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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I love going to farmers markets in the spring, summer and fall but the truth is that life gets busy and I don’t go as often as I’d like.  I like the act of actually strolling through the market but even more so, I like coming home with fresh local produce, often times varieties of things that I wouldn’t normally grab at the grocery store.  Farm to table cooking is huge right now – it seems like every cooking or foodie magazine that I’ve looked at this summer is touting the value of fresh seasonal farm produce making it’s way directly to the table whether at home or in restaurants.  Fresh produce delivery services are also becoming a growing trend and while I’ve been intrigued by the idea of it, I have not wanted to commit to spending too much money or getting more produce than I can use for a family of just two adults and two kids.  It turns out I have discovered the perfect service for my situation and I am excited to share it with you.  I recently met a gentleman named Ron Hord.  Ron lives in Upper Arlington just a few streets from me but also owns and operates the Small Farm in Holmes County, Ohio where he grows all sorts of beautiful produce.  Ron has started a modest delivery service in which he hand delivers a weekly variety of his hand picked produce to customers in the Upper Arlington and Grandview areas.  Ron dropped off my first basket the other day and it was overflowing with beautiful ripe vegetables.  He even included a sample of his homemade ‘medium’ salsa (he makes it in mild, medium and hot).  Ron offers a half peck basket or a full peck basket per week for a very reasonable price.  He delivers whatever is ripe for the picking that week, including bell peppers, cabbage, hot peppers, kale, garlic, red potatoes, asparagus, green beans, corn, tomatoes, onions, zucchini and more.

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Ron was kind enough to include a little newsletter giving updates about what is ripening and other commentary about the Small Farm as well as a list of nine Zucchini Bread recipes that was printed in The Holmes Bargain Hunter news publication just a week or so ago.  The Chocolate Zucchini Bread recipe jumped out at me so I gave it a try….it is delicious and moist and the perfect amount of mild chocolate and cinnamon flavors to make it appropriate to have for breakfast with a cup of coffee.  The kids loved it too!

For those of you who live in the area and may be interested in Ron’s delivery service, please contact him at ronhord2699@gmail.com.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread (Makes 2 loaves)

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

1 Tbsp vanilla

2 cups zucchini, shredded

2 ½ cups flour (can use part whole wheat flour — probably no more than 1 cup)

½ cup cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp baking powder

1 cup walnuts, chopped

½-1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla.  Stir in zucchini.  Combine dry ingredients and add to zucchini mixture.  Mix well.  Pour into two greased loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for one hour (for one loaf, bake 45-50 minutes or until done).  For muffins, bake 15-20 minutes or until done.

Recipe printed in The Holmes Bargain Hunter, August 5, 2013 (slightly adapted).