Gotta love a good zucchini bread. Green and white ribbons of vibrant summer zucchini, packed with vitamins and fiber, hidden within sweet batter and then baked up light and fluffy.
The zucchini itself contributes a slight sweetness, added moisture and a boost of nutrition, making zucchini breads like these a great way to take advantage of a bumper crop of summer squash—and sneak green vegetables past picky eaters.
Here are three creative new takes on classic zucchini bread for keeping things fresh all summer long.
A perfectly decadent quick bread, this recipe highlights the rich and earthy flavors of cocoa, cinnamon and vanilla—and gets a bit of extra texture and crunch, courtesy of chopped walnuts. Fresh zucchini acts as a solid “get-out-of-guilt-free card,” but for an even more nutritious serving, try substituting up to half of the all-purpose flour for whole-wheat flour.
Practically made for summer, this particular bread takes its cues from the sweet, tropical flavor of pineapple—canned or fresh—and gets an extra health kick from an entire cup of wheat germ, an excellent source of Vitamin E, folic acid and essential fatty acids. The recipe yields three loaves, so it’s perfect for large groups. However, if you expect to have your fill after a single loaf (though we wouldn’t be so sure), any left-overs will freeze nicely for a rainy day.
This rendition, featuring a generous dose of fresh lemon, translates beautifully into miniature form, be it muffins or mini loaves. And since this particular batter freezes well, it becomes a quick go-to for gifts and quick-fix breakfasts and snacks. As if that weren’t enough, this recipe has no added sugar, but rather relies on a hint of vanilla and maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.
—By Alissa Harb