I’m excited to be participating in another Improv Challenge hosted by Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker! Each month I strive to come up with something a bit more exciting or creative than the last. So far, I’ve shared:
- Tomatoes and Peppers (August): Green Chile Pepper and Tomato Soup
- Corn and Butter (July): Cilantro Tomato Corn Salad with a Lemon-Butter Dressing
- Cherries and Almonds (June): Icy Drink with Cherries and Almonds
- Strawberries and Cream (May): Strawberries Marinated in Maple Syrup with Whipped Cream
This month, the challenge ingredients are zucchini and brown sugar.
My recipe this month isn’t exactly creative. Instead, I opted for something much more sentimental… my Nana’s Zucchini Bread recipe (with a slight modification). The original recipe calls for white sugar, I’ve substituted brown sugar for the purpose of the challenge, and it worked out great!
Nana’s not sure where the recipe comes from anymore. She thinks she might have got it from one of her sisters, who possibly got it from my Great Grandmother. Either way, it’s been in the family for a while and I enjoyed many many pieces of zucchini bread as a child, especially in the fall when Nana picked the zucchini fresh from the garden.
Growing up, I thought zucchini bread was one of the healthiest treats. Why? Because it’s got vegetable pieces in it. Therefore, it must be healthy. Right? I was a bit surprised going through the recipe when I saw how much sugar it calls for. Not exactly healthy. It won’t kill you to enjoy the bread once in a while either though. Just something I will likely choose to enjoy in moderation instead of abundance, like I did as a child.
I’ll likely experiment with making a healthier version of the recipe at some point. Substituting the white flour for whole wheat, or maybe a gluten-free flour. Try cutting out some of the sugar. But that’s for another day when I’m not scrambling to make something delicious for the Improv Challenge.
Excuse me while I got enjoy some fresh from the oven zucchini bread for breakfast. I just baked it this morning!
Nana’s Zucchini Bread
- 3 eggs – approximate cost $0.60
- 2 cups white sugar (I used brown sugar for the purpose of the Improv Challenge) – approximate cost $0.75
- 2 1/2 cups grated zucchini, skin included – approximate cost $1.25
- 1 cup oil (I used canola oil) – approximate cost $0.40
- 3 teaspoons vanilla – approximate cost $0.30
- 3 cups flour – approximate cost $1.50
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder – approximate cost $0.05
- 2 teaspoons baking soda – approximate cost $0.10
- 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg – approximate cost $0.25
- 2 teaspoons salt – approximate cost $0.10
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon – approximate cost $0.30
- 1 cup walnuts – approximate cost $1.00
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine the eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, and grated zucchini in a mixing bowl.
- Mix until well combined and set aside.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, cinnamon, and walnuts in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix until well combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Pour the bread mixture into two (greased) loaf pans.
- Bake for 1 hour (or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean).
- Allow to cool before serving.
Makes 2 loaves, about 16 slices (approximate cost: $3.30 per loaf or $0.41 per slice).