I freaking love zucchini bread, even if it is healthy zucchini bread. Which is sort of weird, since I don’t really like zucchini. But when this time of year rolls around and the grocery store/farmer’s market starts selling them 3 for a $1 I find myself with a whole fridge full. Last year I did a bit of incredibly rare planning ahead and shredded up half a dozen zucchinis, popped then in the freezer and then made bread all fall whenever the urge hit.
When I posted about our lack of healthy food choices I got a TON of great suggestions, including one from my friend Ernie Bufflo who said healthy baked goods like zucchini bread were the only “junk” food she kept in the house. Which seems like an excellent idea on the surface, except that even zucchini bread is bad for you if you eat the entire loaf in one sitting.
So I set off across the internet to find a recipe for healthy zucchini bread. But because I am NOT willing to sacrifice the tastiness of actual bread for whatever the totally vegan, gluten-free, no-calorie sweetener, enriched with twigs and sticks option is, it’s not truly healthy. We’ll call it healthier.
Suzanne’s Healthy (er) Zucchini Bread
(I started with this recipe but used several commenter’s suggestions as well as my own adaptations)
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons vanilla
2-3 cups zucchini, grated (2 medium sized zucchini)
1 1/2 cup white flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Raw sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl & mix until smooth. Stir in zucchini. Add remaining ingredients to bowl and stir stir stir.
Pour into muffin tins or loaf pans that you’ve sprayed with non-stick spray. Add the SUPER SECRET INGREDIENT: Sprinkle the top(s) with a little raw sugar*. When doling out the batter, remember it rises but not an enormous amount so don’t skimp on filling them up. For loafs, bake at 350 for 60 minutes. For muffins, 350 for 25 minutes.
I’m not going to lie, using whole wheat flour instead of all white changes the texture a little, but not so much I would know if I didn’t know. Y’know what I mean? You could also get away with using a little less sugar – maybe 1 1/2 cups white plus the brown – but you might want to add a bit more flour to keep them from getting to liquidy. Overall I am deliciously pleased with these. Any baked good that contains both a fruit and a vegetable counts as health food in this house!
*Super Secret Ingredient: