When banana bread and zucchini bread have a love child… And it happens to be whole grain and dairy-free.
Pretty sure August and September are zucchini bread season, right? At least in the midwest when summer gardens start to go crazy.
My mom used to make a mean zucchini bread. I remember loaves of it being stored in the freezer. It had that hint of spice but the perfect amount of sweetness and even my young super picky self enjoyed zucchini bread – I just ignored the green specks and pretended they weren’t there. I also recall being confused as to how I could enjoy a piece of bread that had green specks in it…
Anyways, zucchini bread is some of the best quick bread around. As is banana bread… so obviously they had a love child in my kitchen and that is what we’ve got here today.
Whole Grain Banana Zucchini Bread
I have been working on this banana zucchini bread for WEEKS and it’s finally ready for you. I also had my Pal test it for me because she’s my #1 baker (and fan) so I can always count on her to give me solid feedback on a recipe. And if we’re being totally honest I didn’t want to have to test the recipe AGAIN (like the fourth time) when I was *pretty sure* we were good to go. So when my Pal texted me back that she loved it I knew we were ready.
What you need
- whole wheat pastry flour (see notes)
- baking soda
- baking powder
- ripe bananas
- brown sugar or coconut sugar
Not too many ingredients here and (likely) already in your pantry. That’s the best, right? When you say to yourself, “I want to bake zucchini bread today!” And then you rummage through your cupboards and fridge and realize you have everything you need.
This zucchini bread is a breeze to throw together. I like to mix the dry ingredients and the wet in two separate bowls to ensure everything is mixed well and evenly – but if you’re all “why must I dirty another dish?” you can add in the flour into the same bowl last and alternate with the shredded zucchini. Buuuttt sometimes it’s best to just follow directions, mmmk?
More notes about this zucchini bread
- The flour: I used whole wheat pastry flour to give the bread a nice soft texture, and the wheat flavor isn’t overpowering. You can also use all whole wheat white, or a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose. If you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative, I always have great luck subbing 1:1 gluten-free baking flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill).
- The sweetener: I originally tested this with part brown sugar and part maple syrup – it turned out great. Then my Pal tested it with all brown sugar – also great. So if you don’t have maple syrup on hand, just go for all brown sugar. It’s only 3/4 cup sweetener for the whole loaf anyways.
- The banana: Also make sure your bananas are super ripe – lots of brown spots. If you don’t use extra ripe bananas, the bread might not be as sweet as you hope.
- Baking time: My bread took a good 60 minutes, but keep an eye on it after 50 minutes or so. Everyone’s oven is different. Test the loaf for any west batter by inserting a toothpick in various spots.
And adding some cashew butter on a slice never hurt anyone…
- 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour* (see notes)
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas, equal to 3 medium bananas
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar** or coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups packed zucchini, equal to about 1 medium-large zucchini (liquid squeezed out)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- In medium bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices; whisk until combined.
- In large bowl combine mashed banana with brown sugar; whisk in oil then add egg and vanilla extract, stirring until combined.
- Add half the dry ingredients to the large bowl of wet ingredients, using spatula to gently combine. Add in shredded zucchini and the rest of the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined – be careful not to over-stir or you’ll end up with a tough bread.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden and inserted toothpick comes out clean. If it looks like the bread is browning quickly, add foil over top of pan at 40 minutes.
- Allow bread to cool in pan about 30 minutes before removing and slicing.
*Whole wheat white flour may be subbed, your bread just may be a touch more dense. You can also do 1 cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup all-purpose. Or sub 1:1 gluten-free baking flour (like Bob’s).
Bread is best enjoyed within a few days. I also like to keep this banana zucchini bread in the fridge so it keeps longer (especially in the summertime).