This Healthy Zucchini Bread is a lightened up version of a classic. Don’t let the name fool you, this bread is just as moist, delicious, and packed with flavor.
If you’re looking for a way to use up all of that summer squash, I’d highly recommend giving this recipe a try! You can bake up a bunch of loaves, customize the mix-ins and even freeze a few to enjoy throughout the fall. Happy baking! For some more zucchini must-makes, try Cheesy Zucchini Tots, Summer Corn and Zucchini Chowder, and Spicy Zucchini Frittata.
Lightened Up Zucchini Bread
The thing I really love about this recipe is that you can pretty much add whatever you want to it and it still tastes delicious. Coconut, carrot, raisins, chocolate chips and nuts are all delicious additions… you can even go crazy and swirl some Nutella in there (of course that would make it slightly less lightened up)!
One of my favorite ways to use up summer squash like zucchini is grating it and making sweet bread. I’ve always loved using my mom’s recipe (it’s seriously delicious!) but this summer I thought I’d try to lighten it up a tad bit.
My version tastes just as good as the original but swaps out some of the less wholesome ingredients for ones like coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce and whole wheat flour. It’s tender, moist and bursting with fresh zucchini!
I have to admit, after all of the adjustments I was a bit nervous about how they’d turn out, but they looked and tasted almost identical to my mom’s recipe—score!
Tips for Baking with Zucchini
Shred the zucchini using a basic box grater, with the largest hole side, or by using a food processor. When using a food processor, you need to cut it in half and scoop out the seeds before placing them in the processor.
You can shred zucchini in a blender, it just takes more work to clean out later. It is simplest and most effective to use a box grater, or even a zester if it has large enough holes.
Do you have to peel the zucchini for bread? Nope! You want to see that green skin speckled within the bread.
Zucchini is a great source of moisture within the bread! It also adds a bunch of great nutrients without a strong flavor or a “spinach-like” taste.
If your zucchini bread is too soggy it is probably because you added too much moisture alongside the zucchini. The zucchini adds a lot of moisture to the bread by itself. Be sure to lightly blot the zucchini before incorporating it so that you don’t add excess water.
How to Make Healthy Zucchini Bread
PREP: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease two 8X4″ or 9×5″ loaf pans (I prefer PAM baking spray), set aside.
MIX: In a large mixing bowl whisk together the coconut oil, applesauce, sugars, egg whites, and vanilla. Add zucchini and fold with a spatula.
WHISK: In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together the flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
COMBINE: Gradually fold into the wet ingredients, stir just until combined (note: the batter will be pretty thick).
DIVIDE: Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Top with nuts or chocolate chips if desired.
BAKE & COOL: Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes (if using 9×5 pans) or 55-60 minutes (if using 8×4 pans) or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pans for 20 minutes before removing and allowing to cool on a wire rack.
After removing them from the pans I let them cool a bit and then sliced them while they were still warm. I love to eat this bread plain, but it’s pretty darn good with a bit of whipped cinnamon honey butter on top too!
Store: Store this bread in an airtight plastic bag or wrapped in plastic wrap and foil. It will keep well at room temperature for 3-4 days or in the fridge for up to a week.
Freeze: This bread freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then either serve from there or let it reach room temperature before cutting and serving.
If you find your zucchini bread is soggy, you can try to dry it out some. Leave it uncovered for a while to alleviate any excess moisture.
For more quick bread recipes, try:
- Lemon blueberry bread
- Pumpkin zucchini bread
- Heavenly banana bread
- Honey whole wheat banana bread
- Cranberry apple bread
Healthy Zucchini Bread Recipe
- 1/2 cup coconut oil - melted
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar - or pure cane sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cup grated zucchini
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp +1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips - optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease two 8X4" or 9x5" loaf pans (I prefer PAM baking spray), set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the coconut oil, applesauce, sugars, egg whites, and vanilla. Add zucchini and fold with a spatula.
- In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together the flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually fold into the wet ingredients, stir just until combined (note: the batter will be pretty thick).
- Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Top with nuts or chocolate chips if desired.
- Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes (if using 9x5 pans) or 55-60 minutes (if using 8x4 pans) or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pans for 20 minutes before removing and allowing to cool on a wire rack.