1/2 cup (50 grams) pecans or walnuts
1 cup (240 ml) shredded raw zucchini (1-2 zucchini)
1/2 cup (120 ml) grated raw apple
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1/2 cup (120 ml) safflower, corn, vegetable, or canola oil
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (25 grams) coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
Cream Cheese Frosting: (optional)
1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces (110 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zucchini Bread: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Grease (or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray) a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan.
Toast the pecans or walnuts for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
Grate the zucchini, using a medium grater, and then peel and grate the apple.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until well blended (about 2 minutes). Beat in the grated zucchini and apple. Add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Then fold in the nuts and coconut. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Frost with cream cheese icing, if desired. Well wrapped, this bread will keep for several days at room temperature (if unfrosted) or for several days in the refrigerator (if frosted). This bread can be frozen.
Makes one - 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf.
Frosting: Beat the butter and cream cheese until very smooth with no lumps. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until fully incorporated and smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Spread over the top of the cooled zucchini bread. Garnish with toasted coconut, if desired.
(Note: To toast coconut - Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree F (177 degree C) oven for a few minutes until lightly browned. Watch carefully.)
The 1970s was a time when any baked good that contained a vegetable, and used oil instead of butter, was considered healthy. This trend made Zucchini Bread, as well as Carrot Cake, very popular. And true to its name, Zucchini Bread does contain freshly grated zucchini, as well as freshly grated apple. Both of these ingredients, along with oil, give the Zucchini Bread a wonderfully moist texture. Add to that chopped nuts, coconut (either sweetened or unsweetened), ground cinnamon and nutmeg, and you know why this quick bread has stood the test of time.
Jean Anderson tells us in her 'The American Century Cookbook' that Zucchini Bread first became popular in the 1960s. Zucchini, also known as a courgette, has a smooth dark green skin that is not removed before grating as we want to see its pretty shreds of green running through the bread. The flavor of zucchini is often described as 'delicate' which means it does not add a lot of flavor to a dish. However, what it lacks in flavor it more than makes up for with its lovely moist texture. This recipe is slightly different from most in that we also add grated apple. I like to use Granny Smith apples but you can use any firm textured apple. This bread batter can be made fairly quickly so if you have a bounty of zucchini from your garden you may want to make a few extra loaves and freeze them for later. This bread is very tasty plain, but like a carrot cake, you may want to try it with a cream cheese frosting (a recipe is included).