Everyone who grows zucchini will eventually have one or two zucchini that are WAY too big to eat normally. It’s not your fault, the leaves grew up over it, the light was bad, you were on vacation, blah blah blah. I had my first one of the season about two weeks in this year. Oops! Before you hurl that thing into the compost bin, consider this: it’s almost impossible to preserve good zucchini.
That’s a controversial statement, so let me elaborate. You can pickle them, but they can be kind of soggy, and you need to pick them pretty young. You can freeze them (cubed for soups, shredded for bread), but you lose ANY and ALL sense of texture and beauty in the thawing process. And canning? well, that’s just a mushy disaster. Here how you can kill two birds with one stone – bake a ton of Zucchini Bread with that overgrown thing and freeze that!! Zucchini bread freezes great and you will be SO glad you did. Imagine those cold, lazy winter months when you have nothing to give your kids for breakfast as they head out the door. Oh wait! There’s some zucchini bread in the freezer 🙂
I have used the standard, plain-yet-delicious recipe for many years. Very good, but kind of predictable. I had a TON of large zucchini last summer and decided to mix it up a little. Found this amazing recipe for something called “Pina Colada Zucchini Bread” and gave it a try (she actually has a ton of really great recipes and tutorials). I may never go back. It’s not low calorie by any means, but we love it!! This recipe makes two large loaves or three medium ones. I usually make three, eat one and put the other two in the freezer. I can pull one out when we are too busy to cook breakfast, when we need an easy gift or whatever. I am just copying her recipe as I have made no modifications.
Pina Colada Zucchini Bread Recipe
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups oil
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp coconut extract
- 3 cups shredded zucchini
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 4 cups flour
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup coconut, divided
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Shred your zucchini and generally get organized. This is a quick recipe to make so best to have it all on hand before you start.
Prepare your baking pans with butter and flour, or spraying them with Butter or Baking Pam. These are my very well used and, at times, quite rusty medium sized aluminum loaf pans. I like them because their texture helps release the loaves, but also their size is a little smaller than the jumbo ones you usually see. Not so good for baking yeast bread, but perfect for three small loaves of any quick bread. And I usually cheat and use Pam for Baking. Whisk together eggs, oil, extracts, zucchini, and pineapple. You can use the KitchenAid if you want, but truthfully, it isn’t necessary. I make most of my batches in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon.
Combine dry ingredients and stir in till just combined. Stir in about 2/3 cup of the coconut. Pour batter into two large (or three medium) loaf pans. Sprinkle remaining coconut on top.
Bake at 325° for about 60-70 minutes, or till toothpick comes out clean. You can also do these as muffins. I would try baking them for about 20 minutes and see how that goes. Let them cool in their pans for about 10 minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack. If you can stand to wait another 10 minutes before eating them, you should. Cutting into this beautiful loaf before it is cool enough will make kind of a mess of it. After that – go crazy!
NOTE: the lower temperature of the oven is so that coconut on top won’t burn while the bread is baking. If you think the coconut is getting overly “toasted” put a sheet of foil over it for the remaining baking time. With my smaller loaves, I find that one hour is just perfect. Larger loaves may take a little longer.