July’s Signed and Sealed is sort of part two of last month’s Signed and Sealed, which was supposed to be in June, but wasn’t sent, nor published, until the end of July. You know all this.
But this entry, which is for July, published in August, puts me back on track. Are you confused? Let’s review: June’s Signed and Sealed was those chocolate marshmallow crunch cookies, which effectively changed my life. They were published in the last week of July. July’s Signed and Sealed is this gluten free zucchini bread, which has effectively changed my life. It’s being published now. You get it.
Because I was sending out two treats at once, and because I like these people, both went to K’s sisters in New Jersey. One of his sisters eats gluten-free and so to make something that would both please her family and be something she herself could enjoy, I decided to experiment with some gluten free sweets. Zucchini is all over the place right now thus zucchini bread has been on my mind lately so I went that late-Summer route.
Hey, this is my 7th month of telling you that sending treats in the mail to people who are not expecting them is a really great way to make everyone feel special. Because I end up feeling just as special as them, which probably makes me selfish and narcissistic but… cookies! bread! I got to talk to both of K’s sisters this week! That’s pretty great. If you don’t believe me yet, don’t worry, because I have 5 more months to convince you.
Now, I haven’t made zucchini bread without gluten free flour, but I have tasted zucchini bread that I haven’t made but that included all purpose flour and this was every bit as good. It was moist and had a tender crumb. It’s perfect for an afternoon snack or for breakfast, and although it is sweet, it is made with lots and lots of vegetables, so it’s pretty much health food. It’s science.
Loaves are also ideal for sending in the mail. They’re sturdy enough to withstand the mailing process, just wrap them very tightly in multiple layers of plastic wrap and you’re good to go.
A strip of parchment paper, a decorative ribbon and a cute tag doesn’t hurt.
The best part about this is that it both accommodates both specific diets and it tastes incredible. Are you trying out a gluten-free lifestyle? This may be your gateway.
There’s a big, black, blurry cat stalking some zucchini bread in the background (he didn’t get it, Lisa! Promise!). And here’s the recipe.
Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread with Dried Cranberries (adapted from Food52)
- 3 cups gluten-free flour mix (I used “Gluten Free Pantry” but I’ve heard great things about the Cup4Cup brand)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cups vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups grated zucchini (peel the zucchini before grating and squeeze out a lot of the water with paper towels before measuring)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two loaf pans with cooking spray and cut some parchment paper to fit the length of the loaf pan. Let the parchment paper hang off the edges of the loaf pan. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add eggs, vegetable oil, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk together. Add grated zucchini and mix again.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients all at once. Mix until just combined, then add dried cranberries and mix again.
- Divide the batter between the two prepared loaf pans evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the middle of both breads comes out clean. Let the bread rest in the loaf pans for 5 minutes, then lift the breads out of the loaf pans by the parchment paper and let cool completely. Store by wrapping the loaves tightly in a couple layers of plastic wrap. The loaves will freeze well too.