Embrace Green Goodness: April 25 is National Zucchini Bread Day

Zucchini has a superpower.

It can take on the flavors of the other ingredients it’s combined with, and although it’s generally on a plate next to a savory protein like grilled beef or chicken, it’s also a healthy ingredient in a variety of baked goods.

In fact, it can be made sweet enough to be turned into zucchini bread, which is popular enough to deserve its own celebratory day - April 25 is National Zucchini Bread Day. 

The idea of adding a green vegetable to a baked dessert sounds a little odd, but this multiskilled squash grows so easily and, in such abundance, it stands to reason that garden growers over the centuries would find as many ways to use it as they could. 

So, the next thing to do is to start growing zucchini in your vegetable garden. Here's how.

  • Choose a location with full sun and has lots of well-draining soil. Add compost or manure to the soil.
  • Zucchini seeds can be started indoors or planted directly in your sunny location. The plants only need about 40 days to start producing.
  • If planting indoors, put one or two seeds in a pot. They can be transplanted later, if you want. Choose a large planter, 18 inches or wider, and fill it with rich potting soil, and add about three seeds to the center of the pot, a half-inch deep. Be sure the container is in a sunny location.
  • Water consistently, at least once a week, keeping leaves dry and watering directly at the base of the plant. After the zucchini starts growing, continue watering. Add fertilizer. They feed heavily because they produce abundantly.
  • Pick the zucchini frequently, because if you leave them on the plants, they’ll keep growing. When they’re between eight and ten inches long is a good time to pick.
  • The more you harvest, the more they’ll produce!

Take your harvest into the kitchen and sauté in parmesan cheese, add to casseroles or soups, or simply steam for a side dish for a winning meal anytime.

But, on April 25, be sure to make some zucchini bread with your home-grown veggies. There are variations that include chocolate, Greek yogurt, and walnuts.

Here's an easy zucchini bread recipe: *Sally's Baking Addiction

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or sour cream or Greek yogurt)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (no need to blot)
  • optional: 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chopped nuts, raisins, etc.)


  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.  
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla together until combined. Whisk in the zucchini. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently stir or whisk until *just* combined; do not overmix. Fold in any optional add-ins like chocolate chips or nuts. Batter is slightly thick.
  • Spread the batter evenly into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55-70 minutes. Baking times vary so keep an eye on yours. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out *mostly* clean with zero raw batter. 
  • Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Tips for a bountiful zucchini harvest

  • Plant zucchini in hills, or mounds. This keeps the soil warmer, and they provide better drainage than flat rows. 
  • Don’t plant too early. Zucchini does not do well in frost or temperatures below 60 degrees. In case of an unexpected dip in the temperature, use row covers or mulch to protect your plants. 
  • Try succession planting. Because it’s such a fast grower and produces so much so quickly, it slows over the growing season. Start a new plant up to two or three times in the growing season to have a consistent harvest. 
  • Watch out for squash vine borers. These pests lay their eggs at the base of the plants and start to feed, which cuts off the water flow and will kill your beautiful zucchini plants. To completely avoid these, plant your zucchini in mid-July. If you want earlier zucchini, wrap the base of each plant in aluminum foil, up to two inches of the stem from the ground up. 

Once you know how to grow zucchini, you’ll be overwhelmed with the fruits of your labors. Grill, steam, sauté or bake this versatile vegetable and enjoy. 


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