Off the Local Streets Come Yummy Treats

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Summer is the best time of the year to not only enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, but to have fun picking them yourself. Strawberries, peaches, blueberries, cherries, tomatoes, corn, fresh herbs – the list goes on and on!

The building I work in is located in a beautiful rural area. It’s surrounded by local farmer’s markets and orchards open to the public for picking. Our sweet receptionist stopped by one of these orchards last week and picked a bucket full of fresh blueberries. Being the generous lady she is, she brought me a bag full of these blueberries knowing that I enjoy baking and trying new recipes. So not wanting to disappoint, I went searching for a new blueberry recipe to find, and here is what I found:

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Don’t let the name turn you off! I was skeptical myself at first, but it truly tasted so good! (the batter and the bread…). I made a loaf for my parents and my in-laws and they both loved it. The zucchini has a subtle taste that, in my opinion, plays more into the texture rather than the flavor. If you’ve got some fresh blueberries on hand, I definitely recommend this recipe!

Ingredients:

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup vegetable oil

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 ¼ cups white sugar

2 cups shredded zucchini

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 pint fresh blueberries

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 4 mini-loaf pans.

2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared mini-loaf pans.

3. Bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 2 large loaves; about 12 servings

Here’s what mine looked like (not quite as pretty, but just as tasty):

If you live close to local farms, orchards, or farmer’s markets, I highly suggest stopping by on a sunny day and shopping (or picking) around for fresh, local produce. While supporting your local markets, you also usually walk away spending much less than you would at a chain grocery store. And it’s a fun summer-y activity; what can beat that?