When banana bread and zucchini bread have a love child… And it happens to be healthy, whole grain and dairy-free. You need it!
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.
Why You’ll Love This
- You can put extra ripe bananas sitting on the counter to good use
- The perfect way to use fresh zucchini
- A quick bread recipe made with whole grains
- Healthier with lower sugar, mostly sweetened from bananas and honey
- Dairy free recipe and nut free friendly.
- Mostly healthy pantry staples <– check out the post for how to stock your pantry with my favorites.
What You Need
Not too many ingredients in this quick bread 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.
For the dry ingredients we’re using whole wheat pastry flour (but you can also use half all-purpose and half whole wheat), baking soda for the leavening agent, salt to balance flavor and plenty of cinnamon with a hint of nutmeg.
The wet ingredients are extra ripe spotty bananas (for the best flavor), granulated sugar (coconut sugar, brown or another kind works), light olive oil for moisture, an egg (can sub flaxseed egg), vanilla extract and grated zucchini.
How to Make
Here’s a quick rundown of how to make banana zucchini bread, with more details and notes in the Recipe Card at the bottom of the post.
Combine dry ingredients together in one bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, begin combining mashed banana, honey, oil and vanilla extract, then whisk in egg until smooth.
Add half the dry ingredients to the large bowl of wet ingredients, then gently fold in in shredded zucchini and walnuts or chocolate chips (if using) 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 30 minutes uncovered, then another 12-18 minutes covered with foil. Edges should brown and top should be golden. Check center with toothpick to ensure it’s done (no wet batter).
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). But I am not sure how the gluten free flour blend would work along with a vegan egg replacement.
Sweetener: You can use honey or maple syrup here. If you want a sweeter bread, add the additional granulated sugar. If your bananas are super black or extra spotty, you may be okay with the natural sweetness from the bananas.
Banana: Also make sure your bananas are super ripe – lots of brown spots – for the best flavor. If you don’t use extra ripe bananas, the bread might not be as sweet as you hope. If using frozen banana (thawed), make sure to remove some of the excess liquid.
Baking time: My bread took a good 45 minutes, but keep an eye on it after 40 minutes or so. Everyone’s oven is different. Test the loaf for any west batter by inserting a toothpick in various spots.
This Banana Zucchini Bread is:
- Soft and fluffy
- Has perfect banana flavor and small bits of zucchini
- Deliciously spiced
- Amazing with a little slab of salted sweet cream butter.
I hope you love it as much as we do!
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star review below! It helps others learn more about the recipe and your feedback is appreciated!
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour* (see notes)
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
- 1 cup well mashed extra ripe bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (optional – see notes)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups packed shredded zucchini (water squeezed out then measured)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- In medium bowl add flour, baking soda, spices and salt; whisk until combined.
- In large bowl combine mashed banana, sugar (if using), honey, oil and vanilla extract. Then whisk in egg until smooth.
- Add half the dry ingredients to the large bowl of wet ingredients, using spatula to gently combine. Add in shredded zucchini and walnuts or chocolate chips (if using) 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 30 minutes, then another 12-18 minutes covered with foil. Edges should brown and top should be golden. Check center with toothpick to ensure it’s done (no wet batter).
- Allow bread to cool in pan about 30 minutes before removing and slicing.
FLOUR – Whole wheat white flour may be subbed, your bread just may be a touch more dense. You can also do half whole wheat, half all-purpose. Bob’s Red Mill gluten free 1:1 baking flour should also work, but I haven’t tested GF flour with a vegan sub. The texture may turn out a little gummy.
SUGAR – If you want a sweeter bread, I would add the extra granulated sugar. If using bananas that have turned black, your bread will be naturally sweeter. Honey may be subbed with maple syrup.
BANANAS – If using frozen, thawed bananas, be sure to drain any extra liquid, or it will affect the texture of the bread.
STORING – Bread is best enjoyed within a few days, wrapped and stored in airtight container. To freeze, wrap tightly and use within 3 months.
Looking for a grain free zucchini bread? Try my Almond Flour Zucchini Bread Recipe.
- Serving Size: 1/10th
- Calories: 226
- Sugar: 11
- Sodium: 201
- Fat: 9
- Saturated Fat: 1
- Unsaturated Fat: 6
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 34
- Fiber: 4
- Protein: 5
- Cholesterol: 19