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Zucchini Bread

Makes two 9-inch loaves

This is one of several quick and easy recipes my mother and I found one year when there was an abundance of zucchini coming out of the garden. With a little revision, it turned out to be a favorite. Mom used to bake several batches in mini-loaf pans, freeze the breads and present some of them as delicious homemade gifts for Christmas. It is also nice to have them on hand for unexpected company.

Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease bottoms only of two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans (can use 8.5x4.5x2.5-inch pans). Mix zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients just until combined. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 50-60 minutes, depending on the pan size, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves; remove from pans and place on racks. Cool completely before slicing.

Notes: To bring out more of the nutty flavor, the walnuts can be lightly toasted in the oven or in a skillet before adding to the batter. Cooled breads can be wrapped tightly and stored at room temperature for up to two days or refrigerated for up to seven days. Alternately, they can be wrapped in foil, placed in sealable freezer bags and stored in the freezer for up to three months.