Zucchini Bread Winner

Sorry, beards.  I took you down.  I don’t want to gloat, but that bread was delicious.

That's me. Gloating.
That’s me. Gloating.

We’ve got zucchini’s the size of our forearms right now.  Approximately one million of them.  And since we don’t know what else to do with them (there are only so many zucchini parmesans, zucchini fajitas, and stuffed zucchini dinners out there before you want something different), we decided to have a little bit of a bake off.  Paul started off with his zucchini bread.  It was good, not too sweet, a more healthful version that we all appreciated… Muelsa went second, a bit of a treat with some exotic spices (black pepper to spice it up!).  Then it was Leroy’s turn (that’d be me, of course).  I was really going for a “knock your socks off” version of this classic.  I didn’t want it to be super sweet, and I was looking for something with interesting spices, some natural sweetness, and nothing over-dry.  To be quite honest, I wanted to make the perfect zucchini bread.  And, I think I outdid myself on this one because it was perfect!

This is honestly a complete fluke.  As many of you know, I’m not a baker by any stretch.  So after researching a few recipes with nothing too inspiring, I decided to just wing it (as I always do in the kitchen), and it turned out to be amazing.  Here’s what I came up with:

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup diced apple

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, spices, baking soda, and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, syrup, zucchini and lemon juice. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, and fold in nuts, raisins and apples. Bake in 2 standard loaf pans, coated with butter, for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Alternately, bake in 5 mini-loaf pans for about 45 minutes.  (I used 1 standard loaf pan and 3 small loaf pans, they came out great!)

You could probably substitute brown sugar for the maple syrup since it’s expensive (again, not a baker!) but since we made our own this year, I just went ahead and dumped a whole cup of it in!!

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