When banana bread and zucchini bread have a love child… And it happens to be healthy, whole grain and dairy-free. You need it! This healthy zucchini banana bread is going to be your new favorite recipe!
August and September are zucchini bread season, right? At least in the midwest when late summer gardens start to go crazy.
My mom used to make a mean zucchini bread. I remember mini 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 summer 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.
Here’s the list:
- whole wheat pastry flour – but you can use half all-purpose flour with half whole-wheat if needed. If using all white whole wheat flour, your bread will turn out slightly more dense, but still delicious!
- baking soda – the leavening agent.
- fine sea salt – to balance flavor
- cinnamon & nutmeg – lots of cinnamon plus a little hint of nutmeg (my personal favorite in banana and zucchini bread)
- spotty bananas – make sure bananas have plenty of spots for extra sweetness and flavor! Overripe bananas are always the way to go for banana bread recipes.
- honey – adds lovely sweetness and a beautiful browning. Fee free to substitute pure maple syrup.
- fresh zucchini – we need 1.5 cups of grated zucchini for this. Make sure to squeeze out the extra moisture after grating.
- granulated sugar – the granulated sugar is optional if you want a slightly sweeter bread. If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, I think the bananas and honey make it sweet enough. You can use brown sugar, coconut sugar or cane sugar is fine too.
- olive oil – using oil in quick bread recipes adds moisture and softness. You can also use avocado oil, or melted/cooled coconut oil in its place. Just make sure the rest of your ingredients are room temperature when using coconut oil.
- egg – Just one egg is needed here. Feel free to replace it using a flax egg.
- vanilla extract – for floral sweetness.
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 mixing bowl, begin combining mashed bananas, 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.
What does this quick bread taste like?
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.
Store leftover banana bread in an airtight container on the kitchen counter for 3-4 days or in the fridge for one week.
To freeze, cool completely, then wrap the entire loaf in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or right on the kitchen counter.
You can also store this quick bread as individual slices – just wrap the completely cooled slices separately and store in a freezer-safe container. Then you can pull out the slices to thaw on the counter or in the fridge. Warm up in the microwave or toaster oven and slather on salted butter for a delicious afternoon snack.
More Zucchini Recipes
Have extra zucchini lying around? Try these delicious recipes:
Don’t Forget to Leave a Review!
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Healthy Banana Zucchini Bread
Healthy Banana Zucchini Bread – the best of both worlds! This quick bread is easy to make, dairy-free and has the perfect banana flavor with cinnamon and nutmeg spice and bits of zucchini studded throughout. Add chocolate chips, nuts or more spice to flavor how you’d like.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 9x5 loaf pan 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour* (see notes)
- 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon 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 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups packed grated zucchini (water squeezed out then measured)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- Mix dry ingredients: In medium bowl add flour, baking soda, spices and salt; whisk until combined.
- Mix wet ingredients: In large bowl combine mashed banana, sugar (if using), honey, oil and vanilla extract. Then whisk in egg until smooth.
- Combine: 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.
- Bake: 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).
- Cool & serve: 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
Keywords: healthy zucchini bread, dairy free zucchini bread, banana zucchini bread