Carrot & Zucchini Bread

Call me 'picky' but for a long time now, I've been hunting for the one go-to zucchini bread recipe to call my own. This recipe has it all: a generous measure of grated zucchini, bright color from grated carrot, spice-forward from pantry spices. Most of all, this zucchini bread stays moist and fresh for a long time.
Some times? It pays to be picky.

Carrot & Zucchini Bread


TESTIMONIALS
"This is wonderful! ... I followed the recipe to the letter and it was dead on perfect." ~ Anonymous


“Just so you know,” she warned as we walked into the mall on a summer Saturday, “I’m a really picky shopper.”

‘She’ is Kerrin, the almost-21 chemical engineering student who visited for the weekend a couple of weeks back. ‘She’ is the daughter of my dear friends from way-way back, Gary and Lisa (yes, that would be Lisa of My Own Sweet Thyme). ‘She’ is the confident young woman who somehow remains, in voice and energy, a grown-up version of the girl I last saw, then eight years old and a wild risk-taker at farkle.

No wonder Kerrin is ‘picky’. For work, she wears steel-toed boots and a hard hat, safety requirements at the water treatment plant where she has an internship this summer. For play, she leans toward the feminine and the comfortable.

So I happily joined the other ‘moms’ hanging around outside the dressing rooms at Macy’s, H&M and Forever 21, wondering how such little bits of cloth can cost $15 and $30 and even $60 even while appreciating Kerrin’s well-developed sense of style. If that’s ‘picky’, picky is a good thing.

Me, I’m picky about zucchini bread. I want it slightly rustic, that means a good measure of whole wheat flour. I want it moist, no miserly portion of grated zucchini here. I want it pretty, with grated carrot for whimsical color; and slightly zingy with spices, cinnamon and ginger both. After many trials over some years, I’ve finally settled on my go-to ready-for-sharing recipe for zucchini bread, this is it. I think you just might become picky about your zucchini bread too.

ALANNA’s TIPS Day One, the candied ginger can feel superfluous. But by Day Two, its gingery bite adds welcome texture contrast. It really does move this zucchini bread from "very good" to "great" territory, do try to use it.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!

CARROT & ZUCCHINI BREAD

Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes 2 loaves, each 12 slices (easily halved to make a single loaf, 1 egg works fine)
  • 1/2 cup (116g) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (212g) buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup (172g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (172g) brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs (use 2 eggs for a half recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon (yes, tablespoon) vanilla
    DRY INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 254g
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, fluffed to aerate or 142g
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 cups (200g) grated zucchini from 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 cup (100g) grated carrot 2 medium carrots
  • 1/2 cup candied ginger, optional but recommended (see TIPS)

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 9x5 bread pans with baking spray such as Bakers Joy, my favorite.

In a large bowl, mix the vegetable oil and buttermilk with an electric mixer until well-combined. Add the sugars and mix in until well-combined. One at a time, add the eggs, beating until well-combined. Mix in the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Add to the wet mixture, mixing in until just combined. With a spatula, gently stir in the zucchini, carrot and ginger.

Transfer to the two pans, bake for about 50 – 60 minutes, turning after 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove and let cool for 20 minutes, then gently turn over to remove from the pans. Let cool completely, slice and serve.

To store, wrap well and do refrigerate – if any is left after the first day, that is!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in Carrot & Zucchini Bread? How many Weight Watchers points in Carrot & Zucchini Bread?) Per Slice without/with candied ginger: 164/173 Calories; 5g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 27mg Cholesterol; 156/157mg Sodium; 26/28g Carb; 1g Fiber; 14/15g Sugar; 3g Protein; Weight Watchers 3.5 points
Adapted from several recipes, including my favorite Autumn Pumpkin Bread and Eating Local, an inspiring cookbook from Sur La Table. DISCLOSURE A complimentary copy of this cookbook was provided by publisher Andrews McMeel but the recommendation is entirely my own. My Disclosure Promise

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This recipe looks like a keeper. I'll let you know how it turns out....perfect timing for summer squash!
 
Our Kerrin? Picky? :)
Her summer adventures have been inspiring. It's great that you two could get together and enjoy each other's company.
Sounds like a great Zucchini Bread too! Now if we would just get the kind of weather where zucchini actually grows...
 
Love your banter and anecdotes ! And this recipe REALLY looks like a keeper - zuke breads are usually so heavy on the oil- and double ginger is a kick - and extra goodness and fiber from the carrots. Still planning to get in touch - need to get away from the computer, food mags, and kitchen - or not!!

David
 
I LOVE that you have given the weights! I cook a lot of British recipes and find I get better results with a set of scales than with measuring cups. Looks dee-lish and is on the schedule for this weekend.
 
I LOVE that you've put the weights for the ingredients. I find I get better results with scales than with measuring cups.
 
This is wonderful! I made it last night. I followed the recipe to the letter and it was dead on perfect. Thank you so much for sharing so many wonderful recipes and ideas.
 
Alli ~ I hope you love it too!

Lisa ~ Yes, 'your' Kerrin. She is such a lovely young woman, you are deservedly proud of her!

David ~ Thanks! The "oil factor" is actually one of the things I don't like about typical zucchini breads, also the "sugar factor". This one has half the fat as most quick breads and about half the sugar too.

Samantha ~ Oh good, it takes an extra step to weigh everything but I find the weights useful too. Let me know how it bakes up for you!

Anonymous ~ Ding, ding, you get the "first to make it" prize, thanks so much for letting me know that you love it too. You MADE my day, thank you.
 
This looks so pretty! I need to make this, soon! Do you think it would bake as muffins fine?
 
Debbi ~ Thanks! I think these would make great muffins, although since they are sweet, I would consider them cupcakes versus muffins.
 
My go to zucchini bread recipe comes from my mom, who learned it from her new friendly and welcoming neighbors when she first moved from Hong Kong to North Platte Nebraska. It was one of the very first American recipes she ever learned!
 
Jaden ~ That could be the worst recipe in the world and I would STILL make it, given that sweet story. I hope you tell it some day ...
 
I tried this today, and I candied my own ginger to avoid paying what seemed like an awful lot for the prepackaged kind at the grocery store. This recipe is soooo good!
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna