Fresh “Funfetti” Zucchini Bread

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No sugary sprinkles here. Even as a child I did not like what we referred to as “jimmies”. While visually lovely, sprinkles have a weird waxy texture that turns me off and easily ruins a perfectly delicious creamy bowl of ice cream or icing on the cake. So, I created a fresh from the garden “funfetti” with an array of colorful carrots, beets and dark green zucchini. These beautiful vegetables are being harvested from my garden right now. Following a cue from Mother Nature, it just seems right to join them in a moist and not too sweet quick bread with a crunchy walnut topping.

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Start by trimming the ends off of dark green zucchini; grate on that large hole of your box grater. Toss the shreds with a little sugar and salt, weight it down in a sieve and let it drain. Then squeeze it. I ended up with 1/2 cup of slightly salty, sweet zucchini water that got tossed into a gazpacho. It would probably be good in a smoothie, but if your not feeling the goodness just dump it in the sink.

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Next, cut the carrots to size and blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water. The beets get cooked, too, but in retrospect, I think I would skip them entirely as they don’t look as pretty as the carrots after baking. They bleed a bit. Maybe golden or white beets next time.

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Make the quick bread batter. Have you tried avocado oil? I found it at Costco. With a high smoke point, avocado oil is perfect for grilling, frying and roasting. Its mild flavor makes it very good for baking, too.  This heart healthy fat is high in Vitamin E plus it helps the body absorb other good nutrients like carotenoids. Think antioxidants like beta-carotene. Yay-there are carrots in the bread. This quick bread is so super moist and tender. I suspect the avocado oil has a lot to do with that.

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Now layer in the vegetables. I dusted the veggies with dried ginger for some flavor, but also to prevent them from sinking. It worked !

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Bake it for an hour (turn your pan half way through for more even baking) or until you see the tell-tale crack down the center and an instant read thermometer inserted in the center registers around 205F.

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Let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Turn it out and let it cool completely. Don’t be tempted to slice it while still warm. In fact, it’s best served the next day. Enjoy those crunchy sugar coated walnuts on top and then marvel at the pretty colors inside.

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Fresh Funfetti Zucchini Bread

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3 small to medium zucchini (12 oz. after you trim the ends)

2/3-cup sugar, divided

1-teaspoon salt, divided

3 colorful carrots, peeled, cut to size

1 beet, roasted or boiled until a bit underdone, peeled and diced

½ teaspoon ground ginger

2 cups all purpose flour

1-teaspoon baking powder

1-teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

¼ cup sour cream

½ cup avocado oil

½ lime, juice and zest

1/3-cup chopped walnuts

2 teaspoons turbinado sugar

Heat oven 375F. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with baking spray (or grease and dust with flour). Shred zucchini on the large hole of a box grater. Toss zucchini with 1 tablespoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt. Transfer zucchini to a sieve sitting over a bowl. Press a plate on top of zucchini and weight down for 20 to 30 minutes to drain. Meanwhile, cook carrots in boiling water for 2 minutes; drain and let cool. Dust carrots and beets with ginger; set aside. In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and remaining ½ teaspoon salt; set aside. In another bowl, whisk eggs, remaining sugar, sour cream, avocado oil, lime juice and zest; set aside. Squeeze fistfuls of zucchini draining out more liquid then pat dry with paper towels. Using a rubber spatula, stir zucchini and egg mixture into flour mixture until blended and dry ingredients are moistened. Layer 1/3rd of batter over bottom of prepared pan. Top with some carrots and beets in a single layer. Top with another 1/3rd of batter smoothing into an even layer. Top with remaining carrots and beets. Cover with remaining batter smoothing the top. Sprinkle evenly with walnuts and then sugar. Bake 55 to 60 minutes, turning pan after 30 minutes, or until golden brown and internal temperature of about 205F. on an instant read thermometer.There should be the classic quick bread crack down the center. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely.

My garden is a constant source of joy. Sprinkle some seeds in the dirt and grow funfetti.

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Frozen Margarita Time

 

 

 

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Surprise-not a drink! Just look at the back of any tequila bottle if you want a drink recipe. Let’s start off by saying it’s necessary for this recipe to be spirited. If you don’t like alcohol in your recipes then I suggest you skip this one. The alcohol is necessary for the chemistry of this ice cream to turn out texturally soft and creamy (not hard as an icy rock like many no-churn recipes) and actually remind you of a real fresh margarita. I love science.

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You will also notice I don’t give you measurements for the chocolate. It’s because this recipe makes over a quart of ice cream. You are not going to use it all unless you make like a gazillion chocolate cups. So go ahead and enjoy some of the ice cream on its own.

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The point is to just make enough chocolate cups depending on how many people you would like to serve. Just roll with it and melt as much chocolate as you need. Use good chocolate, too.

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In my first go around with this idea I actually froze the ice cream, scooped it into bonbons, froze again and then dipped in chocolate and then froze again before decorating. It’s a fussy process and who has time for fussy? I prefer the foil lined cups for ease and getting the whole thing done in one swoop. Enjoy and happy summer. Stay safe!

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bonbons in green and orange are a bit fussy to make

No-Churn Margarita Ice Cream Cups

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

¼ cup fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon Cointreau or other orange flavor liqueur

1-tablespoon tequila

1/8-teaspoon fine sea salt

2 cups heavy cream

foil muffin cup liners (regular size or mini)

dark chocolate, melted (candy melts also work)

white chocolate, melted

finishing salt like maldon

Pour sweetened condensed milk into a large bowl. (Scrape it all out of that can with a rubber spatula.) Add lime juice, liqueur, tequila and salt. Using the spatula, blend mixture until it is well mixed and smooth. In large mixer bowl, beat cream to just stiff peaks (do not over-mix or you will end up with butter). Stir about a cup of cream into condensed milk mixture to lighten it up. Fold in remaining cream until fully incorporated. Pour mixture into a loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 6 hours or as long as overnight if you just want ice cream. Do not freeze, yet, if you want to use chocolate cups.

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Coat foil muffin cup liners with a thin layer of melted dark chocolate; chill in the refrigerator. When ice cream is ready fill chocolate cups leaving a small amount of room at the top. Smooth the top. Pour more melted chocolate over the top and smooth to seal. Drizzle with melted white chocolate and immediately sprinkle with finishing salt. Store in freezer until ready to serve. May be made days in advance. Cover and store leftover ice cream in freezer.

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