This Healthy Zucchini Bread Recipe is perfect for a tasty breakfast, snack or dessert. Zucchini Bread with Applesauce is seriously delicious and moist with no sugar, no dairy and no oil. Double this easy recipe and freeze some for a cold rainy day.
This post has been updated from the original posted July 10, 2020.
- Ingredients and Substitutions
- Do you need to peel the zucchini for zucchini bread?
- How many zucchini do you need for 2 cups of shredded zucchini?
- Do I have to squeeze the water out of the zucchini?
- What kind of flour should I use for Zucchini Bread?
- How to make it
- MEAL PREP AND STORAGE
- Zucchini Bread FAQs
- More Healthy Zucchini Recipes
- 📖 Recipe
A healthy zucchini bread recipe that tastes incredible is something everyone should have in their collection…and I promise nobody will miss the sugar!
My kids are always asking for “real” desserts…you know, the kind with sugar and butter, white flour…the “OG” as they call it.
When I had to make another batch of this delicious zucchini bread 4 days in a row (shh…..they don’t have to know that this one isn’t OG at all, but Debra approved instead) I knew I had a winner on my hands.
I created this crave-worthy, moist zucchini bread recipe for you because I know, like me, you don’t want to settle for healthy-ish on your way to tasty.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Zucchini: Thinner zucchini will have less seeds and less water. If your zucchini is particularly large, consider cutting in half lengthwise and scooping out the seeds. You can substitute with yellow summer squash, but look for smaller, thinner squash–not the pear shaped variety.
- Unsweetened Applesauce: Use my simple applesauce recipe or be sure to buy a brand that doesn’t add sugar.
- Honey or Maple Syrup: You know your audience best, it’s ok to cut back on the sweetener if needed. I’ve used as little as ⅓ cup with great results. I have also used date syrup and loved the taste…but be warned, your zucchini bread will come out darker than usual…and it doesn’t mean it’s overdone.
- Flour: Any whole grain flour will work in this recipe. I used sprouted spelt flour in these photos. I’ve also used all purpose gluten free flour and whole wheat flour with good results. Almond or coconut flour will have too much moisture and your zucchini bread will be too dense….I do not recommend making this recipe with almond flour.
- Flax: Ground flax helps this vegan zucchini bread recipe rise and hold together. If you need a substitution, use ground chia seeds. I use my spice grinder with regular chia seeds and it works great. If you have a coffee grinder, use that!
- Chocolate Chips: I use mini dark chocolate chips, but you can use any kind you love. If you don’t do chocolate, you can substitute with blueberries. Just be sure you dry them thoroughly so they don’t bleed throughout your loaf. You can also toss the blueberries in a bit of the flour before incorporating them into your batter.
- Baking soda, Baking powder, Cinnamon, Salt
Do you need to peel the zucchini for zucchini bread?
Nope. It is not necessary to peel the zucchini before grating it for zucchini bread. It may be harder to disguise the green in the batter, but I kinda like those little flecks of green. I mean, this is Zucchini Bread, not Banana Bread. I don’t peel the zucchini when I make vegan zucchini muffins either.
How many zucchini do you need for 2 cups of shredded zucchini?
One medium sized zucchini will yield approximately 1 cups of shredded zucchini. So, you can get 2 cups from 2 medium sized zucchini. You can also use 3 small or one small and one large zucchini.
Do I have to squeeze the water out of the zucchini?
NO!!! First of all, that sounds like a lot of work! It’s one of the reasons I never made zucchini bread until now. Seriously, who has time? Plus, who wants to clean up the mess?
Second of all, I’ve taken the water content of the zucchini into account when I wrote the recipe. Seems like a much tastier and flavorful (not to mention healthier) way to get moisture into this loaf than adding oil or water, no?
¼ cup of flax meal will take care of absorbing all that moisture without making this moist and easy recipe too complicated or dry. Added bonus: extra nutrition in the form of omega 3s and protein. Double Bonus: this recipe is naturally vegan because the applesauce and flax activate the baking powder for a fluffy loaf without eggs.
What kind of flour should I use for Zucchini Bread?
Well, that depends. First, check your pantry and see what kind of flour you HAVE! Next check if there are any dietary restrictions for anyone who will be eating the zucchini bread. I like to use whole grain flour whenever possible. I used sprouted spelt flour. Whole Wheat flour would be another good choice.
If you need your healthy zucchini bread to be gluten-free, you can use all purpose gluten-free flour or oat flour. I wouldn’t recommend almond flour for this recipe though, the moisture content is not the same so it won’t be an even swap.
How to make it
- Shred the zucchini using the side of a box grater or a food processor.
- Mix zucchini with applesauce, honey and vanilla until well combined.
- In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, flax, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt plus chocolate and nuts if desired.
- Combine wet ingredients with the dry and mix well.
- Pour into parchment lined loaf pan and bake in preheated 350 oven for 55 minutes.
Ooey Gooey, rich and delicious. There’s no need to compromise on this one. Even with whole grain flour this applesauce zucchini bread recipe is light and moist.
If you use chocolate chips, I recommend letting the zucchini bread cool completely before slicing.
The best zucchini bread is one that is both nutritious AND delicious. This easy recipe is so addictively good no one will believe it’s the healthier version. No refined sugar or oils is a win in my book!
This recipe for healthy zucchini bread is exactly what you want to eat and serve your family or friends. The perfect choice for a grab and go breakfast, a healthy after-school snack or a great match for an evening cup of tea.
I’m so excited to share this recipe with you because I know it will quickly become a favorite in your house, like it is in ours. No judgement here if you like to bake with butter and sugar, but just know that you don’t have to give up that moist and decadent taste for a healthy zucchini bread that only uses wholesome, clean ingredients.
MEAL PREP AND STORAGE
- SERVE: Serve warm or at room temperature. Perfect for a grab and go breakfast or snack or a healthier dessert.
- PREP AHEAD: Zucchini bread can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for a week or frozen for up to 3 months.
- STORE: Store completely cooled zucchini bread in an airtight container or wrap in unbleached parchment and then aluminum foil.
- FREEZE: Completely cool zucchini bread. You can slice or leave whole before freezing in freezer safe containers or first with unbleached parchment and then pop into a freezer bag or seal with aluminum foil.
Zucchini Bread FAQs
Absolutely! Make sure your loaf is COMPLETELY cooled before wrapping to freeze. Once cooled, wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Then wrap in aluminum foil. That’s it. You can thaw the frozen Zucchini Bread on the counter for 4 hours.
3-4 days on the counter. Ours never lasts that long. This delicious recipe is usually gobbled up in 1 day! You can store it in the fridge for up to a week, the freezer for 3-4 months.
Zucchini is high in fiber, low in calories. This, plus it’s high water content helps with satiety….making you feel full and reduce hunger. As part of a well rounded diet and exercise plan, eating zucchini can help you lose weight over time.
Healthy Zucchini Bread
- 2 medium zucchini approximately 2 cups grated
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ⅔ cup honey substitute with maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup ground flax seeds
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9" X 5" loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper.
- Wash the zucchini (no need to peel) and trim off the ends. Use the side of a box grater to shred into a medium sized bowl. Then add the applesauce, honey and vanilla and mix until well combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, stir together flour, flax, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. If using chocolate chips or walnuts, stir those in now too.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix until well combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and let sit for 5 minutes. This will allow the applesauce to activate the baking powder.
- Bake for 55 minutes, or un til a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let zucchini bread cool in pan for 10 minutes and then carefully lift the parchment paper out and onto a wire rack to continue to cool.
- Wait until cool (especially if you used chocolate chips) to slice.
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