This zucchini bread is healthy and just as tasty as other recipes packed with sugar and oil.
I have quite a treat for you today (especially for your eyes). Ashley from The Edible Perspective has gotten busy in the kitchen with zucchini bread and has shared her perfected, healthified version. I’m so excited to have her do a guest post for my blog and super excited to get to share her beautiful pictures with all of you. She is such a talented photographer. If you are looking for a vegan version of zucchini bread, no fear – check out her post today on her blog. Enjoy!
Hi there! I’m Ashley from The Edible Perspective. I’m going to barge in on Teri’s super fantabulous blog today, to bring you a classic summer recipe. When I think of summer, one thing I always think of, is zucchini bread. Sure, you can make this any time of the year, but zucchinis are at their prime in the summer months. Growing up, we always had a garden and it was always filled with zucchinis. GIANT zucchinis!! I can remember my mom being excited as the first few zucchinis were ripe. My dad would always set them on the back step. However, after a few weeks, they just.kept.coming. This always happened, but it was like we would forget from year to year. I remember seeing the look on my mom’s face, eyes popping out of her head, thinking about all of the bread baking that was about to ensue. I never minded though, because I’ve always loved helping in the kitchen!
I haven’t made zucchini bread in a few years but after seeing all the local, organic zucchini around here, I started to really crave this delicious bread. I bought a HUGE zucch and consulted the recipe we used to use. For 1 loaf of bread, it calls 1.5 cups of all purpose flour, ½ cup of oil and just over 1 cup of sugar. For everyday enjoying, this recipe needed to get healthified! Sometimes I push things pretty far, with how healthy I make it. With this, I wanted to make a few changes but keep it tasting as close to the real deal as possible.
The final outcome was a success!!
Okay…let’s get started!
While getting the kitchen ready for baking, it is not advised to make an extra mess.
Like this one.
The first step is to grate and/or grind your zucchini. I like to use a combo of both. You can prep your zucchini ahead of time and leave it in a sealed container, in your fridge, for 3-5 days. I use a 50/50 combo of grated + ground zucchini. The ground zucchini helps to really keep the loaf moist, while the grated zucchini leaves pretty flecks of green throughout your bread.
The next step is sifting all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Feel free to skip this step, but I think it aids in a better texture bread.
Typically, we would always double this recipe, to make 2 loaves at a time. You can give one to a friend or pop it in your freezer. This loaf freezes really well!! I remember thawing them out all year long. If you’re doubling the recipe, you’ll need 3 eggs. If you’re doing a single recipe you’ll need 1 ½ large eggs, or 1 jumbo egg. To get ½ egg, crack 1 egg in a bowl and use a spoon to grab ½ of the yolk. Then try and drain off about half of the white from the egg. It’s not exact but should work just fine!
You’ll want to add all of the wet ingredients + sugar [except for the zucchini] into a medium sized bowl. You can whisk your ingredients by hand or with a mixer. It really doesn’t matter!
Next, you’ll stir dry into the wet, until fully incorporated. Again, you can stir by hand or do it all with a mixer. Just be sure not to over-stir!
Then, you’ll add the zucchini + walnuts and stir.
Make sure to grease + flour your pan for the best results. I use a combined flour + oil spray, that Spectrum makes, which works like a charm! Pour the batter in the bread or muffin pan and set to bake!
Then it’s time to clean.
Then it’s time to SCARF.
Not too bad right? It comes together really quickly, especially if you pre-grind the zucchini. Sometimes the zucchinis can be really watery, especially if you grind them in the food processor. If there is an unusual amount of liquid, you might want to drain some away.
I think the hardest part is knowing when to pull the loaf out of the oven. You don’t want it to dry out but you definitely want it cooked through. For me, the muffins are much easier to judge. Mini-loaf pans would be a bit easier as well. When you toothpick test, you want it to be slightly wet on the toothpick, because it will continue to cook a bit after pulling it out. You don’t want the toothpick to be gooey or completely dry. If you slightly overcook, you can always warm the slices and slather with butter to help with any dryness!
The loaf will rise and crack on top as well as brown on the edges and pull away from the pan. Those are all signs that the loaf is done!
Here are a few more photos for you to enjoy and the recipe at the end. I’ve always included the three trials I performed. The third was BY FAR the best. The maple syrup really helped with the flavor and sweetness.
|whole wheat pastry flour||1.5c||1.5c||1.5c|
|applesauce [unsweetened]||1/4c + 2T||1/4c||1/4c|
|brown rice syrup||0||1/3c||0|
|lowfat plain yogurt||0||1/4c + 2T||2T|
|zucchini||1c [rounded]||1c [rounded]||1c [rounded]|
While keeping the familiar taste of zucchini bread, I was able to make these healthier changes:
- reduced the sugar from just over 1c to just over 1/2c.
- reduced the oil from 8T to 2T
- switched out white, all purpose flour, to whole wheat pastry flour
Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread – yields:  8×4 loaf or  muffins
- 1.5c whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2t salt
- 1/2t baking powder
- 1/2t baking soda
- 2t cinnamon
- 1/4c unsweetened applesauce
- 2T oil [I use a light oil like Safflower, Sunflower or Grapeseed]
- 1/3c maple syrup
- 1/4c sucanat *see note below
- 2t vanilla extract
- 2T plain yogurt [greek will work too]
- 1c rounded grated and/or ground zucchini [skins on or off, doesn’t matter]
- 1.5 large eggs
- 1/2c chopped walnuts
- 0-2T milk **see note below
- Preheat your oven to 350*
- In a medium bowl, sift together, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
- In a large bowl combine applesauce, oil, sucanat, maple syrup, vanilla, yogurt and eggs. Whisk by hand or with a mixer until well combined.
- Stir the dry into the wet [or use a mixer]. Stir until just combined.
- Stir in the walnuts + zucchini. Reserve some of the walnuts to sprinkle on top of the loaf before baking, or mix them all in.
- If the mixture seems extremely dry, almost like a wet cookie batter, you might need to add in a few Tablespoons of milk. I had to add 2T but I also live in a very dry climate. The batter should be very gooey and thick.
- Grease + flour an 8×4 bread pan or 12 muffin tin.
- Pour in batter and spread so it’s level or fill muffin tins 2/3 of the way.
- If desired, sprinkle more chopped walnuts on top.
- Bake loaf for 50-65min. Bake muffins for 18-22min. Toothpick test to be sure. You want the toothpick to be slightly moist.
- Let cool for 20-30 min in the pan and then turn out onto a cooling rack until completely cool.
- To freeze, fully cool, wrap in saran, then foil and then place in a large sealable bag.
*Sucanat – This is dried, pure sugar cane juice. It is the least processed form of sugar you can find. It is a much larger grain than table sugar and is brown in color. Sucanat retains all of its natural minerals and has a deep maple/caramel flavor. I like to use this in place of white sugar because it is less processed and has great flavor. It works perfectly in this recipe. Check your bulk bins or baking aisle at your local natural food store.
**0-2T milk – Like I mentioned in the directions, you may or may not need to add a few Tablespoons of milk to help moisten the batter. If after adding the zucchini, it is hard to stir with a spoon add 1-2T milk. It is a gooey, thick batter that will need some assistance when transporting it to your loaf pan.
***Other great additions to zucchini bread are chocolate chips! Try stirring in 1/3c to your loaf.
High Alitutude Directions
- Increase oven temp to 375*
- Use a pinch less than 1/2t baking powder – 1/4t + 1/8t will work
- The extra 2T milk will most likely be necessary.
- It took 1hr 5min for my loaf to cook through.
If you have questions, feel free to email me at – edibleperspective AT gmail DOT com –
Now, I’ll leave you with the last of my photos!! Go make this bread!
Thank you Ashley!!!