I have fond memories of zucchini bread that my “summer” grandma made me. I had one grandma that lived with us, and the “summer” grandma lived in Virginia. To this day whenever I cut into a cantaloupe, the smell immediately transports me to the age of 7, sitting on a chair at the kitchen table, the breeze coming in from the open kitchen door, and my grandma placing a giant bowl of cut cantaloupe on the table. I swear I probably ate half of that bowl by myself!
It was also the first time that I ever had zucchini bread. I am confident no one told me there was zucchini in there, otherwise I never would have let it touch my lips. I was such a picky eater growing up! I didn’t really eat any cooked vegetables until I was in my 30’s.
The smell when she pulled the zucchini bread out of the oven was intoxicating. Even better was when we ate it later in the day, she would slice it, put it in the toaster and then slather it with a generous amount of sweet cream butter.
It wasn’t until she passed away that I saw the recipe in her cookbook. It was a recipe cut out from a magazine, and I remember her only notes were “reduce salt by half.” Not sure if that was because of health reasons, or taste. But what shocked me was that the recipe for two loaves of bread called for ONE CUP of oil. No wonder it was so amazing!
I, however, am I lifetime Weight Watcher, and while the pounds have crept on over the years as I’ve gotten older, I still try to make recipes that have just as much flavor, yet without all the calories. That’s where these mini zucchini breads come in.
And while I don’t have a garden, I am lucky enough to have friends that do, and my friend Alison supplied me with a giant zucchini, which was enough to make all three variations. Thanks Alison!
The base recipe is below. I made three versions – original (as the recipe is below); lemon blueberry – by adding 1 cup of blueberries and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest to the original recipe; and chocolate chip – by adding 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips to the batter.
Lemon Blueberry Zucchini
If you are doing Weight Watchers, each mini loaf is only 4 free style points, or if you count calories: 252 calories, 42 grams carbs, 5 grams fat, 12 grams protein, sadly 915 mg. of sodium and 4 grams of sugar. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t realize that self-rising flour had sodium in it! So if you are watching your sodium intake, remove the 1 teaspoon of salt in the recipe.
Mini Zucchini Bread (base recipe)
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 cup No Calorie Splenda*
- 2 cups shredded zucchini, squeezed to remove excess moisture
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt **
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar (optional for topping before going in the oven)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. I have a giant mini loaf pan, so I was able to bake all three variations at once. If you make a lot of breads, it’s totally worth investing $20 bucks on this loaf pan – I especially love it at the holidays because I can crank out a ton of mini loaves for hostess gifts, friends and neighbors.
Mix the eggs, olive oil, Greek yogurt and Splenda together. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add to egg mixture, then stir in the shredded zucchini and mix just until combined.
Divide mixture between 6 mini loaf pans, top with a sprinkle of coarse sugar and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out smooth.
Rest in the pan for 10 minutes before removing.
* Make sure that you use no calorie Splenda sweetener – check the package you buy. Some Splenda packets are 10 calories a teaspoon, which would add up using a whole cup!
** If you want to reduce the amount of sodium in this recipe, don’t add the additional teaspoon of salt.
If you love veggies (like I now do), you may want to try out these hands-on classes at The Chopping Block:
- Vegetarian Summer Feast Saturday, August 18 10am Lincoln Square
- Cooking Lab: Summer Canning and Preserving Workshop Saturday, August 19 10am Merchandise Mart
Or if you love baking, check out this class full of prize-winning desserts:
- Blue Ribbon Baking Saturday, August 25 10am Merchandise Mart
I’d love to hear about a favorite food memory of yours growing up! Let me know in the comments below.