Ah, it’s Labor Day weekend and that means it’s almost the end of summer. I cling to these days. In Seattle we usually don’t get true summer weather until the middle of August, so we feel like we need to soak up the sun as much as we can before it’s gone again. And, when Seattle gets summer, it is perfect. Hot-ish but with a cool breeze. No humidity. Apparently our summers are “Mediterranean” summers, which means hot and dry. It’s kind of weird–we often even get a drought during the summer, which people never believe since it’s Seattle.
Years ago, we bought some rain barrels, thinking we would save rainwater to water our garden. As it turns out, rain barrels aren’t effective in this climate. They overflow during most of the year because it’s so rainy, and then during the time of year (now) when we need the water, there is no rain. LOL. At one point dAhub rigged up a situation where our bath water was piped out of the bathroom window into a rain barrel. We felt so virtuous by watering our garden with our grey water–just like my family did when I was growing up in California. But, it wasn’t really that effective and we eventually stopped. Now the rain barrels are just decorative elements under the downspouts. Sigh.
Anyway, now is the time for the last hurrah of fresh fruits and vegetables. And it’s major summer squash season. Unlike many people, I love zucchini and never tire of it. I grew up eating zucchini and it’s been a staple in my life ever since. I just steam it and top it with a dab of butter and a bit of salt. And Girlfriend seems to have gotten this love of zucchini from me. When she was a baby, we cooked and mashed zucchini for her almost every day, and froze much more for the rest of the year–and she couldn’t get enough. And it’s the same now. On the other hand, dAhub finally admitted to me that he can’t take too much of it. It’s just not his favorite. So, I haul home bunches of zucchini from the farmers market for me and Girlfriend. And I look for other ways to make it for dAhub. I mix it into spaghetti sauce, which is always a winner, and it’s terrific in soup.
As you can imagine, zucchini bread is high on the list of ways to use zucchini. Anytime I can insert baking into the situation, I will do it! I have a zucchini bread recipe that I’ve been using for years that we all love. But this summer, I got the hankering for zucchini bread with even more chocolate. And Girlfriend got her wisdom teeth out last week (she had a fifth wisdom tooth growing on top of the the other ones and her orthodontist said they all had to go). So, she’s been recovering this past week. Because she couldn’t eat much other than mushed up veggies and fruit and and applesauce, she was getting bored of the food we were eating. So, I fiddled with a recipe for zucchini bread that had lower sugar than my normal zucchini bread–and with lots of chocolate–for her to have as a snack. As it turns out, we all really like this recipe and I’ve been making it every few days.
This recipe is bit lower in sugar that my other recipe, which allows the chocolate flavor to shine through. Also, as you may remember, I have a condition called Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS). This means that I am allergic to many fruits, vegetables, and nuts in their raw state. As it turns out, uncooked zucchini gives me a horrible stomach ache. And, at this point, the amount that zucchini is cooked during the baking process isn’t quite enough for me, so I need to pre-cook them a bit more before adding them to the batter. Therefore, I microwave the shredded zucchini for 1 minute and then let it cool before I add it to the batter. If raw zucchini makes your mouth itch or gives you a stomach ache, then you might also have OAS–and this trick will help you.
Chocolate, Chocolate Zucchini Bread, Gluten-Free
Yield: 1-9 in x 5 in/23 cm x 13 cm loaf
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour mix
1/2 cup (45 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted to remove lumps
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (105 grams) brown sugar (I like dark brown but light brown is fine)
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup (160 ml) neutral flavored vegetable oil (I like Rice Bran oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (190 grams) shredded zucchini
2/3 cups (225 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4. Grease and flour a 9 in x 5 in/23 cm x 13 cm loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together eggs, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium for 10 minutes (yes, 10 minutes). Mixture should eventually become thick and creamy. After 10 minutes, reduce the speed to low and slowly add the oil in a steam at the side (you don’t want to deflate the mixture too much). Beat until combined. Add vanilla extract, beat until combined. Add flour mixture and beat until combined. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in cooled zucchini mixture and chocolate chips.
Scrape batter into the loaf pan and smooth top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until a tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs on it.
Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Store wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil at room temperature for up to 4 days.