Zucchini is like that friend who calls you just a bit too often. When the relationship first starts up, you’re so excited! New, cute little zuke, nice little chit chat…and for a while you’re thinking: wow, this is so great! This relationship is so rewarding. And then, after eight weeks of being stalked incessantly by an unending wave of zucchini and pointless banter, you’re looking at the plants with barely concealed resentment and you’re checking caller ID before you pick up, cause you just…need…a…break.
My zucchini is finally slowing to a crawl. Good thing, too. I’d definitely reached the “How about I call you?” phase with my summer squash. I’ve been staring at a growing pile of zukes on my counter for the better part of two weeks. I’d diligently pick the new ones off the plants and add them to the pile. But somehow, I haven’t been able to bring myself to actually cook them for some time.
Yesterday, the time had come. I broke out the Cuisineart shredder disk and filled a huge bowl with shredded zucchini and patty pan squash. After I shred zucchini, I often toss it with sugar (for sweet uses) or salt (for savory uses) to draw out the ton of moisture that it holds. That extra moisture is why zucchini bread is often gummy. All the water from the squash messes up the moisture ratio of the batter as it’s baking.
You don’t have to be precise about the sugaring or salting – just add in enough to lightly coat the shreds and mix the whole thing up. Go easy on the salt so you don’t end up with something unusable.
I tossed this particular huge bowl of zuke with sugar and let it macerate overnight. Then, I dumped the shreds into a colander and drained off liquid equal to probably half the zucchini by weight. If, like my neighbor, you feel that all the nutrition is in the zucchini water, by all means add it to smoothies or soups. I just chuck it.
Once the zucchini was nicely drained, I made a humongo batch of Almond Zucchini Bread.
Triple Batch Almond Zucchini Bread.
For when you have a small mountain of zucchini to use up. Makes 3, 9×9 pans of bread, or about 4-6 loaf pans (depending on how deep you fill them) or about 4 dozen large muffins. Recipe can be halved or thirded (“Thirded”: real word! I Googled it!).
- 9 cups all purpose flour (substitute half whole wheat, if desired)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp cinnamon
- 9 eggs
- 3 cups oil or melted butter (I used olive oil)
- 6 cups sugar
- 1.5 cups yogurt OR scant 1.5 cups milk + a glug of apple cider vinegar to bring it to 1.5 cups
- 3 tbsp almond or vanilla extract (depending on how almondy you like it)
- 9 cups well drained, shredded zucchini
- 3 cups chopped almonds
Adjust your oven racks to the center, and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour your baking pans of choice. I used three 9×9 square pans, which necessitated periodic pan rotating to keep them baking evenly. Whatever works for you works for me.
Whisk the Dry Stuff together in a big (and I mean big) bowl. Mix the Wet Stuff together in a medium bowl. Dump the Wet Stuff into the Dry Stuff and stir everything together until combined.
Stir in the Add Ins.
Bake until done, about 20-25 minutes for muffins, 45 minutes to and hour or more for square and loaf pans, depending on how deep you fill them. Just check them every 10 minutes or so and when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, they are done.
Remove pans to a rack to cool for a few minutes, then turn out of pan and allow to cool completely. It you aren’t feeding an army, wrap well and freeze for several months.
Volume baking to deal with the last
burden bounty of zucchini
Eggs look spaceshipy and cool sinking under a few cups of oil.
A rainbow of eggshells.
Stirring together the batter and the mountain of zucchini.
Completed big batch of zucchini bread!3
Mmmm, those loaves look lovely. Thanks for making the recipe easy to reduce by one-third – I don't even need to break out the ol' calculator. 🙂
BTW, I made a batch of your Walnut Lemon Pesto yesterday – it came out great. I just wish I had a food processor, making it in the blender was a total pain in the arse! Delicious results, though.
This recipe is a keeper. For some reason, I love cooking in large quantities, which is ridiculous since I mostly just need to cook for one. Many years ago, while visiting the kitchen area of an out-of-service battleship, they had recipes posted for making massive amounts of mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, etc. It was my most favorite part of the tour. I must be nuts.
brenda from arkansas
I have had an over abundant yield of zucchini and yellow squash from my garden this summer, and so glad I found this recipe. I have made tons of zucchini bread over the years but this recipe is the absolute best. I made it in two long cake pans (takes a little longer to bake) but just fabulous. My husband and I shared it with friends and co-workers last week and it met with absolutely rave reviews!!!! Even had one gal say, “you should make this and sell it!!!” I did find myself making a couple of substitutions just because of ingredients I had. I did do the half and half with white flour and wheat flour (well actually about 5 cups of the white and 4 cups of the wheat), for the oil – I melted a stick of butter and topped it off with the oil to make the 3 cups, and for the yogurt I used a single serving container of the Chobani black cherry yogurt. Made one batch using the almonds and another batch using walnuts. This is really a great recipe. I actually am staying up here late tonight to make another batch this week!! Thank you!
Thanks so much for your kind comment! Glad you like the recipe. Anything I make pretty much is flexible so I’m glad you adapted for what you had on hand. Life is too short for fussy. Happy baking!
Andi Houston says
I don’t think I’ve ever made a zucchini bread without chocolate. I love almonds, though… I bet that combination is lovely.
Here’s my current favorite recipe:
I’ve added chocolate chips to this recipe – totally ok. 😉
I just wanted to say thanks for sharing this recipe! This is my first teat growing zucchini, and this recipe was so helpful. Now my husband helps me eat down our pile of zucchini (normally does not enjoy it very much)!
So glad you and your husband are enjoying!
Erica, I just made these muffins and they were phenomenal. Thank you for making the recipe so easy for conversion. I was ‘gifted’ a dozen zucchini and now, I don’t feel so burdened by the gift.
So glad you enjoyed! That gift can feel really heavy at times, eh? 🙂
Now if only I can find something to do with this ginormous pink banana squash I managed to grow!
The first couple were easy – we carved them up for Halloween. (That was fun!)
Matthew in L.A.
The first time I made this, I followed the maceration step but only drained about a cup or so of water. This time I skipped the maceration and it turned out just fine. Perhaps my zucchini is just lower water content?
Hey, this was really good. And considering that it laid waste to the teetering mountain of green on my counter, I’m feeling pretty much like I’ve won the zucchini battle. Maybe not the war, but definitely the battle. I used about a cup of butter and two cups of olive oil, subbed some ginger and nutmeg for cinnamon because I ran out, and didn’t use nuts because, well, I didn’t have any almonds and I was too lazy to chop the walnuts I did have. Inspired by your post about how awesomely 9×9 pans fit into gallon freezer bags, I used 4 9-inch cake pans, which also fit perfectly, BTW. They took about 65 minutes to bake and I removed when there were a few moist crumbs that stuck to the toothpick. Anyway, thanks for a great recipe.