It rained over the weekend for the first time in months.
And while we may whine about the rain during the dark winters in the PNW, we can also whine about the abundant sunshine in the summertime. (Life is hard, right?) After months of hot, sunny, sweat-your-way-to-the-grocery-store-weather, we had a glorious weekend of 70 degrees and pouring rain. And not that misty drizzle that everyone claims happens in Portland, but a full out, Kentucky summer rainstorm. A get-soaked-to-the-bone-on-your-bike-ride-downpour (luckily, rain is one of my favorite exercising conditions, so the bike ride was kind of awesome). A constantly-check-the-radar-because-surely-this-must-be-a-thunderstorm kind of rain (sadly, no thunder here). It was glorious and cozy and forced us to wear sweatpants and watch Sherlock all weekend long. That’s the dream.
And while I know it will be 100 degrees again just a few days from now, the cool rain makes me want to bake. So, bake, I did, finally delivering this zucchini bread recipe from our kitchen to yours.
Let’s call this zucchini bread what it is: moist. There’s no other (horrible) word to describe it. And it stays that way for days. You can bake this on a Sunday and enjoy it all week long. Part of that is because of the 2 heaping cups of zucchini, which means that eating a slice of this is like eating a 1/4 cup of vegetables, so there’s that. And part of that is the extra virgin olive oil and maple syrup. And dates. Did I mention that this bread is naturally sweetened? No refined sugar here, folks. Huzzah!
And we’re using whole wheat pastry flour, which keeps it kind of fluffy; but you can definitely substitute whole wheat flour if that’s what you have on hand. It will just produce a slightly denser loaf.
One of my least favorite kitchen duties is shredding things like carrots and zucchini for baked goods. But, in the greatest moment of kitchen enlightenment, I discovered that my beloved food processor can shred zucchini! In seconds! I’ll never go back to the hand grater.
And since this lovely loaf is packed with all that shredded zucchini, it’s wholesome enough to eat for breakfast, but tasty enough to serve as dessert. We’ve been eating it as mid-afternoon snacks before long workouts, or as a little sweet treat after dinner. It’s the all-occasion bread.
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 heaping cups shredded zucchini
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ⅔ cup pure maple syrup
- ⅔ cup skim milk (or whatever version of milk you enjoy)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup pitted and chopped dates
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare a loaf pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the shredded zucchini, olive oil, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla.
- Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until well combined. Stir in the chopped dates and pecans.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake 50-60 minutes, or until baked through.
- Once cooled, store in an airtight container for up to one week.
*There’s an affiliate link for my beloved food processor in this post, which I love and use all the time.