My dog, Cookie, is wild for zucchini. Also cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and cabbage. You could say that my pup has a healthy appetite. This morning, I left a slice of zucchini bread on my desk where I thought she couldn’t reach. Then I heard some scuffling, followed by some gobbling. She swiped that slice of bread and ate half before I could grab it.
This dog is my soulmate, I tell you. I captured it on video, if you’d like to see it. That was all to say that this zucchini bread recipe is Cookie and Kate approved. It’s fluffy and moist, and full of little green flecks of zucchini. If you’ve enjoyed zucchini bread before, let me point out a few differences between my recipe and the standard recipes.
I used one-half cup honey (or maple syrup) instead a full cup of white sugar. It’s not overtly sweet, but you could add another drizzle of honey or maple sweetener to individual slices, if desired. I also used white whole wheat flour instead of refined flour, so this bread is made with 100 percent whole grains.
Lastly, I used coconut oil instead of butter, which means this bread is easily made without any dairy at all. It’s easily made vegan and/or gluten-free, too—just check my recipe notes.
Most zucchini bread recipes call for one cup of grated zucchini, but I liked mine better with one-and-a-half cups. Even then, I can’t say there’s a pronounced zucchini flavor to it, because zucchini doesn’t have a ton of flavor in itself. Some ground cinnamon and nutmeg make this a lightly spiced quick bread with green confetti inside.
Healthy Zucchini Bread
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 55 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 loaf
- Category: Baked good
This fluffy zucchini bread recipe is made healthier with whole grains, honey (or maple syrup) and coconut oil instead of butter. It is easily made vegan and/or gluten free (see notes). Recipe yields 1 loaf.
- ¾ cup roughly chopped raw walnuts or pecans (optional)
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil*
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk of choice or water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + more to swirl on top
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups grated zucchini (you’ll need 1 small-to-medium zucchini, about 7 ounces—if your grated zucchini is very wet, squeeze out the excess moisture over the sink before stirring it into the batter)
- 1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a small, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, and grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan to prevent the bread from sticking.
- Once the oven has finished preheating, pour the chopped nuts onto your prepared baking sheet. Bake until the nuts are fragrant and toasted, about 5 minutes, stirring halfway.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil and honey. Beat them with a whisk until they are combined. Add the eggs and beat well. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 20 seconds in the microwave.)
- Add the milk, baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and nutmeg, and whisk to blend. Switch to a big spoon and stir in the zucchini, then add the flour and stir just until combined. Some lumps are ok! Gently fold in the toasted nuts now.
- Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with additional cinnamon. If you’d like a pretty swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing it with a sharp, serrated knife.
- This bread is moist, so it will keep for just 2 to 3 days at room temperature. Store it in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months or so. I like to slice the bread before freezing and defrost individual slices, either by lightly toasting them or defrosting them in the microwave.
Recipe adapted from my banana bread and carrot muffins, with reference to Once Upon a Chef and All Recipes.
*A note on oils: I love coconut oil here. I used unrefined coconut oil and can hardly taste it in the final product. Olive oil will lend an herbal note to the bread, if you’re into that. Vegetable oil has a neutral flavor, but the average vegetable/canola oil is highly processed, so I recommend using cold-pressed sunflower oil or grapeseed oil if possible.
Change it up: Use chocolate chips or small/chopped dried fruit instead of the nuts.
Make muffins: Follow this recipe!
Make it vegan: Use maple syrup instead of honey, replace the eggs with flax eggs and choose non-dairy milk (I used almond milk) or water.
Make it dairy free: Choose non-dairy milk (I used almond milk) or water.
Make it egg free: Replace the eggs with flax eggs.
Make it gluten free: I haven’t tried myself, but I have heard from a reader that Bob’s Red Mill’s all-purpose gluten-free mix worked well here.
Make it nut free: Just omit the nuts, and don’t use nut milk.
Make it lower in fat: I would argue that this bread contains a healthy amount of fat, but you can replace the oil with applesauce if you’re following a low-fat diet.
If you love this recipe: You will also love my pumpkin bread, banana muffins and pumpkin muffins and banana nut scones!
Recommended equipment: I am totally in love with my Fiesta Loaf Pan in turquoise (affiliate link).