Thursday, August 25, 2016
Blueberry-Lemon Zucchini Bread
Another blueberry recipe? Really? Sorry not sorry. I look forward to blueberry season all year. Plus, this recipe incorporates Matthew's favorite vegetable, the humble zucchini.
Why does Matthew like zucchini so much? Frankly, I have no idea. We really struggled getting him to eat vegetables during the first few years of his life, but for some reason he really loves raw vegetables of all types right now. And I mean completely raw. Raw carrots, tomatoes, corn, squash, cucumbers, red bell peppers, he loves them all. However, if you cook any of those veggies or chop them up really small and throw them in a sauce or a salad, suddenly he grows suspicious. It makes no sense.
Right before we left Montana, Matthew helped Grandma Nistler harvest a very large zucchini from her garden. It was an impressively large zucchini and Matthew became so attached to it that he begged us to let him bring it on our car trip home so he could "eat some of it as a snack." We talked him out of it and, after a few parting kisses to his beloved veggie, he left it behind on Grandma's counter. I hope Grandma washed it really well after Matthew's hands and lips were all over it.
When we arrived home from our Montana trip, I was delighted to find that our neighbor had gifted us a very large zucchini from his garden. Some day, I will actually get up the courage to try growing my own zucchini. I would love to be one of those people who have an endless supply of zucchini and have no idea how to use it up. That would be the perfect problem to have, in my opinion. Matthew immediately wanted to slice it up and eat it but I told him that we were going to use it to make zucchini bread.
"Zucchini? In bread? That sounds like so not a good idea!" was Matthew's dejected response. Don't worry kid, you're going to like this. He watched me skeptically, his little nose wrinkled up in disgust, as I grated up his beloved zucchini, wrung it out slightly to remove some of the excess water, and then added it to my bread batter. This take on zucchini bread simply adds a bit of lemon and a generous amount of blueberries to the traditional batter. These loaves become more moist if you let them sit for a good day before eating. The lemon glaze on top is an absolutely perfect finish. The only alteration I made to the original recipe was to incorporate a hefty amount of lemon zest into the sugar before mixing it with the rest of the batter. I really wanted that lemon flavor to permeate the entire loaf of bread, not just the finishing glaze.
Everyone loved this bread and it was a noble use of half our zucchini supply. Even Matthew, my biggest critic, admitted that zucchini bread is pretty good stuff. He ate half a loaf in one sitting. And whatever zucchini I did not use in this recipe, I sliced into rounds and saved for his dinner and made him the happiest kid on the block.
Blueberry-Lemon Zucchini Bread
adapted slightly from The Recipe Critic
For the Zucchini Bread:
1 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2¼ cups white sugar
Zest of 1 large lemon
2 cups shredded zucchini, drained and squeezed in a dish towel to remove excess water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 pint fresh blueberries
For the Lemon Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Heavy Whipping Cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9x5 loaf pans. I also like to line the bottom with parchment paper.
Rub the sugar together with the lemon zest with a small bowl until the zest releases its oil and the sugar turns very fragrant. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, vanilla, and the lemon sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder,and baking soda in a separate bowl and then add it to the zucchini mixture. Stir until no flour remains. Gently fold in the blueberries. Pour into the prepared loaf pans.
Bake for 50-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (mine took closer to 65 minutes). Cool for 20 minutes in the pans before removing and transfering to wire racks to cool completely.
Once the bread has cooled, make the lemon glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, lemon juice, and heavy cream. Drizzle on top of the bread.