The best Zucchini Bread recipe, made healthy with whole wheat flour, lightened up with applesauce, loaded with cinnamon, soft and moist – you will love this easy quick bread!
Is Zucchini Bread Healthy?
It can be! This particular recipe is lightened up to be much healthier than traditional zucchini bread, which typically has loads of sugar, quite a bit of butter/oil and white flour, tasting more like a treat than a healthy snack.
But in this is a zucchini bread recipe with applesauce, AND we’re using Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour – a delicious way to get some whole grains into your diet.
Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour is ground from hard red spring wheat on slow-moving, cool-running quartz millstones. Their Whole Wheat Flour comes with all of the nutrients from the bran and germ still intact.
If you have Whole Wheat Pastry Flour on hand, you can use that as well! More notes on flour subs in the recipe card below.
We’re also using just 2/3 cup sugar for some sweetness and avocado oil for a perfectly moist zucchini bread recipe.
Oh, and zucchini, of course!
How to Shred Zucchini
- Rinse off zucchini and pat dry with towel.
- Using a sharp knife, slice off both ends of the zucchini.
- Start pushing the end of the zucchini into the grater and slide back and forth until the zucchini is fully shredded.
I prefer to use the fine side of a box grater for zucchini bread and zucchini muffins. This allows the shredded zucchini to easily mix into the batter, and (bonus) is a great way to sneak some zucchini into baked goods for little ones.
Squeezing Water Out of Zucchini
The easiest way to squeeze water out of grated zucchini is to use a cheese cloth, or a clean tea towel.
Place the grated zucchini into the cloth, wrap it around tightly and squeeze as much water out as you can (over the sink or a bowl).
Why do you need to do this? Because it will ensure you have the proper ratio of wet-to-dry ingredients. Without squeezing the water out, you don’t really know how much liquid you’re adding to the batter, which can result in too much or not enough liquid in the batter.
What’s in Zucchini Bread
For the dry ingredients we’re using a blend of Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour with Unbleached All-Purpose Flour to keep this bread a little lighter. Baking soda is used to get the bread to rise, salt helps balance flavor and we’re using plenty of cinnamon for lots of flavor.
The wet ingredients in this recipe are: applesauce to add moisture without adding extra fat, oil to keep the bread soft and moist, egg to help provide some structure, milk to thin out the batter a touch and vanilla extract for flavor.
Then shredded zucchini gets folded in at the end.
How to Make
Here’s a quick overview of how to make this healthy zucchini bread, with full written instructions and more notes in the recipe card below.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Shred zucchini and make sure all water is squeezed out before measuring. Then add the shredded zucchini into a measuring cup, slightly pack in until you have 1.5 cups.
- In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients.
- In a separate large bowl whisk together wet ingredients.
- Slowly begin to add about half of the flour mixture, stir a couple times, then add in the rest of the flour and milk until almost combined, then fold in shredded zucchini until fully incorporated.
- Transfer the batter to the lined loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes uncovered. Then an additional 15 minutes covered with foil. Edges and top will be golden brown. Check for doneness with inserted toothpick in the center.
- Allow bread to cool in pan for 15 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
Quick Bread Baking Tip
Often times quick breads can get a little too brown on top when baking for almost an hour. An easy way to prevent this is to tent the loaf pan with foil.
For this recipe, I’ve found it’s best to let the bread bake for 30 minutes uncovered, then cover with foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
After a total bake time of 45 minutes, check the center of the bread with a toothpick.
If the toothpick comes out clean (no wet batter) then the zucchini bread is done.
This easy zucchini bread recipe is the perfect base and it’s easy to add in your own favorite flavor additions.
Banana – use well mashed banana in place of the applesauce, or use this recipe for a more pronounced banana flavor.
Nuts – chopped walnuts or pecans are great here. Use about 1/2 cup chopped nuts.
Chocolate Chips – who doesn’t love a good chocolate chip zucchini bread? Just add 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, about about 2/3 cup regular sized morsels.
More Zucchini Recipes
- 55 Zucchini Recipes Everyone Will Love
- Blueberry Zucchini Muffins
- Healthy Breakfast Zucchini Cookies
- Chai Zucchini Pumpkin Muffins
Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and rating below! It helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or light olive oil)
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk
- 1.5 cups finely shredded zucchini, lightly packed (water squeezed out then measured)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- Shred zucchini: Make sure zucchini is shredded, all water squeezed out and shredded zucchini measures 1.5 cups slightly packed; set aside.
- Mix dry ingredients: In a medium bowl whisk together flours, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- Mix wet ingredients: In a large bowl whisk together brown sugar, applesauce and oil. Add in egg and vanilla, whisking until smooth.
- Combine: Add in about half of the flour mixture, stir a couple times, then add in the rest of the flour and milk until almost combined, then fold in shredded zucchini until fully incorporated.
- Bake: Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes uncovered. Cover with foil and continue baking another 15-20 minutes, or until inserted toothpick in center comes out clean. Edges will be brown and top somewhat high. I suggest checking on the bread after a total of 40-45 minutes.
- Cool: Allow bread to cool in pan for 15 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
- Slice into cooled bread, enjoy with a slab of butter or your favorite nut butter for the ultimate slice.
FLOUR – you can also use all Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. If using whole wheat white flour, just use 2 cups. If you’re looking for a grain free version, make this one! If looking to make this gluten free, use 2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour.
EGGS – I have not tried this recipe with an egg substitute, so I can’t say for sure how it will turn out. Flax seed eggs are usually my go-to. If trying this, the texture of the bread may change slightly. I do not recommend using gluten free flour in combination with an egg replacement as the bread will likely turn out gummy.
APPLESAUCE – You can sub the applesauce with banana, or use this recipe.
SUGAR – Use up to 1 cup sugar for a sweeter bread. You can use the granulated sugar of your choice (i.e. coconut sugar, Swerve, etc.) I have not tested this version with maple syrup.