Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Zucchini Bread with Candied Ginger

I'm an avid Farmer's Market shopper; and being one requires me to eat with the seasons. Which means that for the majority of the year, I eat whatever produce is locally in season at the time. Practically, what this looks like is weeks of eating a certain vegetable, say zucchini, in creatively different ways as to not get bored or tired of eating the same thing.

Last year I came across this cookbook that nearly called out my name from the shelf. It's perfect for my eating lifestyle. Called Eating Local, it highlights great recipes that help to make the most out of the local produce that is available at the farmers markets or through a CSA subscription. This is where I found this amazing recipe for zucchini bread; it has since become my very favorite.

Don't be scared off with the addition of the candied ginger, it really makes this bread into an almost gourmet experience. I find candied ginger at my local Fred Meyer. There's a brand called Naturally Preferred that they carry in the "healthy food" section that I like the best, but any will do.

Makes two 8 inch loaves

3 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup minced candied ginger
3 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
(For a variation, try 1 cup grated carrot and 1 cup grated zucchini. It's just as tasty and more colorful.)

Preheat oven to 325°. Grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.

Sift the flour before measuring. With a wire whisk, sift together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl. Then stir in the candied ginger.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until light and foamy. Add the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk vigorously until the sugar dissolves. Then whisk in the zucchini (or the zucchini and carrots if doing that variation.)

Add the dry ingredients all at once to the egg mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon just until blended. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans.

Bake for about one hour, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out loaves from the pans and leave them to finish cooling, right side up, on the rack.

Loaves should keep well, wrapped in plastic or wax paper, for about 3 days.

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