One of my favorite parts of summer is shopping for produce at the farmers market. This summer, my wife and I have been trying to do most, if not all, of our weekly shopping at the Saturday Farmers Market in downtown Green Bay.
List free and with our weekly grocery budget in hand, we’ve managed to discover some amazing, locally grown fruits and veggies. During the past two weeks, we’ve been grabbing things we don’t normally buy like eggplant, kale, and zucchini. This gives us the challenge of trying new recipes.
I personally love baking banana bread, but up until the last fourteen days or so, I’ve never made zucchini bread. After looking up a few recipes, I found one I liked and started experimenting with ingredients.
No matter which recipe you want to follow, I highly recommend adding bananas for moisture. I’m also a huge fan of crunch in my bread recipes, so I love adding chopped nuts and cacao for a slight chocolatey taste. Fresh or dried berries are another tasty way to mix up this recipe.
Also, I tried to use all-natural and organic ingredients in this recipe. I’ve found that the freshness of the farmers market fruits, veggies, and eggs really enhances the flavor of anything you make.
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup agave (or 1 1/3 cup of sugar)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups grated fresh zucchini
- 2 ripe bananas
- 2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- Dash of salt
- 3 cups whole-wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2/3 cup cacao nibs (optional)
- 1/2 cup of chopped pecans (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 5 x 9 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the agave or sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini, bananas, and then the melter butter.
3. Stir in the baking soda and salt. Add the flour, mixing in a cup at a time. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and nutmeg over mixture. Finally, add the cacao and pecans if desired.
4. Divide the batter equally between the loaf pans. Bake for 45 minutes (check after 40 minutes) or until a wooden pick comes out clean. If using sugar instead of agave it may need to bake another 5 minutes.
5. Let the loaves cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out and cool on wire racks.
Makes two loaves.
Five Farmers Markets to Check Out in N.E. Wisconsin
If you didn’t grow your own zucchini this summer, you can find locally grown and freshly picked squash at a roadside food stand or at your local farmers market. Here are a few of my picks if you’re looking to avoid the supermarket.