Healthy Zucchini Bread

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!

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

Healthy Zucchini Bread

Brittany Mullins
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.
4.82 from 11 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 158 kcal

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
 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9"x5" loaf pan or line with parchment.
  • In a medium bowl, stir flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
  • In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add maple syrup and zucchini, stir until well blended. Stir in oil, applesauce and vanilla.
  • 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.
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  • 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.

Video

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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 158kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 142mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9g
Keyword healthy zucchini bread
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Recipe Rating




    39 comments
    1. Jessica
      May 28, 2021 AT 12:27 am

      This bread comes out perfect every time and is a huge hit in my house. I’ve subbed one of the eggs with a banana and reduced the maple syrup to 1/2 cup and it’s perfectly sweet.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 28, 2021 AT 11:13 am

        Yay! I’m so glad this zucchini bread has been a hit, Jessica! Thanks for the review. I really appreciate it!

    2. Jessica
      May 16, 2021 AT 7:39 pm

      5 stars
      Love this recipe! Perfect every time I make it and not mushy.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 17, 2021 AT 11:46 am

        Yay!! So glad you’re enjoying this zucchini bread, Jessica! Thanks for making it and coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    3. Laura
      May 11, 2021 AT 7:20 pm

      5 stars
      I loved this recipe, this bread/cake is easy to make, delicious and the texture is amazing, very fluffy on the inside. I didn’t have maple syrup so used coconut syrup instead and it worked out perfectly.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 12, 2021 AT 10:44 am

        Woo!! I’m so glad this zucchini bread was a hit, Laura! Thanks so much for making it and coming back to leave a review. I really appreciate it!

    4. Mo Kelly
      December 28, 2020 AT 7:18 pm

      5 stars
      I LOVED this bread! I made it with the banana substitute and flax eggs and it came out perfectly. I added some chocolate chips which really helped those mid-day cravings!! Thank you so much!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 29, 2020 AT 2:22 am

        Woo!! So glad this bread turned out for you. Thanks for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it. 🙂

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

      5 stars
      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. 🙂

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