Zucchini is one of those funny vegetables that either tastes amazing or super gross. Unfortunately for me, growing up, I only ever had my share of yucky tasting zucchini. This pretty much meant that I would try and feed my mom’s zucchini to my baby sister, or hide it under the rest of my food. I did this for years until I went over to a friends house and they served zucchini bread for dinner. AND BOOM, just like that, my life was completely changed. What made zucchini watery and gross, made the moist-est and sweet bread, and hey, it was a serving of vegetable too, technically.
I went home and gushed to my mom about this amazing bread that I had eaten at my friend’s house, and how it was made from zucchini. My mom, of course, was not impressed and wanted to actually taste this thing I was talking about for herself. So, I went online and clicked on the first recipe I found (I’m pretty sure it was Allrecipes) and made my family some zucchini bread. Needless to say, they fell in love with zucchini bread, just like me, and since then, it’s been one of our favorite after school snacks and the perfect dessert to complement a meal.
The zucchini bread recipe that I found that first day, has been modified and tweaked for over so many years, that I’m not even sure it resembles the same recipe that we started out with. I find that zucchini bread tends to be very sweet, and in some cases, just wayyy too sweet for my diabetic family. During the period in which I was trying to create a healthier zucchini bread, my dad became lactose intolerant, and I figured that I should probably make a dairy-free zucchini bread recipe. Luckily, oil based breads are actually more moist than breads made with butter since the oil is liquid and has an easier time encasing the flour particles (this is what prevents gluten formation, and tough baked goods). So, this zucchini bread recipe is not only dairy-free, it is also low sugar, uses more zucchini than what would normally be called for a higher dose of veggies, and is still pretty much the most delicious bread ever.
I would recommend definitely keeping this recipe as a bread and baking it in a loaf pan, instead of a cake tin or muffin tins. What makes this recipe over-the-top amazing is the delicious, golden crust that forms on top of the zucchini bread. This crust only forms if its been baked for awhile, which wouldn’t be the case for cake layers or muffins. One thing that I can’t stress more than enough is DO NOT drain the shredded zucchini! The water in the zucchini is what creates a moist and fluffy bread. I made zucchini bread with my friend once and we were both curious as to what would happen if we squeezed all the water out of the zucchini before we put it into the batter. Oh man, we were eating rock hard zucchini bread for days after. Haha, so please, learn from my mistake!
The key to good zucchini bread is all in the eggs. You want to make sure to beat as much air as you can into the eggs before combining it with the rest of the wet ingredients!
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy TIME: 20 min prep + 1 hour cook time
HEALTHY ZUCCHINI BREAD | Makes 1 loaf (8-10 slices, depending on how thin you slice them)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 tsp salt
- 2/3 tsp baking soda
- 2/3 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil (or any other neutral tasting oil)
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 cup grated zucchini (do not drain!)
- Preheat oven to 325 (F).
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
- Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk until air bubbles appear on the surface and eggs are well beaten.
- Then, add in vanilla extract, vegetable oil, and sugar. Mix well.
- Combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients a little bit at a time. This mixture should be thick and hard to mix.
- Finally, add in grated zucchini and mix well. At this point, the mixture should be much easier to mix because of the moisture from the zucchini.
- Bake for 1 hour and then check to see if bread is done. If not, keep adding an extra 5 minutes of baking time. In my experience, depending on humidity and oven circulation, bread can take between 60 minutes and 75 minutes to bake.
- Cool bread before slicing.
- Zucchini bread will keep fresh for up to 4 days in an airtight container.