Zucchini is such a wonderfully versatile vegetable. I love growing several varieties each warm season, including Golden, Cocozelle, Black Beauty and Lebanese. The yellow and pale zucchini are really great for using in recipes like this Gluten Free Zucchini, Ham and Cheese Loaf (or muffins) are they blend right in, and no one need know it has zucchini in it!
Being sensitive to frost and the cold, zucchini seed is planted direct into the garden bed in spring, and grows over Summer into Autumn in most climates. If you find that baby zucchini start to grow on the plant, but then shrink and die off, you may need to hand pollinate.
It can be one of the most prolifically producing plants though, and many edible gardeners find themselves with an abundance. You can make many dishes and baked goods with it, as well as preserving it by pickling, dehydrating or freezing (I am not a fan of defrosted zucchini though).
The photos shown here has the optional silverbeet, that is why the loaf has more green in it! The addition of fetta to this loaf would make it perfect to eat without butter, and have as picnic food, or in school or work lunch bags. You can have it toasted for breakfast, served with butter, or as a side for scrambled eggs.
zucchini, ham and cheese loaf
About 10 to 12 regular muffins, or one loaf
- 300gm of whole zucchini, which is about 2 medium or 1 large zucchini (should make about 2 cups once ends are chopped off & they are finely grated)
- 1 large slice of ham or 2 rashers middle or streaky bacon (equals about 1/2 cup once chopped/ diced)
- 100gm of block cheese – cheddar, tasty, smoked or combination of (about 1 cup once grated)
- 2 free range eggs
- 1/4 cup of macadamia oil (or 60gm melted butter)
- 1/4 tsp garlic oil
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup maize flour
- 1/2 cup white rice flour
- 2 tsps gluten free baking powder
- 1/2 cup chopped silverbeet
- 1 to 2 tbsp of chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, parsley or chives) or 1 to 2 tsps dried herbs
- 1/2 cup crumbled fetta
- 1/4 cup of chopped semi-dried tomatoes
Preheat oven to moderate, about 180°C.
- Prepare muffin tray with papers/ liners, or grease/ line a loaf pan
- In a food processor, using a fine grating blade, grate the zucchini and block cheese (leave in bowl, and switch to chopping blade)
- Add the eggs, oil/ butter (and silverbeet, garlic oil or herbs, if using)
- Add the flours and baking powder, blend until combined
- Add the diced ham or bacon (and crumbled fetta, if using) and blend briefly until just mixed in
- Spoon mix into muffin cups, until about 3/4 full, or all the mix into a loaf pan
- Bake in oven for 25 to 30 minutes for muffins, or 45 to 55 minutes until golden brown on top, and muffins spring back when touched (use a skewer inserted into the loaf, to check it is cooked through & no wet mix comes out on the skewer).
- You can substitute a combination of vegetables instead of using just zucchini, such as finely grated sweet potato/ carrot/ silverbeet/ spinach, equal to one (up to one & a half) cups
- Can be frozen to then add to school lunch bags, or work lunches. Slice the loaf and freeze in individual portions, or with baking paper between the slices.
- To learn more about Low FODMAPs, read this!