Chocolate Zucchini Bread (or Muffins)

February 2nd, 2024

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It’s that time of year when, if you sit too long on your laurels, you can miss out on the goods. As a wild, go-with-the-flow gardener, I don’t keep a written garden diary. In my head, I have a rough timing for when each fruit tree in the garden will be ready to harvest. For instance, the white-fleshed Wiggins peach is mid-January, early figs in late Jan, followed closely by the greengage in early February. I allow a week or so on either side for early and late ripening. This year, as luck would have it, the three fruit trees fruited all at once!

I won’t lie; it’s been a scramble to keep on top of the harvest, alongside house renovations and back to work. Plus, there was some waste after a heavy rain shower (which was needed) that caused me some grief, as I hate seeing food that could have been turned into future meals turn bad. On the plus side, the fruit harvests are wonderfully abundant this year, thanks to the right conditions in spring, so we are certainly not lacking.

And that’s just the fruit. The zucchini, kamokamo, and beans keep us well-stocked for meals. The tomatoes are coming on, and once again, I suspect they will ripen all at once. I’ll use my favourite slow-roasted tomato sauce to deal with them. In the recipe below, I share a delicious zucchini bread that made a (small) dent in the pile of zucchini on my bench. Wishing you all a happy summer harvest with the resulting preserving and baking.

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More Summer Harvest recipes on Homegrown Kitchen

Chocolate Zucchini Bread (or Muffins)

This is a deliciously moist bread that isn’t too sweet and keeps well for several days. It is a good use for larger zucchini and marrows. When I first made this recipe, my daughter, who wasn’t home when I prepared it, proceeded to tell me it was the best “banana” bread she had ever eaten. It wasn’t my intention to trick her so promptly told her it was zucchini bread, to which she replied, “Well, maybe I can like zucchini after all”. The mixture can also be made into muffins - see instructions below.
Servings 10
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (about 250g) grated zucchini or marrow, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil or melted butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar or 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 1/3 cup (80g) natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups (260g) plain flour (can use gluten-free)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 80 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (50g) chopped walnuts (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180C (fan bake 160C). Grease or line a loaf tin (approx. 22cm x 11cm x 7cm). See below for the muffin option.
  • This step is optional but will remove some of the excess moisture from the zucchini that can make the loaf crumb quite moist. Place the grated zucchini into a cheesecloth or clean teatowel (rinsed with boiling water), gather up the cloth and twist to squeeze out the excess moisture. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together the oil, sugar/honey, eggs, yoghurt, and vanilla until smooth.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, spice, and salt. Add the chocolate, walnuts (if using), and grated zucchini and toss to coat in the flour. Make a well, pour in the wet mixture, and use a spatula to fold together until just combined. Don't over-mix, a few splotches of flour in the batter is fine.
  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool on a rack, then store the bread in an airtight container and consume within 3 days.

Notes

To make muffins:

Line a medium muffin tray with paper liners and evenly spoon in the batter - about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Makes 12 medium muffins.

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