Stealth weight loss; zucchini bread by request

July 4 sunset from deck.
July 4 sunset from deck.

The stealth weight loss continues — 10 pounds gone since Christmas. Mostly due, I think, to 5 consecutive swim-exercise sessions at our community pool since the arrival of our beloved grand, Snow White. Also, trying to make her diet a little healthier always improves mine. Except that I cannot get excited about the garden cucumbers she likes. Squash, always. Cucumbers, only when combined with garlic and yogurt and slathered over cedar-planked salmon.

At the pool saw a friend who’s got rid of more than 70 pounds, and he says, “It’s all about sugar.” I agree. But I haven’t been able to eliminate it entirely, and I’m not a guy who can give up the sugar in his iced tea and lose 50 pounds the first week. Slow but steady, that’s me, thinking about the blessings of my overall good health whenever I’m tempted to fall into a box of Reese’s Pieces with S.W. (She is no bigger around than a minute, of course.)

The Silver Palate zucchini bread (The Silver Palate Cookbook, Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, Workman Publishing, 1981) is by no means a diet dish, and I’ve posted it before, but I’ve had a request for a repeat. It is infallibly wonderful and more like cake than bread. And the 1 teaspoon salt is not a misprint.

Zucchini bread

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 eggs

1-1/4 cups oil

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup chopped walnuts

Butter gives this zucchini bread a delicious, crispy exterior.

Heat oven to 350º. Use butter to grease 9×5 loaf pan (or 2 8×4’s). Beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla until light and thick. Sift flour, soda, powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves together. Stir into egg mixture with zucchini and walnuts. Pour batter into loaf pan(s). Bake on middle rack of oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes (for single 9×5, adjust for smaller pans). Cool slghtly, remove from pans, and cool on rack. Freezes well.


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