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Children … Eat Your Vegetables!

Little kids love to garden. I had a huge garden when my kids were growing up, and so did my mom. When it came time for the harvest, corn on the cob was their favorite. And they loved sugar snap peas, carrots and even beets.

But when it came to trying anything zucchini, that was an entirely different story. No matter how I sliced or diced it, zucchini was never on the top of their kid approved veggie list.

There was one way I was able to disguise it, and that was in chocolate zucchini bread. It was the best (and sneakiest) way for me to get them to eat this nutrient loaded vegetable.

My home grown recipe is light and super chocolatey. I'm going to give you a couple tips that will ensure this bread is perfect.

First, don’t substitute white sugar for the brown sugar in this recipe. Brown sugar adds extra moistness due to its molasses content. It also adds a hint of rich caramel flavor.

Second, don’t use anything but a rich, dark cocoa powder. I use Hershey's Special Dark 100% Cacao Cocoa Powder. Coupled with the brown sugar, the dark cocoa adds a decadent quality to the finished product. If you are a chocolate lover, think mega chocolate fix.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup softened butter

1/3 cup white sugar

1 1/3 cups brown sugar

2/3 cup Hershey's Special Dark 100% Cacao Cocoa Powder

2 eggs

1 tablespoon Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste

3/4 cup milk

2 1/2 cups unbleached flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups grated zucchini

Optional: 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add first seven ingredients to a mixing bowl and beat until fluffy. Shift together the dry ingredients. If you like a little bit of heat with your chocolate, add the ground cayenne pepper.

Add the dry ingredients, alternating them with the milk into the creamed ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium speed until blended.

Fold in the two cups of zucchini. Pour into two greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn oven down to 325 degrees and bake for about 15 minutes. Test the top of the loaf to ensure it’s done.

Serve warm to your veggie haters. Don't hide your smirk when they ask for a second slice of this intensely chocolate dessert.

For more about Billie, check out her bio page.


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