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One of the many places I visited this August was Iowa, home of my daughter, her husband and most importantly two of my grandsons. It was a whirlwind, 3 ½ day visit and required a LOOOOONG plane ride, or should I say rides plus a drive to her home. But it was worth it. I am always amazed at how much energy this family has, and equally shocked, yet pleased, with the quality of food they eat.
The morning after I arrived, I awoke to find the following on the counter: a bowl of dry ingredients, another bowl of wet ingredients and a third containing chocolate and nuts. All the ingredients – ready to combine – for two freshly baked loaves of Rachel’s yellow winter squash bread … at 7 am Midwest time! Geez. Evidently the yellow winter squash plants in their garden produced a ton of squash. When in doubt about what to do with yellow squash (or plain old zucchini for that matter) make squash breads.
You’ll notice this recipe makes two nice sized loaves because Rachel never makes a single recipe of anything. Like mother, like daughter! This is dense, moist, and flavorful – plus it’s a great on-the-go snack. It does not require a mixer or food processor – everything can be grated and stirred in using just a bit of elbow grease.
Yield 2 loaves
- 4 ¼ cups coarsely shredded zucchini (don’t shred in blender – do this on a hand grater)
- 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup plain applesauce (unsweetened)
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 TSBP + 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups white whole wheat flour (King Arthur is the brand I always use)
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 ¼ cups semisweet mini chocolate chips (or you could chop up regular sized bittersweet chips into small pieces) (optional)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
(Here is Rachel’s version of the directions with some added notes from her mother)
Preheat the oven 325 and place a cooking rack in the middle of the oven.
Oil (I liberally brush on vegetable oil) two metal 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pans and put parchment paper into the bottoms, brush oil on the top of the parchment paper too.
In a large bowl, beat eggs with the first group of listed ingredients (Bowl #1).
In a mid-sized bowl, mix #2 ingredients.
Add #3 ingredients although both the nuts and the mini chocolate chips are optional.
Mix with a large spoon until combined and divide the batter between the two greased loaf tins. Even out the tops and put the pans in the oven. Bake 50 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let the loaves cool 15 minutes on a baking rack. Shake gently to loosen and turn out loaves onto the rack. Cut off a piece while still rather warm, smother in butter or whipped cream cheese and eat some immediately!
NOTE: You could add warming spices such as cloves, cinnamon or nutmeg in the fall to make this more like a pumpkin bread. Replace the chocolate chips with chopped raisins or other dried fruit if you are, heaven forbid, not a “chocolate” person.
Sorry I didn’t get a picture of the sliced bread but time was of the essence, and when I got ready to shoot a nice picture it was time to go to the airport. Sigh…
Final note – if there’s any left (NOT the case in Rachel’s house) – this bread freezes for up to six months (wrap it tightly in foil).