How To Make Zucchini Bread: A Healthy Dessert Option

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You don’t need a reason to make a loaf of classic zucchini bread, but we can give you a couple. If you have a garden at home, you’re likely to have plenty of leftover zucchini by summer’s end. And, let’s face it, you can only grill so many before you need to find another option for cooking this vegetable. Zucchini bread is also just as delicious as it is healthy. Dense and rich but packed with fresh veggie shreds, it tastes like a rich, gooey cupcake but has the greens content of a small salad — like a culinary magic trick. 

Zucchini bread is also easy to make. Food bloggers like to call it a one-bowl recipe, meaning that you can combine all of the ingredients in one place and stir. Yes, there is a bit of method to the madness. Follow the steps in the recipe below for tips on when and in which order to add each ingredient. You only need a spoon, a medium bowl, and something to bake the bread in, like a loaf pan.

Read on to make moist zucchini bread with walnuts that will make you feel like a professional pastry chef. 

Healthy zucchini bread recipe

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 55 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or vegetable oil 
  • ½ cup honey (or another liquid sweetener like maple syrup or agave)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (not baking powder; be sure to double-check the label)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups grated zucchini (around 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour or whole-wheat flour (see below for a GF alternative)
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
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Preparation instructions 

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F.
  1. Grease a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan or non-stick. You can grease the pan by putting some butter or oil on a paper towel and spreading it around over the surface. 
  1. To toast the pecans or walnuts (optional), place a single layer of parchment paper on a baking sheet and cover with the chopped nuts. Bake them for five minutes, until fragrant.  
  1. Cut the stem and the bottom off the zucchini and shred the vegetable (although it’s technically a fruit) using a box grater. You don’t need to peel the skin off first; it adds texture and color. If you own a food processor, you can also use the grater attachment to shred the zucchini quickly.
  1. Strain the shredded zucchini to squeeze out excess moisture. Press down on the shreds in the strainer to remove most of the water. 
  1. Put the zucchini aside and mix the coconut oil and honey in a large bowl. 
  2. Whisk in the eggs.
  1. Stir in the milk, baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg, until thoroughly combined. 
  1. Add in the strained zucchini and stir with a rubber spatula or large wooden spoon. 
  1. Whisk in the flour. 
  1. Fold in the nuts. 
  1. Pour the batter into the bread pan and sprinkle some cinnamon on top. 
  1. Bake the bread for 55 minutes to one hour. You can check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the loaf; it should come out clean. 
  1. Let the bread cool on a wire rack before slicing. 

Nutritional values per serving

Calories: 268

Fat: 14.5 grams

Cholesterol: 34 milligrams

Sodium: 239 milligrams

Total Carbohydrate: 31.1 grams

Dietary Fiber: 3.1 grams

Total Sugars: 15.9 grams  

Protein: 6.8 grams

Recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate.

Fun other ingredients

  • Chocolate chips
  • Slivered almonds
  • Dried cranberries
  • Blueberries

How to store zucchini bread 

You can store zucchini bread for up to five days in an air-tight container or aluminum foil at room temperature, or you can keep it in the refrigerator for five to seven days. Remember, this is a moist, dense bread, so it’s best when enjoyed fresh (and with a hearty pat of salted or unsalted butter). If you make up a few loaves and want to freeze one for the future, cut the bread into slices and then store them in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to three months. Don’t skip cutting the slices; otherwise, you’ll have to thaw the entire loaf, even if you only want a piece. Having slices allows you to thaw only what you need. You can use your microwave’s defrost function to get the bread to room temperature. Then, toast the bread to help it regain its texture after being frozen. 

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FAQs

How do I make gluten-free zucchini bread?

Making gluten-free zucchini bread is easy. Simply substitute the wheat flour for a GF 1:1 baking mix. You can try swapping wheat flour for a single-ingredient, gluten-free flour, but flour mixes work best because they contain a balance of flours and helpful baking agents like xanthan gum.

Is zucchini bread good for you?

This easy zucchini bread recipe is particularly healthy as it’s not overly sweet and uses honey instead of granulated sugar. It also uses coconut oil instead of butter and can be made with whole wheat flour. Did we mention it contains an entire zucchini? Zucchinis are high in folate, potassium, and vitamin A to give you a large dose of vital nutrients. 

How do I make moist zucchini bread? 

This recipe will yield dense, moist bread. Part of the beauty of this bread is that zucchini is such a water-rich fruit, so it naturally contains a good amount of moisture for baking. Trust the process, and you’ll end up with the very best zucchini bread around. 

Can I make zucchini muffins? 

Absolutely. You can make muffins or mini loaves by using a different pan. Just keep in mind that baking times will shift downward drastically, taking only about 20 minutes per batch. 

How do I make vegan zucchini bread?

Follow this recipe with just a few easy substitutions. Swap out the diary milk for a plant-based alternative, like oat or almond milk, and the chicken eggs for a flax egg. You can make a flax egg by stirring together one tablespoon of flaxseed meal and 2 ½ tablespoons of water and letting it sit for at least five minutes or until gelatinous. Add the flax egg to the batter just like you would a regular egg. Applesauce can also act as a great egg replacer in baked dishes. Read more here on how to make this substitution

Is your garden full of zucchini but no flour in your kitchen to make this bread? Time to put in an order with Gopuff. You can request all the baking essentials you need in seconds and have them at your door in a matter of minutes. So go and pick all that zucchini because you’re about to spend the rest of the afternoon baking delicious bread. 

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