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As is always the case, October is roaring in and establishing very rapidly that summer is over. Done, fini, a time remembered, rather than lived in presently.
No frosts yet, though that might change before this week is out.
Still, there is no denying that we are pretty much done gardening for the year. We finished up Farmer’s Market last week, and it was kind of sad to put everything away till next May or June when we begin again.
We still have a row of beans that are in full blossom, and they will likely produce for us. Some kale, brussels sprouts and lettuce we are still enjoying.
We had just one surviving zucchini plant left which has benefited from some extra attention. I freely admit to being a zucchini snob. I can’t bring myself to buy them in the store, because after a summer of eating zukes that were picked 10 minutes ago, nothing else will satisfy. So, we try to keep them going as long as we can.
And, as zucchini plants are wont to do, this one hid a squash from me until became too big for anything but baking, and so, this bread was born. I wanted to slip in some warm fall spices, and the oats give it a nice texture and some extra fiber. It’s a very fond farewell to summer squash.To get the best texture in this bread, it is good to combine the grated squash with some salt and the oats and let it sit awhile – the salt draws some of the moisture from the squash and that help hydrate the oats and soften them up a bit.
Zucchini Oat Bread
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup whole rolled oats
- 3 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 3/4 cup dark molasses
- 3 eggs slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Combine the zucchini and salt in a medium bowl. Mix in the oats, and allow to sit for up to an hour, to allow the salt to draw moisture from the squash, and hydrate the oats. [you can skip this step, but the texture will be a lot nicer if you have the time]
- After the hour is up, preheat the oven to 350º, and generously butter two standard bread pans [9x5inch, or 8x4inch will both work].
- in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and allspice.
- In a smaller bowl, or a 4 cup measuring cup, whisk together the molasses, eggs, oil and vanilla.
- Mix the ginger and lemon zest into the molasses mixture,
- Pour the molasses mixture, and the zucchini mixture into the dry ingredients and fold together until well incorporated, but not really smooth - don't over mix or the bread won't be as tender.
- Dived the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Slide a knife around the edges of the pans, and carefully tip the loaves out onto a cooling rack. Cool at least 45 minutes before slicing. Serve warm with butter, or softened cream cheese - also really good toasted.
- Store tightly wrapped - if more than 2 days, then refrigerate. Freezes well.
If you make a few extra loaves, and stick them in the freezer, you get to bring out a little summer flavor for Thanksgiving or Christmas – a very sweet idea!
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