After a long, long drive through the corn fields of Nebraska, we would be greeted at my grandparents’ house with a big hug and a homemade cookie. Each and every time, and I always looked forward to those first few moments. Sweet relief from the extreme boredom of the car, lots of love and something tasty prepared by loving hands. Perhaps I got my love of baking from my grandma and my mom.
We all have those memories from growing up of tasty food made with love by someone special. The smells, tastes and textures can bring you right back to that moment, at grandma’s table enjoying her cooking. This recipe is exactly that for me. My grandparents had a large, lovely farm in southwestern Minnesota where my grandpa grew the most amazing vegetables I have ever tasted. His specialty was corn, asparagus and zucchini. I was lucky to spend many summers at my grandparents enjoying the amazing veggies and baking with my grandma. My grandmother had what seemed to me to be an extra kitchen in her house. It was down in the basement and I always thought is was a strange kinda mystical place. The walls were lined with home-canned jars of beets and pickles. And in her “extra kitchen” she had a freezer literally stuffed with zucchini bread. Which meant that whenever we wanted, we could bring up a loaf for her to warm up in the oven to be enjoyed with lots of butter making for a seriously yummy snack. Here is her special recipe. Besides using tasty home-grown zucchini (it’s alright if you have to buy some), the secret to this bread is the addition of crushed pineapple. The pineapple keeps the bread very moist and gives it a fresh, bright flavor. I hope you enjoy Grandma’s Zucchini Bread as much as I did when I was a little girl!
~ Ingredients ~
1 C. cooking oil, grandma probably used some kind of canola but I use olive oil
2 C. sugar, I use less sugar ~ about 1 ⅓ C. plus I use sucanat which is made out of dehydrated cane sugar so it retains the vitamins and minerals naturally found in sugar cane.
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. coarsely shredded zucchini
8 oz. can well drained crushed pineapple
3 C. flour, I use whole wheat and it come out nicely!
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 C. chopped nuts, (pecans or walnuts)
1 C. raisins
~ Method ~
Beat eggs, add oil, sugar and vanilla. Beat until thick and fluffy, stir in zucchini and pineapple. Combine dry ingredients, flour, soda, salt , baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to wet mixture and beat until integrated. Stir in nuts and raisins.
Bake in two greased and floured bread pans at 350 degrees for one hour. Cool and turn out onto a cutting board surface.