Not sure what to do with your mountains of extra zucchini? Whip up a few loaves of my new favorite Gluten-Free Orange Walnut Zucchini Bread!
Ok, maybe unless you are one of those insanely blessed people with a HUGE garden and home grown zucchini coming out of your ears. But still, I would kill to have the “problem” of an overabundance of my own fresh zucchini. Right now, I just have an overabundance because I can’t control myself at the farmer’s market – I mean, zucchini is NEVER this good or this inexpensive at any other time of the year, so that totally justifies buying about 5 pounds a week for our 2.5 person household, right?
While my zucchini purchases may be a TAD over zealous these days, I would be lying if I didn’t say it was somewhat intentional. In the back of my head I know that I will NEVER let the green beauties go to waste, and overbuying simply means that OH DARN – I have to make a loaf (or three) of zucchini bread.
In the last few weeks I’ve made a ton of different permutations of gluten-free zucchini breads – chocolate chip, walnut, and blueberry to name a few – my most favorite has been this Orange Walnut Zucchini bread. I don’t know what made me crave the orange/zucchini combination (I blame the baby) but I am so glad it happened.
And when I say happened, I mean I may have upped my zucchini purchase to close to 8 lbs this weekend in anticipation of a number of loaves needing to be baked.
While 95% of the time I’d say that there is nothing better than a warm loaf of bread from the oven (ok, any just about a warm anything else straight from the oven) this Orange Walnut Zucchini bread is the exception. While it’s still insanely delicious warm, it is OUT OF THIS WORLD when consumed 12+ hours after the baking is done.
Why? Like a fine wine, this bread only gets better with time. If you let it sit for 8-12 hours before diving in, the orange flavors will really have a chance to develop, delivering one of the most delectable quick breads that has ever hit your taste buds.
My trick for keeping my grubby paws off of this before the 8 hours has passed (because let’s be honest: the struggle is real) – bake it late at night, in preparation for a tasty breakfast treat the next morning.
But, truth be told, you’ll still probably sneak a slice (or two). Best midnight snack ever 😉
A quick tip on zucchini bread making: make sure to squeeze the zucchini a bit to get some of the moisture out, but don’t oversqueeze. There’s a fine line and you want to make sure you ride it. Too little squeezing and you’ll have too much moisture in your bread (and not in the good way – soggy is NOT what you are aiming for. Trust me.) Too much squeezing, and using the zucchini for it’s moisture benefits is basically useless.
So how much is is the right amount? Simply wrap the shredded zucchini in a towel and give it 2-3 tight, quick squeezes and you will be headed towards zucchini bread perfection, my friends.
If only zucchini overload season never had to come to an end…
But until then, you’ll find me by the oven baking loaf after loaf (after loaf) of this tender gluten-free orange walnut zucchini bread.
[[Summer, I love you.]]
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of one large orange, about 2-3 Tablespoons
- 1 ¼ cups shredded zucchini, squeezed to remove excess moisture
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (+½ teaspoon xanthun gum if your blend doesn’t contain it)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Dash nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts, some reserved for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9inch x 5inch loaf pan with cooking spray or grease on all sides.
- In a large bowl, combine sugars, oil and orange zest. Beat in egg. Mix in vanilla and shredded zucchini.
- In a separate bowl, combine gluten-free flour, xanthun gum (if needed), cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then mix into wet ingredients. Stir in chopped walnuts.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Let the dough REST at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the bread cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from pan and transferring to a cooking rack. Let the bread cool for at least 30 minutes total before digging in.