A healthier Greek yogurt zucchini bread – this bread has some healthy swaps with no sacrifice of taste! The dark chocolate is a delicious, but optional addition in this bread. Some photos have been updated that show the bread without chocolate chips and a video tutorial has been added (March 23, 2016)
Zucchini bread has always been a weakness of mine. I love it so much that we even served it at our wedding! My mom and sisters spent days making zucchini bread in miniature bread tins and then freezing it just for our special day. <3
My mom has a zucchini bread recipe that is pretty much famous. People ask her for it all the time and the husband goes nuts over it every time I make it. I shared that recipe here. It’s the exact recipe she uses with one change – I added a quick cream cheese swirl in the center of the bread. Yum.
However, if you look at that recipe you may notice that it is purely a dessert called a bread. It’s packed with sugars and oil. The only health-wise redeeming factor of it is the actual zucchini. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with that because it is one of my favorite desserts ever and I will continue to make that every single summer!
But that bread, it is absolutely a dessert. And as a dessert, it’s not something I want to eat everyday. But this bread? It’s aimed towards being a bread you won’t feel bad about eating for breakfast or snacking on all throughout zucchini season.
This is the bread I’m going to make the rest of summer and probably all throughout the fall and winter. (With the dessert zucchini bread a few times too of course.) Am I the only one that freezes bags of shredded zucchini to use in bread all winter long? Told you I love this stuff! Since nailing this recipe after experimentation, I’ve already made it 3 or 4 times. It goes quickly!
I am SO excited for you to try this bread because it is so tasty, but also so much healthier than an alternative zucchini bread recipe.
This recipe starts with some Greek yogurt. I used a low-fat version, but use what you have. This recipe is best with a vanilla flavored yogurt instead of a plain Greek yogurt. I love the subtle vanilla flavor in this bread that comes from the yogurt and the vanilla extract.
There is also some coconut oil which adds a lot of moistness and flavor that we all know well from “regular” zucchini bread. Coconut oil has some great health benefits and I love using it in baked goods. If you are worried about this bread having a coconut flavor, let me assure you, you can not taste the coconut oil AT ALL!
Some of the flour is replaced with blended oats (oat flour). Just quickly pulse some quick or old-fashioned oats in a blender or food processor (until they resemble flour) and they are ready for the bread. I tried making the whole loaf with oat flour and it unfortunately didn’t work out. The most I could get away with adding is 1/2 cup. The remaining 1 cup of flour I used in this recipe is all-purpose white flour. However, if you are used to healthier treats, I’m sure you’d love the bread with white whole-wheat flour.
I used dark chocolate chips in this bread for the health benefits of dark chocolate and because I have another obsession which is called dark chocolate. I’ll put it in pretty much anything! 🙂
If you are looking to save some calories, I would recommend leaving out the dark chocolate chips. If you don’t like dark chocolate, you can use milk or semi-sweet, but the bread isn’t as healthy with those options. And finally, some chopped nuts will also make a great substitution if you like nuts in zucchini bread.
There is also some mashed-up banana in this recipe which helps with the binding of the bread as well as the sweetness. The more ripe your banana is, the sweeter the result will be. Your bread will taste a lot better with very ripe (and consequently sweeter) bananas. Mash them up really well and you shouldn’t be able to taste the banana at all in this recipe. Definitely don’t leave it out (I’ve tried it) because the bread doesn’t work out very well without it. Although a small amount, it is crucial in this recipe.
And my last tip that I add to pretty much any baked good recipe…. Use organic eggs. I swear they make a difference 🙂 The large organic eggs are slightly larger than “regular” large eggs. The larger egg is going to make this bread even more moist. Also if you ever compare an organic egg yolk to a regular egg yolk, the yellows are very different in color. The yellower, organic egg yolk is going to make this bread more flavorful. I’ve tried both eggs and taste testers can tell a difference! It’s totally worth it to go with the organic eggs in baked goods 🙂
I hope you enjoy this healthier zucchini bread all summer long!
- 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt I used low-fat
- 1 teaspoon and 1/2 vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons very ripe mashed banana
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup oat flour blended oats
- 1 cup white flour or use white-whole wheat
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup lightly packed grated zucchini
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped nuts optional
- Make sure you have thoroughly dried the zucchini to keep it from being too wet/watery in the finished bread. I do this using paper towels and squeezing the grated zucchini. (See video tutorial above this recipe)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour one bread pan.
- In a bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, vanilla extract (scale depending on love for vanilla flavor - I like it strong), 1 large egg, coconut oil (measured when melted), and honey.
- In a small bowl, mash the banana really well. The banana is very important for binding of the bread and a lower calorie sweetening. The more ripe - the better.
- Stir in the banana and brown sugar.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the oat flour (measured AFTER blending. I used regular old fashioned or quick oats and quickly pulse them in a blender or food processor until they resemble flour. Then measure and add to the bowl), white or white-whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Add the dry to the wet and mix until just combined. Over-mixing will result in dense bread.
- Stir in the grated zucchini and chocolate chips if desired.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and top with more chocolate chips if desired.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted into the center comes out clean and the bread has begun to slightly pull away from the sides. Barely under-cooking the bread will yield a softer and slightly denser bread. (I pulled mine out at 43 minutes.)
- If needed tent some tin foil over the top to keep the top from over-cooking.
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