“Could they design an automobile engine that runs on zucchini?” asks Barbara Kingsolver in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
She continues, “One day we came home from some errands to find a grocery sack of them hanging on our mailbox. The perpetrator, of course, was nowhere in sight. ‘Wow,’ we all said–‘what a good idea!’ Garrison Keillor says July is the only time of year when country people lock our cars in the church parking lot, so people won’t put squash on the front seat.”
That sums up July and August when these giant squids take over, and we can’t even pay someone to take the bulbous monstrosities. They are one of the most prolific garden plants, and dang it why can’t they be tomatoes.
Dear zucchini, we do love you for your versatility. Sliced, frozen, and tossed into this smoothie for creaminess, my favorite Minestrone, and this salad – altogether a beautiful summer meal – just be sure to finish it with thick slices of this zucchini bread by one of my most favorite food bloggers at Half Baked Harvest. Friend, the maple butter is divine, just fyi.
Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Bread with Salted Maple Butter
Makes 1 9″ x 5″ loaf
- 2 medium zucchinis, grated (about 2 cups before squeezing water out)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry, or all-purpose, flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (or more!) semi-sweet or dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 9″x 5″ bread pan.
Lay clean towel or stack 3 large paper towels on counter, spread zucchini into even layer, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Top with another towel or more paper towels. Let sit 10 minutes before squeezing out excess water. Set aside.
In large bowl, mix together melted butter, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add zucchini and mix. Next add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chunks. Place spoonfuls of almond butter into batter, gently swirl but leave in tact.
Spoon batter into buttered pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until center is just set and sides are beginning to brown.
While the bread is baking, cream the maple syrup and butter using a hand or stand-up mixer.
Remove bread from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Using bread knife, slice into thick pieces and smear with lots of maple butter. Enjoy!
**To make gluten-free, substitute gluten free flour mix for the all-purpose flour, 1:1 substitution.
**For vegan version, substitute 1/2 cup melted coconut oil for the butter and mix 6 tablespoons water with 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (let sit 10 minutes before using) for the eggs.
More squash recipes from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: