The name says it all, Orange Zucchini Cranberry Chocolate Chip Bread. I love trying different variations of zucchini bread. I have my “go to” zucchini bread recipe and then I alter it to the flavor I want. I love taking zucchini out of the freezer all winter long to make breads. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can still grow zucchini and you always get a ton of it. My kids are not a big fan of it grilled or sautéed like I like it but they will eat it in a dessert. They love my zucchini brownie recipe which you can find the recipe amongst my other blog posts.
I had some cranberries in the freezer from when they were on sale. You can get cranberries pretty inexpensively in the fall and they freeze great. I throw them right in the food processer frozen so they chop up nicely for the recipe. I also like to add nuts, whatever you have on hand. I like pecans but walnuts would also be good. This recipe makes two loaves so I always leave one loaf without nuts since the boys don’t really like them.
3/4 cup vegetable oil (canola or coconut oil are my preferences)
3 farm fresh eggs (from your local farmer or own backyard)
1/4 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
Juice of one orange
2 cups zucchini pulp (I like to use previously frozen zucchini, let thaw and drain)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (heaping teaspoon)
Zest of one orange
1 cup chopped cranberries
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
I keep my zucchini stored in zip top bags in the freezer. Thaw them out and drain most of the liquid and measure out two cups of pulp into a measuring cup. Add the juice of one orange to that until you are ready to add it into your recipe. If you are using a fresh zucchini, grate it by hand. It always comes out moister if you grate it with a hand grater rather than your food processor.
Start by mixing your wet ingredients; eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, and yogurt. This is the point I add in my zucchini/orange juice mixture. Now in a separate bowl, add all your dry ingredients together. Put dry into wet until moistened without over mixing. Add in cranberries, chocolate chips and nuts. This is also tasty without the chocolate chips. I like to use semi-sweet or dark chocolate. Divide into two 9x5 loaf pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 F for 50-60 minutes.
You can also put these into muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes. For a basic zucchini bread recipe, omit the orange juice but don’t drain off all the liquid if using thawed out zucchini. I would also add in more spices like more cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. You could also do a lemon blueberry variation. You could use lemon juice and zest and substitute blueberries for the cranberries. That would be delicious.
I love making breads. Hope you enjoy. For more on Conley Farm, please visit my Facebook page.