Healthy Eating: A sneaky (and delicious) way to use zucchini

Zucchini CornbreadIf you are a gardener then you know this is the time of the year when the great zucchini parade begins! I have already seen boxes out on the sidewalk with “free” signs attached….what lurks inside? Zucchini if you had to guess! It is a wonderful and delicious vegetable ESPECIALLY if you pluck it when it is small and about the size of a half dollar in diameter. Tender. Steamed lightly with a small amount of brown butter sauce. Doesn’t get much better or more simple than that.

The problem however is that these things seem to grow like Big Foot over night and before you know it the petite zucchini has become ginormous. Then it’s time to either make the new-fangled zucchini “noodles” using a a “spiralizer” device (aka I do not own one of these (but if you have one you are not using I would be happy to try it out!) OR make zucchini bread. There are lots of recipes for the sweet version that’s a delight to eat for breakfast or afternoon tea. This is a healthy version I like because it makes cornbread interesting and tasty (and it’s a sneaky way to use those rogue zucchini). Pair this with a soup or salad for a lovely summer meal. Now start looking for those “free” boxes around town.

Zucchini Cornbread

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter plus more for pan
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk (or yogurt that’s been thinned out with water)
1 large zucchini (about 10 ounces)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup medium-grind cornmeal

Position a rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter a 9x5x3″ loaf pan.

Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until butter solids at bottom of pan turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Scrape butter into a medium bowl. Set aside and let cool. Whisk in eggs and buttermilk.

Trim zucchini ends. Thinly slice five 1/8″ rounds from 1 end of zucchini and reserve for garnish. Coarsely grate remaining zucchini. Add to bowl with butter mixture and stir until well blended.

Sift both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl. Whisk in cornmeal. Add zucchini mixture; fold just to blend (mixture will be very thick). Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top. Place reserved zucchini slices atop batter down center in a single layer.

Bake bread until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 55-65 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool completely on a wire rack. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room

Deborah Binder Formal Portrait— By Deborah Binder

Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She is “dancing with N.E.D.” (no evidence of disease) after being diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 2009. She is a foodie who loves to cook from scratch and share here experiments with her family. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and currently chef assists at PCC Cooks and NuCulinary Cooking School. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at

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