A lightened up recipe for zucchini bread that uses maple syrup instead of sugar and olive oil instead of butter. The texture is crisp on the outside and perfectly moist on the inside.

I feel like each summer I get to a point in the season where I’m completely drowning in zucchini and making at least one recipe a day that involves zucchini! Usually it’s something with zucchini noodles or some sort of breakfast recipe, like zucchini bread overnight oats or zucchini baked oatmeal.

Loaf of zucchini bread with 4 thick slices cut on a gold wire cooling rack.

I’m not complaining though, I love all things zucchini and get excited for this time every year.

Obviously zucchini bread is a no-brainer and needed to happen at some point this summer. I shared this vegan zucchini bread, but what about traditional zucchini bread with a healthy twist? That’s what this recipe is! It’s made with a blend of all-purpose and whole wheat flour, sweetened with maple syrup and uses olive oil instead of butter. Despite these healthy swaps this zucchini bread is perfectly moist, cinnamony and delicious!

Mixing bowl with the dry ingredients for a healthy zucchini bread.

Mixing Bowl with eggs, applesauce, vanilla and shredded zucchini.

Ingredients Needed:

  • all-purpose flour
  • whole wheat pastry flour
  • grated zucchini – no need to squeeze the grated zucchini… the liquid from the zucchini helps keep the bread moist
  • pure maple syrup
  • unsweetened applesauce
  • eggs
  • olive oil
  • vanilla
  • ground cinnamon
  • baking powder and baking soda
  • salt
  • ground nutmeg and walnuts are optional!

Substitutions & Notes

  • Flour – I really like the blend of all-purpose and whole wheat pasty flour. If needed, you can use all-purpose or regular whole wheat in place of the whole wheat pastry flour. You could also use an all-purpose gluten-free flour. I don’t recommend using coconut flour or almond flour for this recipe unless you’re up for experimenting.
  • Eggs – I haven’t tested the recipe with flaxseed eggs or egg replacer, but I assume it will work. Let me know if you try it.
  • Applesauce – You can use 1/4 cup mashed banana instead of the applesauce

Close up photo of three thick slices of zucchini bread on a gold cooling rack.

Customize Your Zucchini Bread

People have strong opinions about their mix-ins when it comes to quick breads! Some love adding chocolate chips, dried berries and/or nuts while others just want straight up bread! Honestly you can’t go wrong. Here are some ideas:

  • nuts – I prefer chopped walnuts, but you can play around with different nuts!
  • chocolate chips – everything is better with chocolate, right?
  • dried fruit – dried cranberries would be delicious in this!

I would keep the total amount of mix-ins around 1/2 cup. Add them to the batter last, after you’ve combined the wet and dry ingredients.

How to Serve Zucchini Bread

Honestly, we eat this zucchini bread all day long. It’s delicious paired with eggs and coffee for a hearty breakfast, it’s the perfect mid-afternoon snack and if you mix-in chocolate chips, it’s perfect served as dessert! I love it both cold and warmed up in the toaster oven, plain or with a little butter or even nut butter spread on it. So many options!

Plate with 4 thick slices of zucchini bread.

More Zucchini Recipes to Try:

If you make this healthy zucchini bread please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turned out. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers!

Print
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Loaf of zucchini bread with 4 thick slices cut on a gold wire cooling rack.

Healthy Zucchini Bread


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 16
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

A lightened up recipe for zucchini bread that uses maple syrup instead of sugar and olive oil instead of butter. The texture is crisp on the outside and perfectly moist on the inside.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan or line with parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add maple syrup and zucchini, stir until well blended. Stir in oil, applesauce and vanilla.
  4. Add dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir together until just blended (don’t over mix). Gently stir in chopped walnuts or whatever mix-ins you’re using.
  5. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove loaf from pans and let cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Equipment

Notes

  • Chocolate chips are an awesome addition to this bread if you want a little chocolate. Add 1/3 cup to the recipe or use 1/2 cup chocolate chips in place of the walnuts.
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 158
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Sodium: 142mg
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 23mg

Keywords: healthy zucchini bread

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    31 comments
    1. Damaris J Burtenshaw
      September 5, 2020 AT 6:26 am

      Really lovely and light texture. I replaced some of the all-purpose flour with oat flour, used less maple syrup and used banana puree instead of apple sauce. It was a little too wet so next time I will squeeze some liquid out of the zucchini.
      Really flavoursome recipe for excess zucchini! Thanks.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 7, 2020 AT 5:53 pm

        Glad you enjoyed this bread even though it turned out a bit wet. Next time I would definitely soak up some of the zucchini liquid or maybe try baking it a bit longer. Thanks for coming back to share the subs you made, it’s super helpful for other readers. 🙂

    2. Rachelle Tempo
      September 5, 2020 AT 12:31 am

      I made this today and it was SO good. A lot of “sugar free” recipes are flavorless and can be dry from using wheat flour. Not this one! It was just sweet enough and super moist! Def going to make again for family and friends now that I know this recipe is a winner!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 7, 2020 AT 5:54 pm

        Ahh yay!! So pumped this bread recipe was a hit!! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating, Rachelle. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    3. Adora
      August 26, 2020 AT 9:32 pm

      This was by far the best healthy zucchini bread I’ve ever made. My picky four year old loved it.

      I made it with 100% whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts. I also omitted the nutmeg and cut the maple syrup down to 1/2 cup (it was still plenty sweet).

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 28, 2020 AT 5:56 pm

        Yay!! So glad this bread was a hit, Adora! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. <3

    4. Leandra Marie Freese
      August 26, 2020 AT 3:59 pm

      Perfect recipe! I drained the zuchinni a bit before because I didn’t want it to be mushy and it came out perfect! Thank you!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 26, 2020 AT 8:46 pm

        Ahh yay! So glad this bread turned out for you, Leandra. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    5. Drue
      August 18, 2020 AT 5:33 pm

      Awesome recipe!! I subbed in banana, chocolate chips and used only all purpose flour – wow, wow, wow. So light and moist and flavourful… I don’t think it’ll last until my husband gets home 😂 Thank you so much for creating and sharing!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 19, 2020 AT 2:36 pm

        Ahh yay! So glad this recipe turned out for you, Drue. 🙂 Thanks for making it and for sharing the subs you made. That’s super helpful for other readers, so I appreciate it!

    6. Megan
      August 16, 2020 AT 11:04 pm

      Definitely want to try this recipe this weekend! Do you think I could substitute honey for the maple syrup? I’m in Australia and pure maple syrup
      Is just wayyyy to expensive! Or maybe coconut sugar? Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 17, 2020 AT 3:12 pm

        Hey Megan – Definitely, you could use maple syrup instead. 🙂

    7. Hofterzielbeek
      August 14, 2020 AT 6:16 am

      Wow! Seems so delicious and yummy. Thank you so much for sharing such a great recipe!

    8. Leah
      August 12, 2020 AT 2:44 pm

      What can you substitute for the applesauce? I just don’t want to buy a six pack of applesauce for one recipe ya know?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 12, 2020 AT 3:16 pm

        I get that! You could do 1/4 cup mashed banana instead of the applesauce.

    9. Shailaja DESAI
      August 12, 2020 AT 12:27 pm

      Lovely bread!!!

    10. Sarah Marriah Gray
      August 19, 2014 AT 5:42 pm

      I made this last night. It was so good!! I did not have the coconut flour, so I used whole wheat. I also left out the chocolate chips, and only had a half cup of maple syrup so used a tablespoon of honey instead of the other half cup maple syrup. I served it with whipped cream cheese. All in all it was super yummy, good enough to bring a loaf into work. It lasted about 5 min 🙂 Thanks Brittany, since finding your blog I have happy friends and family (they love all the fantastic foods I am cooking!).

    11. Tori-Leigh
      August 19, 2014 AT 9:31 am

      What a perfect way to use up my zucchini and get ready for fall! Maple syrup is my sweetener of choice, too =)

    12. Stephanie
      August 18, 2014 AT 7:49 pm

      Looks delish! Can I use whole wheat flour in place of the coconut flour?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 18, 2014 AT 9:21 pm

        Yes, whole wheat or regular flour will work instead of the coconut flour.

    13. taramdeal
      August 18, 2014 AT 4:13 pm

      This looks amazing!!! I love Zucchini bread and I love that this one is definitely healthified but still sounds amazing!

    14. HappyForks.com
      August 18, 2014 AT 3:05 pm

      Does anyone try vegan option with egg replacement like Brittany said? It’s important information especially for people allergic to eggs, they definitely don’t want to miss this interesting recipe.
      There is so many banana bread recipes but zucchini bread? Amazing idea. The bread must be super moist and tender.
      For readers who are going to add (for example nuts) or change something, try Recipe Analyzer on Our Website and see how it change nutritional value of bread.

    15. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment
      August 18, 2014 AT 2:31 pm

      I have a lot of zucchini around too! It must be the time of year.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 18, 2014 AT 2:37 pm

        Totally. 🙂

        1. Donna Lee Sosnik
          October 21, 2015 AT 9:46 am

          Hello. This recipe looks so good ! Ready to give it a try, but a few questions, first. What size loaf pans should be used, and in the recipe directions, you mention adding the zucchini twice. What would be the proper order to combine the ingredients ? Thanx for your efforts and reply.

          1. Brittany Mullins
            October 21, 2015 AT 9:53 am

            Sorry for the confusion about the recipe. I just updated it so it’s clear. I used 9 inch X 5 inch loaf pans. I hope you’ll still try the recipe. 🙂

    16. Adrienne J (@hippieitch)
      August 18, 2014 AT 1:57 pm

      I was about to leave work to make banana zucchini bread (read: I have rotten bananas and too many zucchini). I will now be making this instead and the bananas will be going into the freezer! You, genius, you.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 18, 2014 AT 2:32 pm

        Love it!! Actually if you still want to use up the bananas, you could do 1 cup mashed banana and 2 cups shredded zucchini OR vice versa. 🙂

    17. IHeartVegetables
      August 18, 2014 AT 12:17 pm

      This looks delicious, Brittany! I never think to use zucchini for baking but this would be a great way to use up extras!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 18, 2014 AT 2:35 pm

        Thanks Liz!

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