As the end of the traditional Midwest growing season is well past it’s prime, local farmer’s markets are providing customers with an array of cool weather vegetables. The unseasonably mild temperatures have helped zucchini, beets, and winter squash continue to grow.
Last week a co-worker filled a basket with end-of-the-season zucchini that she had picked from her garden. She placed the bountiful basket on the break room table to share with all. I quickly scooped up an armful so that I could make a few batches of zucchini quick bread. This is one of my favorite recipes. It’s moist and flavorful with lots of texture provided by the crunchy pecans and sweet California raisins. The recipe freezes well so I make quite a few loaves, wrap them and freeze them for gift giving or for a quick morning breakfast accompanied by a mug full of piping hot coffee.
Note: I sprinkle a tablespoon of wheat germ over each loaf before baking. This gives the loaves a crunchy topping and a boost of fiber.
Pecan and Raisin Zucchini Quick Bread
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons wheat germ
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease two 9×5″ loaf pans. In a large bowl, beat sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until well blended. In another bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and baking powder; gradually beat into sugar mixture, mixing just until moistened. Stir in zucchini, pecans and raisins.
Transfer to prepared pans. Sprinkle each loaf with 1 tablespoon of wheat germ (optional). Bake 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool.