Zucchini is one of those summertime vegetables that never seems to run out of steam. I really have to wait until the weather starts to change before the friends who have been handing me piles of the stuff all summer long finally begin to slow down. I’m not complaining, mind you (although I have stopped planting the stuff in my own garden), because I am a big fan of zucchini in both savory dishes and in baked goods. Like carrots, zucchini is a great addition to baked goods and whipping up a batch of zucchini bread is a very good way to use up a lot of it at once and sneak some veggies into dessert. Unlike carrots, however, zucchini has a more significant impact on the cake or bread that it is baked into. Zucchini is more moist than carrots are, and bakes up to be more tender, so the texture of the vegetable is slightly more subtle in the finished product.
Zucchini should be washed and shredded fairly fine if you intend to bake with it. Coarser shreds will have a slightly more noticeable flavor and texture in a finished cake or bread recipe. The shredded zucchini should be pressed well with paper towels to soak up excess moisture to prevent whatever your baking from getting too soggy.
If you haven’t tried baking with zucchini before, it is worth knowing that it can be substituted into most recipes that use shredded carrots, such as carrot cake, without any problems. Breads, cakes and cookies that use zucchini tend to be a little more diverse than most carrot cake recipes, so once you get your feet wet and try out your first recipe or two with zucchini, you might want a little more inspiration and these recipes are a great place to start: