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Oil Free Healthy Zucchini Bread

healthy zucchini bread

Oh my goodness guys. This Healthy Oil Free Zucchini is the best. thing. ever. I mean look at those gorgeous green speckles of zucchini sprinkled throughout the bread and those beautiful creases drawn out across the top of the loaf.

I am in L O V E.

healthy zucchini bread

Are you a zucchini bread fan? I know some people simply don’t get the idea of vegetables in baked goods. If you are a skeptic you’ve gotta give this Healthy Zucchini Bread a chance. The zucchini is completely undetectable in the final result. The zucchini adds such moisture to this bread and the result is a super soft, moist, perfectly spiced bread with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and dark brown sugar.

healthy zucchini bread

I’ve been on the hunt for an awesome zucchini bread for awhile. A lot of the oil-free recipes I’ve been experimenting with and testing so far leave a lot to be desired leaving me less than content with a chewy bread on my hands OR a gloopy mess with a bread that won’t even cook from all the liquid in the zucchini. I have had SO many zucchini bread fails in my kitchen coming up with this recipe to the point where I scratched zucchini bread off my list for a good few months until coming back to the drawing board.

AND guys I am SO glad I came back to recipe testing zucchini bread because this soft and scrumptious Healthy Oil Free Zucchini Bread is something else. Soft, moist, sweet, perfectly spiced and tastes kind of amazing as a mid-afternoon snack slightly warmed up slathered in almond butter or homemade cream cheese frosting. YUM.

healthy zucchini bread

A few tips from my Kitchen to get the perfect moist + soft vegan Zucchini Bread:

Grate the zucchini on the small grater: The big grater leaves zucchini chunks in the bread (not what we want!) and the super teeny tiny side just ends up grating the zucchini into a watery mess. The small side of the grater grates the zucchini into just what we want for the ultimate moist healthy zucchini bread! (see picture)

Pack the zucchini and drain it off a bit: Now don’t go draining off all the liquid from the grated zucchini but you will want to drain a bit to avoid a swampy mess of a zucchini bread that won’t even cook because there is too much liquid in it. #Fail

My trick to doing this is grate your zucchini and pack it into the “1 cup” measuring cup. This should be the amount you get from one normal sized medium zucchini – packed. Pack the zucchini down with your hand and drain off the excess liquid that comes up when you pack it down.

*Note: I know a lot of recipes swear by leaving in all the liquid from the zucchini but as I’ve said I have never any had luck going this route. Do not squeeze out all the liquid either or else you will get a super dry bread. Some liquid is good to get a moist bread but too much liquid will basically cause a zucchini bread disaster.

Use dark brown cane sugar: Dark brown sugar is basically regular cane sugar spiked with molasses which makes this bread SO darn soft. Dark brown sugar adds a ton of rich and deep undertones to this bread.

Lemon Juice: Helps this healthy zucchini bread fluff right up and rise in the oven. Plus lemon in all baking = win.

healthy zucchini bread

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Oil Free Healthy Zucchini Bread


  • Author: Ceara
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
  • Yield: 11 slices 1x

Description

This Oil-Free Healthy Zucchini Bread is soft, moist and speckled with delicious green zucchini. Tastes even better the next day once the flavors have had time to “mingle” in the bread.


Ingredients

Scale

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups light spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax seed + 6 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup dark brown cane sugar, medium packed*
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar*
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (from 1 medium size zucchini) *see notes
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips or walnuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F/180C. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or non-stick cooking spray OR line with parchment paper for an oil free option.
  2. Mix the ground flax seed with the water in a large mixing bowl. Stir and leave it to thicken while preparing the dry ingredients.
  3. In a medium size bowl, mix together the spelt flour, sea salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir together until the spices are evenly distributed throughout the flour.
  4. Grate the zucchini (see notes for how to grate, measure and drain the zucchini – very important!). The flax “eggs” should be thickened by now. Add the applesauce, dark brown cane sugar, cane sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and grated zucchini to the flax “eggs”. Whisk together. Stir in the chocolate chips or nuts (optional).
  5. Slowly add and fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until they are combined. *Do not over-mix*.
  6. Pour the zucchini bread batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 37 – 45 minutes. The amount of time your zucchini bread takes to bake will depend on your oven and pan – mine took 42 minutes. Your bread is ready when the top is golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clear. Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Leave the bread to cool before slicing into it. Enjoy!

Notes

1) An important step in making this bread is how you prepare the zucchini. Grate the zucchini on the small side of the grater (not the super tiny, just the small side). Pack 1 cup of the grated zucchini into the measuring cup and drain off the excess liquid. Do not drain off all the liquid just the excess that pours out of the cup as your pack it into the cup.
2) Replace light spelt flour with white whole wheat or all purpose flour.
3) If you don’t have dark brown cane sugar on hand, replace with regular cane sugar and add 1 tsp of molasses.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

healthy zucchini bread

If you try this Healthy Vegan Zucchini Bread, I LOVE seeing your amazing #CearasKitchen creations. Share your photos with me on Instagram @CearasKitchen (and remember to tag #CearasKitchen so I don’t miss it!) or share it on my Ceara’s Kitchen Facebook page. Happy Baking!

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71 Comments

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  2. If you like carrot cake you are going to loooooooooveee zucchini bread!! <3 Let me know if you end up whipping it up! The zucchinis make the bread so moist, soft and ltobet
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  3. If you like carrot cake you are going to loooooooooveee zucchini bread!! <3 Let me know if you end up whipping it up! The zucchinis make the bread so moist, soft and yummy!! yehyeh
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  5. Okay. I followed the recipe exactly, but it fell in the middle. It was not nice and high as in the picture. What do you think might have caused that. It tastes good, but the texture is off. It seems like this often happens when I try to cook fat free.

  6. This recipe is DEFINITELY a keeper!!! So delicious and moist; I can’t believe I haven’t found it before now!! Thank you so much!

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  8. I made this yesterday and it was absolutely delicious! I used bobs red mill baking flour and used all coconut sugar, and it turned out delicious. My husband grew up on his aunt’s zucchini bread, it was his favorite growing up, but it was made the old fashioned way. He said this bread was a thousand times better! This will be my go-to zucchini bread from now on. Absolutely perfect!

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  10. This bread is amazing!!!!!!!! Thank you for the recipe. My family devours this every time I make it!

  11. Thank you for this fantastic recipe! We are not vegan but we are honoring the Orthodox Christian fasting period, meaning no oil, no dairy, no eggs. I always laugh when people leave recipe reviews and tell how they modified the recipe and made it perfect, but then again, the comments and substitutions sometimes help others. In my case, I used all purpose flour and omitted the cane sugar, using instead 1/2 c brown sugar and 1/4 c honey. Of course, we had to do without chocolate chips as well, but the end result was a wonderful treat! The bread was light (not dense) and moist (the perfect texture and density). Thank you for this recipe! I can see making this again even when we are not fasting (but then I will add chocolate chips for sure!).

  12. My daughter has become a vegan so I’m always searching for vegan recipes of the food she loves. This bread is so moist and yummy. I made two smaller loaves and they were done in 35 minutes. For a cook of 45 years I’m amazed every time I make vegan recipes. Thank for a really good recipe.

  13. This is the time of year when I am looking at vegan recipes to use zucchini. Between farm stands and generous gardeners, I seem to never be without some in the fridge. This recipe is a total win! I used sprouted spelt flour for the first time with this recipe. The texture and taste were amazing. Ceara’s tips for the zucchini were perfect. Seriously, the only thing difficult about the recipe is waiting for it to cool before cutting.

  14. Commented about a year ago to say I loved the recipe and 1 year later I came across it again and I still love it! A go-to recipe for sure! I use organic whole wheat flour and I always add vegan chocolate chips.

  15. I’m not sure where I went wrong, but the bread came out somewhat mushy and undercooked for me. I baked it for about 50 minutes and it still was undercooked on the bottom. The only modification I did was replacing spelt with all purpose flour. Maybe I didn’t drain the zucchini enough? I just pressed it into a cup and drained it off. Any tips? I would love to make this recipe work as I have been searching endlessly for a good oil free zucchini bread! Thanks!

    1. Hmm.. the bread should be moist but certainly not be mushy. It sounds like you did not drain the zucchini enough before mixing it in with the batter. If it is too watery, your bread will be mushy instead of nice and moist. Let me know if this helps! Enjoy 🙂

  16. This looks amazing! I love that it’s oil-free and relatively healthy. I just bought some zucchini at the store to try this recipe out. I’ll be using a flour blend of enriched wheat and almond, hopefully it works well. Fingers crossed!

  17. This is the most AMAZING oil free bread I have EVER baked and tasted! Thanks for an amazing recipe! Oh, I replaced some of the flour for quinoa flour, and it is absolutely delicious!!!! JUST MAGICAL!!! this is a keeper for sure

  18. Recently got a HUGE summer squash and needed to use it up so I’ve made this recipe 3 times in the last week 🙂 always super yummy!

  19. Any idea how this might turn out if I halve the amount of sugar? Would you recommend I add or subtract any other ingredients if I cut back on the sugar content?

  20. Thank you for this recipe, it’s the closest I’ve found so far to what I just tried and majorly failed at making (so devastating!!!).

    I was attempting to make a gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan bread with a lot more zucchini in it. Apparently the 3 cups I used was just too much and it wouldn’t cook through at all. The flavor and sweetness I was able to get by using 1/2 cup applesauce, 1/4 cup molasses, and 1/4 cup honey was perfect, I didn’t want to bake it the batter was so good! (my gf flour mix did have some sugar in it too, won’t be getting the HEB brand again).

    I am wondering how you might adjust this recipe to use molasses and honey for sweetness, and adding another cup of zucchini?

  21. Boy,your zuchinni bread is out of this world seriously. I have a vegan adult son whos very hard to please and your recipe Rocked! I want to see if you have pumpkin,carrot or even a yam loaf. Keep up the great work!

    1. Thank you for the lovely feedback, Estella! I really appreciate it 🙂 I am so glad you and your son enjoyed the zucchini bread!

      1. He was definitely amazed it had no oil, and that it could come out so moist. Thank You so much….and Im definitely am going to try your cheese sauce. He wants a nice lasana.

  22. Hi Ceara,
    This recipe turned out delicious even though I screwed up your instructions a touch, so I can imagine what it will be like once done correctly. It is so flavourful and moist! I am so glad I came upon your webpage. You make vegan so easy!

  23. The zucchini bread looks so moist and delicious, Ceara!I love the fact that your zucchini bread turned out moist without using oïl! Sounds like a great recipe! Pinning!

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words and pin, Hadia! I’ve been experimenting with oil-free baking lately and it’s been so much fun!!

  24. This zucchini bread looks so good! I really love using spelt flour in my baking. Its got such a great nutty flavour and gives such light, fluffy results, Can’t wait to use it in this recipe!

    1. Thank yoo so much, Mel! Spelt really does give such a delicious nutty flavor to baking. I absolutely LOVE it as well – it is truly my go-to flour in baking!! 🙂 Let me know if you end up trying this recipe out!!

  25. oh man this looks so good! I always have TONS of zucchini hanging around, plus Im hooked on spelt. This is one kick ass recipe! That texture just looks incredible. So moist and tender. Just like a good zucchini bread.

    1. THANKS so much Chrysta!! I am totally hooked on spelt flour too!! I love how it subs 1 for 1 in baking like AP flour but is SO much healthier!

  26. I have never had zucchini bread before but so many people rave about it. After reading your post, i think i should definitely give it a try. I love that you post your tips and tricks to get this deliciously looking bread!

  27. Looks so amazing Ceara!! I love zucchini muffins, but haven’t had any in a long time!! And optional chocolate chips?! I don’t think so….they are a must! Hahaha! I don’t use brown sugar very often, but occasionally I will (in my world’s easiest chocolate chip blondies I did) for that added extra flavor and texture! I think this looks wonderful and downright delicious and you know how much I love that it is oil-free!!

    1. Thank you so much, Brandi!! LOL, chocolate chips are never optional, I don’t know what I was thinking with this 😉 I have a chocolate chip recipe planned for in the coming weeks to make up for it, ha!! The dark brown cane sugar adds such a delicious texture to this bread!! And yay for oil-free baking!!

  28. I’ve got a major soft spot for zucchini bread and when it’s healthy it just makes it sooo much better! I’ve got all the ingredients to go and will try making these tomorrow 🙂 I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes <3

      1. Hi Ceara, I have to give you major vegan brownie points for this recipe. I was actually skeptical at first, though I shouldn’t have been since your recipes always turn out great, that this bread would be hard and dry without any oil. I was so amazed by how moist this zucchini bread recipe turned out. I added the walnuts and chocolate chips like you had mentioned and it was perfect! The bread was gone so fast! Plus it is 100% toddler approved and kid friendly which is always a plus! Wish I could give you 10stars for this recipe 😀

        1. <3 Thanks so much for the awesome feedback and comment Vanessa! I am SO happy you and your family enjoyed the recipe!! It's always SUCH a plus when kids love a recipe because they really always tell the truth about what they think about food!! ;) I LOVE the photo your shared on insta of your little guy eating it and calling it a "cookie"!! SO cute!! Thank you for the 10 stars! :D ;)

          1. So I made this again 4 days ago and *SURPRISE SURPRISE* It came out perfect…AGAIN! So moist and yummy. I really wanted to take a picture of it again but it was gone with 20 minutes. Everyone just devoured it. Had to comment again so I could give you another 5 stars to make it 10 🙂 Awesome recipe Ceara! This is a keeper!

          2. <3 So happy you enjoyed this zucchini bread AGAIN, Vanessa!!! Thanks for the TEN star rating <3 You are awesome!

    1. If you like carrot cake you are going to loooooooooveee zucchini bread!! <3 Let me know if you end up whipping it up! The zucchinis make the bread so moist, soft and yummy!!

  29. This bread looks fantastic, Ceara! I just want to reach right through my screen and grab a slice or three! I’m loving that there is no oil in here and that it’s healthy! Looks so delish! Have a great Wednesday, friend!

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