Pepitas sweetly baked in a blanket of nearly guilt-free chocolate chip zucchini bread. Now THIS is how you should start your day.
There are a few things that really remind me of the days when I was a
pesky little child darling little angel, and zucchini bread is right up at the top of that list.
My mom would always bake two loaves at a time. You know, one to eat and one to freeze for later? Yea, not so much in my household. Give it 2 days and both loaves would have mysteriously turned into a small pile of crumbs. Like magic.
Harry Potter fans–there’s just got to be a spell for making this Zucchini bread re-appear, once its been completely guzzled, don’t you think?
Even though my siblings and I have all grown up and most have moved out of the house, she’ll still make 2 loaves when we visit and send us back with a few slices to get us through the drive back. My momma is a pretty caring lady. Bless her soul. I don’t know how she doesn’t keep them for herself.
My little addition of wheat germ comes from her. She is such a sneaky baker. She added the stuff to everything. I’ll bet you she even put it in chocolate-chip cookies.
Wait, what am I saying. I don’t even want to go there. My life would be ruined forever if I knew she went that far.
Shucks. I don’t know what to believe anymore. Sigh.
But I do know what tastes ridiculously good–this bread. New and improved with Pepitas.
If you are guilty of adding walnuts into bread recipes–like a zombie would do, if a zombie could bake–without thinking, then just hold up a second and try adding some of these tasty little naked pumpkin seeds (by naked, I mean without their shells). They add a good crunch and a yummy, nutty flavor.
Here are some other tasty loaves that you might want to get your hands on next:
Chocolate-Chip Zucchini Bread with Pepitas
Makes 1 loaf, about 12 slices
2 cups zucchini, shredded and pressed
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup (rounded) applesauce, unsweetened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
¾ tsp teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp wheat germ
2 tsps ground cinnamon
scant 1/8 tsp nutmeg (just a pinch will do)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to draw moisture out of zucchini
¾ cup raw pepitas
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, tossed in flour
about 15 thinly sliced zucchini rounds, to place on top
1 ½ tsp turbinado sugar (raw sugar), for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grate zucchini and place in a strainer with a pinch of salt mixed in, to release extra moisture; let sit for about 10 minutes, giving it a final press before adding to the recipe.
In a large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer), whisk together sugar, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and eggs.
Into a medium bowl, mix together flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and salt. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, and stir to combine well.
Stir in grated zucchini, chocolate chips and pepitas.
Pour batter into a greased 9x5x3-inch cooking pan, spreading evenly. Place thinly sliced zucchini rounds on the top of the batter in the loaf pan, arranging them to cover the top (overlapping is fine). Sprinkle a few pinches of turbinado sugar over the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; then carefully transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.