Healthy Beaver Bag: Zucchini Bread

When I worked at a soup kitchen we didn’t talk about fall we joked about zucchini season. Once the garden bounty of late summer sparked the generosity of the community we had abundant zucchini for weeks. We made zucchini soup, cold lightly dressed vinegar salad, roasted it in the oven, cooked it in eggs and most popular of all made it into soft and rich zucchini bread.

This quick bread smells like fall to me. A little bit vegetal with a mix of cinnamon. Quick bread is a funny term for a process that still takes an hour (or more!) but is fair in that using baking soda, a chemical leavener, eliminates the need for rise time and proofing required for yeast based doughs.  Quick breads like banana bread, carrot bread, apple bread or ABC bread (apple, banana, carrot) rely on a basic formula of fat, flour, sugar, and sometimes egg + a mix-in.

With a basic formula that can be modified for ingredients on hand, a quick bread recipe is a useful part of your meal planning options. It can be produced easily and split into several calorie dense portions to bring with you on the go and can also be frozen for later. In my thinking about planning my food week, a quick bread can take the place of granola bars.

A Basic Quick Bread Formula:

1 pan = 1 cup flour, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt, ¼ -1/2 cup oil or butter, and ¼-1/2 cup sugar or brown sugar, 1 egg + [1-1 ½ cups of a shredded or mashed fruit or veggie]

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately, then combine. Bake at 350F till a test poke comes out clean.

Tips: Banana bread can have less oil and sugar easily because the banana adds moisture and sugar. The zucchini bread has a little more because it has less moisture and sugar.

Use oil if you don’t have butter, works equally well if not better 

If you double the recipe the bread will fill a pan, but it is more challenging to bake and make sure the middle is cooked.

You can see in these variations that the amount of the cooking fat and sugar can vary. Judging this might take a little practice. Vegetables and butter can vary in water content as well so your results will vary each time a little.

Banana bread: 1 cup flour, 2 bananas, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup oil or butter, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp baking soda,½ tsp vanilla extract

ABC Bread (Apple Banana Carrot): 1 cup flour, 1 small very ripe banana, ¼ cup shredded carrot, ¼ cup shredded apple, ⅓ cup sugar, ⅓ cup oil or butter, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp cinnamon

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread with Orange Zest

Ingredients:

1 zucchini medium sized
1 cup flour all purpose, white whole wheat flour, or a mix of all purpose flour & whole wheat
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg

Optional: 1 Orange for Zest *see notes on how to zest, Honey to serve.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. 
  2. Prepare pan by spraying with cooking spray or rubbing the inside with a small amount of oil or butter.
  3. Peel zucchini, chop off the ends. Shred/chop the zucchini into thin and small pieces. You need about 1 loose cup. There are a few ways to do this. All these ways work well. Once shredded set aside.
    • Use a grater to shred the zucchini. 
    • Use a vegetable peeler to make the whole peeled zucchini into long peeled shreds and then chop the pieces with a knife and cutting board. 
    • Slice the zucchini on a cutting board into very thin slices, then dice the slices into a very small pieces
    • Use a food processor to shred the peeled zucchini
  4. In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, flour, baking soda and salt, with cinnamon.
  5. In another bowl combine the brown sugar, butter, and egg. Mix until uniform consistency is achieved.
  6. Mix zucchini into wet ingredients. If using orange zest or nuts add it here.
  7. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix till all of the flour is moistened. Don’t over mix or knead the batter though – the texture will become tough. Spread this thick batter into the pan evenly.
  8. Bake on a middle rack for 25-30 minutes. It took 27 minutes in my oven. You can tell it is done by pressing the center slightly if it bounces back it is done. Poking the middle with a toothpick, wooden skewer or fork or knife to see if the batter is raw still and sticks is a good way too.
  9. Allow to cool a little before slicing.

Storage: After cooling completely, wrap in plastic wrap or store in a sealed container – bread will keep 4 days on the counter. If you wrap pieces and freeze it, you can pull slices out for a month.

*How to Zest an orange: Zesting citrus means scrapping just the outside top layer of the peel of the fruit off and collecting this layer to be used in a recipe. This can be done using a zester, or microplane or side of some box graters. I like to use the side of a knife. Hold the fruit firmly in one hand keeping fingers tucked back away. Use a knife in a motion away from you to gently scratch the surface and remove the top layer, letting it fall on a plate or collecting it from the side of the knife. You don’t want the white area under the peel, it is bitter. You don’t need a lot of zest to make a big impact. Don’t throw away the fruit after, but do use it soon because breaking the peel is much like cutting it and it will spoil.  In the picture below, you can see what the orange looks like as the peel is zested.

Orange with peel partially zested

Letter: Food Security Program Updates for Social Distancing

March 27th 2020

Hello,

The food pantry is still here to serve you. This letter is to tell you about the changes beginning Monday March 30th.

Premade Boxes

We are getting food from Linn Benton Food Share/Oregon Food Bank in a different format.

Shelf stable items will come in a box assembled at the Food Bank. The boxes weigh about 27# and contain an assortment of shelf stable items.  There will be some frozen meat/fish and some fresh produce.

The goal is for each household to pick up a box once per month. If you find you are running out of food, come back to the HSRC and we will work to figure something out to help you get by.

We will ask that you take the whole box with you and that you do not open, sort, or leave items outside the building.

We will continue to work to respect cultural food practices. We will try to modify boxes to the best of our ability to accommodate dietary restrictions.  Please read food labels carefully yourself before using items.

Peanut butter will be available, but will not be in the food boxes. We may sometimes get additional items such as Masa or Flour as available from the Food Share.

New 2020 Income Eligibility Guidelines

The eligible income levels to get food from pantries in Oregon are going way up. Share this info with folks you know who might be in need of assistance. These new guidelines will be for all pantries supported by the Oregon Food Bank beginning March 30th.

Family Size Monthly Annual
1 $3,190 $38,280
2 $4,310 $51,720
3 $5,430 $65,160
4 $6,550 $78,600
5 $7,670 $92,040
6 $8,790 $105,480

*For each additional member, add $1,120 per month or $13,440 per year

Coming Soon: Healthy Beaver Bags

For OSU students and staff (those with a university ID) we will start offering a ‘Healthy Beaver Bag’ from the HSRC.  This is our way of continuing cooking education for the OSU community as we pivot to provide services in a way that maintains social distancing. Participants will need to be able to pick up a bag from the HSRC in Corvallis. HBBs will be offered for pick up on a different day than the food pantry hours. There will be corresponding online material. You can sign up using this form. Please look for more info soon on our Facebook page “Human Services Resource Center – Oregon State University.”

Follow Facebook for Program Updates

We will post program updates including the pantry schedule, food assistance programs, textbook lending library, and basic needs navigation to our Facebook page:

Human Services Resource Center – Oregon State University

Thank you for your flexibility. We will get through this together,

HSRC Team

Getting food when you can’t: How to use the pantry “Authorized Representative Form”

If you are ill or you need to stay home to stay healthy, food is still available to you.

You can have someone you know pick up a food box from the food pantry for you. You will need to fill out a form saying you meet normal income eligibility guidelines. Download and print this Authorized Representative Form. The person picking up food will turn it in at the pantry and be given your food. The pantry can keep this form so that you don’t need to print a new one each time you send that same person to pick up food for you.

This is the common form for Oregon Food Bank pantries and should work at the pantry you normally visit, not just at the OSU Food Pantry.

Note: An updated version of the form will be uploaded to the link above March 30th so check back if you need it after that. At that time if you have the older version on file, it is ok and you will still be able to receive food. You will be asked though to submit the new form for the next visit.