Zucchini bread is an underrated but delicious treat that gets a bad rap for being made out of a vegetable. However, it’s just as good as any other baked good that just so happens to be a bit healthier than most.
Making zucchini bread is quite simple and can be customized to your liking. Once it’s done and out of the oven, however, you may be tempted to eat the entire loaf.
If you’ve got any ounce of self-control though, you’ll want to pack it up and save it for later. Here, we want to make sure you do so properly so that your zucchini bread lasts as long as possible.
Storing Zucchini Bread
The best way to go about storing zucchini bread is to wrap it up as tightly as possible in either cling wrap or aluminum foil. To keep it extra fresh, you may even want to throw it into a resealable plastic bag.
Another alternative would be to store your zucchini bread in an airtight container. If you somehow manage to get your zucchini bread to last longer than three days, you should stick it in the fridge to make sure it stays fresh.
If you are planning on making your zucchini bread last longer, you can always freeze it. This is a great way to make more than one loaf at a time to save for later. To freeze zucchini bread, be sure to first wrap it in plastic wrap or foil and then place it inside a resealable bag.
If you would rather store your zucchini bread in slices, be sure to wait until your bread has cooled down before slicing it up and then double wrapping each piece individually before placing it into the freezer. Be sure to wrap your bread as tightly as possible to prevent it from drying out.
When you’re ready to eat it, simply thaw it out and eat it as is or heat it up in the toaster and slab on some butter!
Health Benefits of Zucchini Bread
Due to how delicious it can be, it may be hard to believe that zucchini bread can be healthy. But the good news is that it is. Unlike other desserts and baked goods, zucchini bread is low in fat and is healthy for your heart.
This is obviously due to the fact that it has zucchini in it, which has tons of vitamins such as vitamin K, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, and potassium in it.
While some people may prefer to bake with a peeled zucchini, leaving the peel on is much healthier because you’re getting extra nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are great for promoting healthy vision.
Aside from the zucchini itself, there are many other ingredients that go into zucchini bread that make it even more healthy. Applesauce for instance, is a great way to keep your zucchini bread moist without it adding any excess sugar to it.
Although many zucchini bread recipes call for the use of all-purpose flour you can always substitute it with wheat flour, which makes for a much healthier alternative. Wheat flour will also add more vitamins and magnesium to your zucchini bread.
Zucchini Bread Recipe
Zucchini bread is quite easy to make and requires about the same amount of work as a regular loaf. The ingredients you will need include flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, vegetable oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, an egg, vanilla extract, and shredded zucchini.
You want to first start out by shredding your zucchini, preferably with the peel still on it. While doing this you also want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F as well as grease up your loaf pan.
Take all of your dry ingredients and mix them up into a large bowl. In another bowl you’ll want to mix in your wet ingredients before combining both bowls together. Be sure that while you are combining the ingredients, you aren’t over mixing and you are instead lightly whisking them in.
As soon as your batter has been mixed in, you can then pour it into your loaf pan and then place it into the oven for 55 minutes. A good tip to keep in mind is to place a piece of tin foil over the pan to prevent the top of your bread from getting brown.
Cooking times may vary especially toward the end, so keep a close eye when you are baking your zucchini bread. You’ll know when it’s done if you insert a toothpick in and it comes out clean.
Zucchini bread is great because you can customize it to your liking. If you want it to be on the sweeter side, you can add chocolate chips to it. If you want an extra crunch to it, walnuts would also be a great addition.
An important thing to take note of when cooking with zucchini is to make sure you are blotting any excess moisture off of it. However, you don’t want to rid the zucchini entirely of it. Blotting it with a paper towel will simply remove any extra water that may have come from washing the zucchini.
If you want something a bit more delectable than just plain zucchini bread, you can also try to make a zucchini crumb cake. It can be eaten for breakfast, dessert, or even just as a snack.
For this recipe, the ingredients you’ll need include flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, sugar, an egg, salt, vanilla extract, and of course your zucchini.
To make the top of the cake, which should be a crumble, you will need: flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Before you start doing anything, be sure to preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease your pan.
You want to first get to work on the crumb topping, so you’ll need to mix in the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter together. Be sure to mix in the melted butter last and do so slowly to avoid it from getting too floury.
After that’s done you can start on the cake portion of the recipe. This involves mixing together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl together.
In another bowl take butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla extract along with your zucchini, which should have already been shredded.
Then combine the two bowls – dry and wet ingredients, and mix them all together. Pour the batter into your greased pan and add the crumb topping to it. Then, leave it to bake for about 35 to 40 minutes.
Again, you’ll want to use a toothpick to make sure the cake is cooked all the way through before taking it out of the oven.
Make sure that you let your zucchini cake cool entirely before you dig in because slicing it while it’s still hot can cause it to crumble. Be sure that you cover your cake if there are any leftover slices. If you want to keep it fresh, store it in the fridge.
Benefits of Baking with Zucchini
Many people may scoff at the sound of zucchini bread, but in actuality zucchini bread doesn’t actually taste much like zucchini at all. In fact, zucchini bread can be sweet and nutty depending on the kind of ingredients that you use in it.
A lot of bakers like to use zucchini when baking because of the amount of moisture it has in it without having to sacrifice flavor. Zucchini is mild in flavor as it is, and that flavor is further muted when it’s baked in with other more powerful ingredients such as nutmeg and cinnamon.
Zucchini can also be found in excess during the summer months when it is at its peak, so some people may get carried away when purchasing it. If you find you’re running out of ways to use it, simply mix it into your bread!
Keeping Your Zucchini Bread Moist
As mentioned earlier, zucchini is a great way to add in extra moisture to your baked goods. If you want to ensure extra moisture in your bread, however, simply use shredded zucchini instead of slicing it up with a knife or throwing it into a food processor.
If you want to do the opposite, however, you can always put the shredded zucchini into a strainer or colander and lightly squeeze it to make sure you get rid of any excess water. Don’t forget to pat it dry when that’s done.
Other Types of Vegetable Breads
Zucchini bread isn’t the only type of bread that you can make using vegetables. Perhaps one of the other more common forms of vegetable bread is carrot cake or bread. This is made in a similar way as zucchini bread but uses slightly different ingredients.
Like the zucchini, carrots tend to offer up a lot of moisture in cakes, which is why a lot of bakers use it in their recipes. If you’re looking for a great carrot cake recipe, let it be this one.
For this recipe you will need two eggs, a cup of sugar, vegetable oil, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, carrots, and walnuts.
Be sure to start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and then you can begin to beat your eggs. Once the eggs are done, you can mix in the sugar, vegetable oil, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and continue to mix well.
Your shredded carrots and walnuts should be the last thing that go into your mix. Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan and then place it in the oven to bake for about an hour. Again, the best way to find out whether or not your bread is done is to insert a toothpick into it.
If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done cooking. If not, you need to place it back into the oven for a few more minutes, being sure to check on it every once in a while. Be sure to leave your cake to cook before cutting into it.
In terms of storing, follow the same instructions given to store the zucchini bread. It can be left out for a couple of days but if you still have bread leftover, be sure to wrap it up tightly before placing it in the fridge.
Although not technically a vegetable, avocados are also a great ingredient to throw into your baking to make it healthy. Thanks to the consistency of avocados, your brownies will end up tasting decadent and fudgy, which is always a good combination when baking.
For this particular recipe, you will need an avocado, two eggs, coconut sugar, maple syrup, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, unsweetened cocoa powder, almond flower, espresso powder, baking soda, kosher salt, and semisweet chocolate chips.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a pan with parchment paper. The avocado, eggs, coconut sugar, maple syrup, butter, and vanilla will then need to go into a food processor where they will need to be blended together. When the mix is smooth, add in the chocolate chips, cocoa powder, almond flour, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt.
When your batter is ready to go, pour it into the pan that you lined with parchment paper, and add in a few chocolate chips to the top of the batter. Then, put it in the oven to bake for about half an hour.
Whether it be zucchini bread, carrot cake, or avocado brownies, it is safe to say that the best method for storing involves a lot of plastic wrap or aluminum foil, a resealable plastic bag, and your fridge or freezer.
For the most part, baked goods can stay on your counter for a few days, but after that, they should be stored in the fridge to keep them fresh for as long as you can.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.