do you need a snack for your next meeting? Something quick to make for staff appreciation at school? This dairy free quick bread recipe freezes beautifully and can be baked in various shapes. Plus – what else are you planning to do with all that zucchini?
How it all started: In the Garden
Do you have a green thumb? Do plants and flowers flourish in your presence? Or do you have the opposite of a green thumb, like I do? I am the daughter of a man who grew up on a farm in India and a woman who prefers plants and flowers over pets, television, and – when we were young and tiring – her children. It seems to have skipped a generation. There are very few plants that I have cared for that I have with any success.
But there is one plant that I raised with astounding success. More than ten years ago – and that’s only because I can picture my children as small beings – I grew a zucchini plant that was almost mythical in nature. I cared for it haphazardly at best. At times forgetting it was even there for a week or more at a time. After one of these long hiatuses, I took a peek at it and found a zucchini tucked under the leaves that had grown to be significantly larger than my upper arm. It’s diameter was greater than a softball bat – and it was probably half the length of one.
This giant squash was not alone. All summer long that plant pumped out squash (though I was more conscientious after that and didn’t let any others get quite that big!) We became the proverbial people doorbell-ditching our friends and neighbors with bags and boxes of zucchini.
What to do with all that zucchini?
But it was this giant specimen that sent me rifling through my recipes – looking for ideas to use the bumper crop. When my recipe (yes, an actual box at the time!) didn’t yield anything, I called my mom. She had just the thing: this old-school 1970’s era quick bread recipe that I have found to be endlessly adaptable.
For years, I made it with a mixture of zucchini (or other summer squash) and carrots, usually omitting the raisins because of my picky kids. Then a few years ago, I ended up with two giant warehouse-club size boxes of blueberries. So I figured, why not throw them in the recipe instead of the raisins? Not only does this bring a touch of blueberry-muffin-goodness to your zucchini bread, it also helps the bread stay even moister, especially on day two. (If you live in a particularly warm or humid climate, I would recommend storing in the refrigerator, however.)
This recipe will make two standard loaf pans, or several smaller loaves or muffins. (What is *not* recommended is to put the entire recipe in ONE loaf pan (#TwoHoursLater!) You can serve these muffins at brunch, bring them to a bake sale (when we have those again!), or wrap them up for a porch drop off. If you have ever considered porch-dropping your giant zucchinis themselves, loaf of zucchini bread is typically much more welcomed!
And if you really can’t keep up with your squash plants over the summer, then run extra zucchinis (and carrots if you’d like) through the grater disk on your food processor. Freezer the shreds (and any liquid they release) in two-cup portions and you’ll be ready to have either these two quick breads year round.
- 3 eggs beaten
- 1 cup oil
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cups zucchini and/or carrot peeled and shredded
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups flour sifted
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 orange zested
- 1 cup raisins and/or nuts, or blueberries (fresh or frozen) optional
- Combine eggs, oil, and sugar with mixer.
- Stir in zucchini (and carrot if desired), and vanilla.
- Sift together dry ingredients and add to batter.
- Lastly stir in zest, and raisins and/or nuts or blueberries if desired.
- Bake at 325 for 50-60 minutes in 2 greased loaf pans.
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Best Blueberry Muffins: A Great Brunch Addition