Quick Zucchini Oatmeal Bread

While most of you are busy creating deliciously crazy desserts with some of my most favorite summer fruits, I’ve been busying myself in the kitchen trying to make good use of our garden veggies.

So far, we’ve had fresh spinach salads, I have packaged frenched yellow beans, grated zucchini, and diced green and purple peppers for the freezer.  I’ve made sweet refrigerator pickles and preserved 4 quarts and 2 pints of dill pickles, and I still  have a quart of sweet banana peppers that I have to do something with.  And if that’s not enough, I made a chocolate zucchini cake, and of course, this deliciously moist zucchini bread.  Our garden is bountiful and I’m thankful.

This bread is awesome.  It’s not overly sweet and it’s super moist.  The oatmeal in it makes it slightly hearty and will leave you wanting just one more slice.  If you have an abundance of zucchini and you’re asking yourself what to do with it; this is the answer!

Quick Zucchini Oatmeal Bread

2 c. grated zucchini

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. granulated sugar

2/3 c. olive oil

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal

(Makes 4 mini loaves)

Grease mini loaf pans.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, add all ingredients except flour and oatmeal; mix with electric mixer.  Stir in flour and oatmeal and beat on medium speed until all ingredients are completely blended.  Pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake for about 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool completely in pans before removing. 

Do you have a garden?  Or, do you give the farmers market your business?

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

If you’ve ever grown a garden then you know all too well how quickly zucchini squash can take over your life.  This year we bought one little plant to put in our garden.  One little plant!  Five zucchini’s later, with more on their way, and I’m asking“what the he– are we going to do with all of this squash?”  We are still trying to get rid of bags of shredded zucchini in our freezer (from year’s past) by feeding it to our chickens.  And yet, we planted more?? 

Did I mention that I don’t really love zucchini either?  It is a veggie that (in my opinion) is pretty tasteless.  I’ve never known it to be the star of the show.  Spaghetti sauce makes it taste better, batter and butter make it taste better, and then of course there is chocolate which makes everything taste better. 

Optimal picking of zucchini is when they are small and don’t have gigantic seeds in them, similar to cucumbers, but you have to watch them closely because they can literally grow too big overnight.  I might add that I’m not always good at picking them in their prime either. 

The best way to use up those slightly bigger than you had planned on zucchini is to grate them up and make a nice bread or cake with them.  And that’s exactly why this Chocolate Zucchini Cake came about.

This cake is super easy to make.  It’s also super moist, on the sweet side, and the reason I skipped the frosting.  Other than seeing a fleck of green every now and then, you will even forget that there is squash in it.  If you have kids and want to sneak some veggies into their diet then this is one way of doing it.  Just maybe not the best way.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1 stick (1/2 c.) margarine, melted

1 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

3 eggs

1/2 c. sour cream

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

2 c. grated zucchini

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Generously grease a 16×10 cake pan.

Put all ingredients (except flour) in a large mixing bowl.  Mix thoroughly with electric mixer.  Add flour and mix completely.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.  Cool completely before cutting.  Sprinkle confectionary sugar on top and serve.

Any suggestions on how to use up all this zucchini?  What is your favorite zucchini recipe? 

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Summer Vegetable Bake

We have a small garden and some things grow successfully (like our cucumbers and radishes), and some things don’t grow well, or at all.  This year there is no sign of the green peppers we planted, or the brussel sprouts that I got all excited about growing.    So when our neighbor came over bearing yellow squash, zucchini, red onions and green bell peppers I graciously accepted them.         

      

I don’t think I’ve ever made anything with zucchini other than breads, or a chocolate zucchini cake.  This year I decided it was about time to live on the edge.  Maybe, I should actually use the vegetable in a vegetable dish – a novel idea.  And here it is – Summer Vegetable Bake.      

1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash and some baby carrots cubed – (approx 1 large) onion, diced – 1 green bell pepper – 1 tsp. Italian seasoning – fresh garlic, crushed -1/2 c. margarine -1 can of diced tomatoes – grated Parmesan cheese      

Bring the squash and carrots to a boil for 3 minutes in salt water and then drain.  Melt margarine in skillet.  Add onion, green pepper and garlic and simmer until soft.  Add diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning and squash to skillet.  Cook until mixed well, and tomatoes start to soften.  Pour into a greased baking pan and cover liberally with parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes (veggies should be tender but not mushy)       

Squash and carrots after bringing to boil

 

Onions, peppers and garlic cooking in skillet

 

All the veggies in the skillet

 

In the pan ready for the oven

 

Out of the oven

 

Served and ready to eat!

 

With all said and done I would have to say this is one light and tasty summer vegetable dish.  I’m not a vegetarian but with a dish like this I might change my mind.  No disappointments here.  Enjoy!