Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Zucchini, Zucchini

Is there anyone out there that planted a garden and now has a bumper crop of Zucchini? Are you feeling overwhelmed by what to do with all of it?  Do your friends no longer open their door when they see you coming with a bag full of zucchini in your hand?  Well I am going to show you just how many ways you can use that zucchini to serve up wonderful main dishes as well as desserts to your friends and family.

Abundant in late spring and summer, zucchini is just as versatile as it is delicious. You can saute or roast it for a simple side dish, toss it with pasta for a fresh main course, or serve it for breakfast in a zucchini bread.

Zucchini is a versatile food which can be used in casseroles, breads, or pies. It can be eaten raw as a dipping vegetable or it can be stir-fried, or steamed. The word Zucchini is from the Italian word for “gourd”.  Raw zucchini has around 20 calories per cup and less than 5 carbohydrates per cup. The total fat for one cup of raw zucchini is less than 1 gram.

Even though your Mom always said, "Don't eat your dessert first".  I thought we would start with one of my favorite dessert recipes.

Spiced Zucchini Cake with Caramel Apple Topping
Serves:  16

2 cups peeled and grated Zucchini

2 cups peeled and grated Apples

2 cups white Sugar

2 medium Eggs

½ cup Vegetable Oil

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

3 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

½ teaspoon Ground Cloves

1 teaspoon Salt

2 teaspoons Baking Soda


¾ cup Raisins

1 Thinly sliced Apple

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

½ cup Nuts (optional)

½ cup Caramel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom of pan with oil and flour lightly.

Peel core, and grate apples. Slice zucchini in half, remove seeds and grate. In a large bowl, beat eggs, vanilla extract and sugar. Add oil and continue to mix until well blended. Add remaining dry ingredients to mixture and blend. Stir in zucchini and apples.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Top with raisins. Place thinly sliced apples on top and sprinkle with the brown sugar and nuts. Drizzle with the caramel and bake for 45 minutes. Serve warm or cooled.

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