It’s that time of year again. The time of year when I get sneaky.
I have a passion for cooking and a love of gardening. An interest in nutrition and, a love for my children. Combined, these had me convinced that if kids were given the chance to grow their own food in their backyard or patio garden they would eat just about anything they grew.
My garden space is small but full and in July it is full of zucchini. But, it turns out that zucchini is not my kids’ idea of good food. Even if they did grow it. Funny thing that I can’t remember this in May when I put in the seedlings.
So, every year, this time of year, I am forced to hide zucchini everywhere in order to use it up. I have the most fun sneaking the truly huge, two foot-long zucchinis (that seem to grow ignored under those big leaves) in my neighbor’s beds. I sneak over when they have headed out to walk the dog and place, like the tooth fairy but different, a big zucchini under their pillows. Hee, hee.
Then, I turn to cooking up the more manageable fruits. For dinner there is no better choice than the recipe found in Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Mineral for Disappearing Zucchini Orzo. It is a perfect way to hide three large ones. Hee, hee, hee!
Then for breakfast I whip up zucchini bread from a recipe I have tuned and tweaked for the past 18 years of feeding children. It is a perfect way to thin the crop and a fabulous way to trick reluctant youngsters into eating their veggies.
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 cups grated zucchini (or a mix of zucchini, yellow summer squash and carrots)
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
Beat eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla until light. Mix in zucchini.
Whisk together dry ingredients then fold into wet. Stir in walnuts.
Pour into pan and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center springs back and tester comes out clean.
Cool for 10 min then turn onto cooling rack.
When asked, don’t tell them what the green flecks are just let them try it first!