RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!
GIANT ZUCCHINI ARE ON THE LOOSE!
It happens every year. It doesn’t take much — maybe a little extra rain, or you leave town for a day or two. You innocently go out back to check your vegetable garden to find Mother Nature has GONE WILD.
Suddenly, you feel very small and helpless,
as your squash take on a life of their own.
People you haven’t heard from in years repeatedly call, begging you to pick up your “kids.”
Sometimes, you can’t even tell them apart from your other babies.
Friends, don’t despair. You are not alone in this. Anyone who has ever tried to grow their own veggies has faced this crisis at one time or another. Some of them even show up on your doorstep bearing gifts.
No need to hide from these well-meaning folks. Just keep calm, invite them in, and call in the chips!
Just a few weeks ago, I was one of those people who dreaded the onslaught of excess zucchini. I didn’t feel like stir frying it with bacon, grating it for omelets, tossing it in salads, or dipping it in ranch dressing. I’d even baked some zucchini bread — and while it was tasty, I couldn’t really impress anyone with it because it was so, well, ho-hum. (Um, well thanks, zucchini bread again? Right Jama, you’re beyond exciting.)
Then, one day, while prudently minding my own business, my finely tuned olfactories picked up a positively orgasmic aroma drifting about the internet.
Chocolate! Yes! My love! My true friend! Let me kiss your antioxidants!
I followed the scent to Robin Brande’s blog (home of adorable dogs and mucho chocolata). Seems her friend, Elizabeth, had gifted her with a loaf of Chocolate Zucchini Bread, and Robin had devoured it in less than 24 hours! Well now, Robin not only writes fabulous books; she sure as sugah knows her chocolate. Lucky for us, Elizabeth shared the recipe with Robin, who posted it on her blog.
I made it, I made it!
Got some nice unsweetened cocoa powder and everything.
Questions have been raised: is zucchini surrounded by this much sugar still healthy?
Robin’s well-informed, astute reply: “this is practically salad.”
So, my friends, invite those giant green suckers into your home and introduce them to some good quality chocolate. Let them party down with some eggs, flour, vanilla and oil in a warm climate. Chances are real good you’ll never have a surplus of squash in your kitchen ever again. Goodbye, ho-hum zucchini bread, HELLO bliss. Nom nom yum diddle um!
ELIZABETH’S PHENOMENAL CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD
3 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
3 eggs or equivalent egg replacer (I use Ener-G egg replacer, which is made from potato starch)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2-3 medium zucchini)
1 cup chopped nuts
1 pkg (12-oz) chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9×5″ loaf pans with canola spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, cinnamon, soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. In a separate bowl, beat eggs (or egg replacer and water) with the sugar until well combined. Add oil and vanilla. Beat to combine, then stir in zucchini. Add wet bowl to dry bowl and stir until just moistened. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Spoon evenly into pans. Bake 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then turn onto racks.
Cook’s Note: As far as possible, use organic and fairly-traded ingredients.
The best way to eat your veggies —