There are infinite versions you can try using different nut and spice combinations. Or, you can strip out all the noted optional ingredients, and you have yourself more of a classic, traditional zucchini bread. Thai-inspired version, using coconut oil in place of the butter, beating in a small dollop of Thai-curry paste at the beginning (omitting the curry powder later on), using chopped toasted peanuts, adding some grated coconut, etc.
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, plus a
few to sprinkle on top
1/3 cup poppy seeds (optional)
zest of two lemons (optional)
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fine grain natural cane sugar
or brown sugar, lightly packed
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups grated zucchini (about 3 medium)-
skins on, squeeze some of the moisture out
and then fluff it up again before using
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon curry powder (optional)
Special equipment: two 5 x 9 Inch loaf pans
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Butter the two loaf pans, dust them with a bit of flour and set aside. Alternately, you can line the pans with a sheet of parchment. If you leave a couple inches hanging over the pan, it makes for easy removal after baking. Just grab the parchment "handles" and lift the zucchini bread right out.
In a small bowl combine the walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest, and ginger. Set aside.
In a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again until mixture comes together and is no longer crumbly. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Stir in the vanilla and then the zucchini (low speed if you are using a mixer).
In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and curry powder. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring between each addition.
By hand, fold in the walnut, poppy seed, lemon zest, and crystalised ginger mixture. Save a bit of this to sprinkle on the tops of the zucchini loaves before baking for a bit of texture. Avoid over mixing the batter, it should be thick and moist, not unlike a butter cream frosting.
Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans. Make sure it is level in the pans, by running a spatula over the top of each loaf.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes on a middle oven rack. It is optional to under bake the zucchini bread ever so slightly to ensure it stays moist. Keep in mind it will continue to cook even after it is removed from the oven as it is cooling. Remove from the oven and cool the zucchini bread in pan for about ten minutes.
Turn out onto wire racks to finish cooling - if you leave them in their pans, they will get sweaty and moist (not in a good way) as they cool.
Makes 2 loaves.