recipes, Summer, Sweet Pastries

Healthy Zucchini Bread Recipe with Applesauce

It’s zucchini season which means there are a bunch of homegrown zucchinis laying around. And in case you need a new idea on how to use up all those zucchinis I have a good one for you today. How about this juicy and healthy zucchini bread recipe with applesauce, chocolate and hazelnuts?

Zucchinis not only go well with savory dishes, but they’re also great for baking. Due to their high-water content, they give the loaf an incredibly juiciness. And together with some chocolate and hazelnut flavor we’re going to whip up a healthy zucchini bread recipe in no time! So, let’s get started.

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Healthy chocolate zucchini bread served with powdered sugar.

Healthy & Nutritious

Did you know that zucchini are squashes and that they can grow up to a meter long? Because they belong to the squash family, they are also known summer squash.

Besides that, zucchini is a true superfood. In addition to its low carbohydrate content of just 2.2 grams, which makes it so popular with low-carb fans, it also contains a lot of potassium.

Potassium is an essential mineral that our body needs to maintain tissue tension. It is the antagonist of sodium and ensures that the water ratio in the intracellular and extracellular areas remains balanced.

In addition, zucchini contains abundant phytochemicals and antioxidants. These bind free radicals in the body. These are aggressive oxygen particles that, if not bound, can oxidize our vascular walls, allowing cholesterol to accumulate there. This in turn leads to a gradual calcification of the vessels and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, or other diseases. 

Three zucchini lying next to each other on a dark wooden background.
Zucchinis are a true superfood!

Ingredients and Substitutions

Since we’re making a zucchini bread, we’ll use either a silicon or regular loaf pan. This will make about ten slices of our healthy zucchini bread with applesauce. However, this may vary slightly depending on the size of your loaf pan or your cake slices.

Note: I always base portion sizes on my personal dietary needs (presumably those of the average woman). However, you or perhaps one of your fellow eaters may need more or less than I do. So, feel free to adjust.

So, here’s what you need for making this healthy zucchini bread recipe with applesauce:

  • one finely shredded zucchini
  • whole wheat flour, which, unlike all-purpose flour, contains much more minerals and fiber (see this article on whole grains for more information)
  • eggs for binding
  • ground hazelnuts and baking cocoa for the chocolate nutty flavor
  • applesauce and some canola oil as a substitute for the not so healthy butter
  • baking powder for a fluffy zucchini bread
  • dates for sweetness

Substitutions

Since I personally do not tolerate erythritol in cakes and pastries any more, I now prefer to sweeten my cakes with dates. Just like the date-sweetened apricot cake, I showed you the other day. Dates also contain sugar. However, they are also full of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. 

Alternatively, you can replace half of the dates with erythritol or xylitol or sweeten your healthy zucchini bread with maple syrup. You can find the exact details in the recipe.

Instead of hazelnuts, you can of course use other ground nuts like almonds or walnuts. If you like, you can also add some chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips to the dough. This will make it even more chocolatey.

Ingredients for this healthy zucchini bread recipe with applesauce.
The ingredients for this healthy zucchini bread recipe with applesauce.

How to Make this Recipe

For our healthy zucchini bread recipe with applesauce we first preheat the oven to 180° Celsius or 350° Fahrenheit. Once that is done, we need to make a date puree out of our dates.

To do this, we first pit the dates and cut them a little smaller. Next, we pour hot water over them and let them soak for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, we can already wash and finely grate the zucchini.

Now we put all the dry ingredients, that means the flour, baking powder, hazelnuts, salt and baking cocoa, in a bowl and mix them together. Next, pour off about half of the water in which the dates are soaked and then mash them into a fine puree using a fork.

Now add the remaining ingredients, eggs, applesauce, oil, date puree and of course the grated zucchini to the dough and mix it thoroughly with a hand mixer, your kitchen machine, or a whisk.

Finally, you just have to grease the loaf pan with a little oil or butter and pour the zucchini bread batter into it and smooth it out. Then put the bread in the oven for 45 to 55 minutes.

Before you take the zucchini bread out of the oven, you should test it with the toothpick test to see if it is already done. Therefore, insert the toothpick in the center of your loaf and remove it. If there’s no dough sticking to it, it done. After a short cooling phase, you can remove the zucchini bread from the pan and transfer it to a cooling rack, where it can cool down completely. 

Your Common Questions Answered

In case there are any questions left, I hope these FAQ will help you. If not, feel free to drop your question in the comments below.

What can I use instead of ground hazelnuts?

Instead of hazelnuts, you can use other ground nuts of your choice, such as almonds or walnuts. 

Can I make this zucchini bread recipe even lower in calories?

To make this healthy zucchini bread recipe with applesauce even lower in calories, you can replace half of the dates with about 50 grams of erythritol. Erythritol is a calorie-free sweetener, so you’ll save about 140 calories over the entire cake.

Here’s How to Save this Recipe for Later

Personally, I prefer to store this healthy zucchini bread in the refrigerator. Because of its high amount of moisture due to the zucchini, it may go bad quite quickly if kept at a warm ambient temperature. However, it should last up to two days in a cake storage box, even without a refrigerator. 

In addition, you can also freeze this zucchini bread very well, either as a whole or as individual pieces, and let it defrost when needed. To do this, simply pack the slices in a freezer bag and place them in the freezer.

Healthy chocolate zucchini bread served with powdered sugar.
My tip: Store this zucchini bread in your refrigerator – this way it will last longer.

I hope you like this healthy zucchini bread recipe with applesauce and that you give it a try soon. 

If you have any further questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments, or send me a massage via email at contact@julesbalancedrecipes.com or Instagram (@julesbalancedrecipes). 

And in case, you’ve tried this recipe, I’d appreciate your comment and rating for this recipe. It’s easy to do via the comments section below this post and it would mean the world to me.

Have fun trying it out and bon appétit,
Jules

Save for later

Click the pin button and add the recipe to one of your Pinterest boards. This way you can also easily bookmark the recipe for later. The pin button will appear as soon as you hover over the picture. 

Click on the pin button in the upper left corner to bookmark this recipe on your Pinterest account.
Click on the button in the upper left corner to bookmark this recipe!

You might also like:

If you loved this recipe, I hope you will also try some of my other healthy baking recipes! 

Healthy chocolate zucchini bread served with powdered sugar.

Healthy Zucchini Bread Recipe with Applesauce

Julia Schmitt
This quick, easy and healthy zucchini bread recipe is made completely without refined sugar and butter. To bump up the flavor we add some ground hazelnuts and cocoa powder and if desired also some chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips. 
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Cake, pastries, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 10 slices
Calories 184 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 box grater
  • 1 hand mixer/ kitchen machine/ whisk
  • 1 loaf pan

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Medjool dates * (≈ 80g or 1.8 oz) if you like it sweeter take 5 dates or ≈100g or 3.5 oz
  • 120 g boiling water (½ cup)
  • 1 small to medium sized zucchini
  • 250 g whole wheat flour (8.8 oz or approx. 2 cups and 2 tbsp)
  • 15 g baking cocoa (≈ 5 tsp)
  • 10 g baking powder (2.5 tsp)
  • 50 g ground hazelnuts ** (1.8 oz or ≈ ½ cup)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs (medium sized)
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 120 g applesauce (4.2 oz or ≈½ cup)
  • 1-3 tbsp (non-dairy or dairy) milk

Instructions
 

Preparations:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F. Pit the dates, cut them roughly into smaller pieces, put them in a bowl and pour over the hot water, leave to soak for 10 minutes. 
    Date pieces in a small bowl filled with hot water.
  • Wash the zucchini thoroughly and grate it finely, set aside.
    Shredded zucchini in a plate, next to it is the used box grater.

Dough:

  • Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, hazelnuts, salt and baking cocoa) in a large bowl. Grease a loaf pan (if not made of silicone) with a bit of butter, oil, or baking spray. 
    Dry ingredients for this healthy zucchini bread recipe with applesauce are mixed in a bowl.
  • Drain half of the date water and finely mash the date pieces with the remaining water to a fine puree using a fork.
    Homemade date puree in a bow with a fork next to it.
  • Add the date puree to the bowl with the remaining ingredients (eggs, oil, and applesauce) and mix until everything is well combined. Add the milk one tablespoon at a time until the dough has reached the right cake batter consistency (see picture – you may not need all three tablespoons depending on the size of your zucchini and eggs).
    Healthy zucchini bread batter made with applesauce in a mixing bowl.

Bake

  • Transfer the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake it in the oven at 180°C or 350°F for about 45 to 55 minutes. Check if the cake is done by making the toothpick test. Therefore, insert a wooden toothpick near the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done and can be removed from the oven. 
    zucchini bread batter with applesauce is filled in a loaf pan.
  • Let it cool briefly before removing it from the pan, then let it cool down completely on a cooling rack.
    Zucchini bread on a cooling rack.

Notes

*You can substitute half of the dates with about 50g of erythritol (1.8 oz). You can also use the same amount of maple syrup or date syrup instead (80 to 100g). You may need a little less milk if using the maple syrup.
**Substitute with ground almonds or walnuts if needed.
nutritional values per serving:
  • calories: 184 kcal
  • fat: 7.1 g
    • saturated fatty acids: 0.6 g
  • carbohydrates: 22.8 g
    • sugar: 1.8 g
    • fiber: 1.5 g
  • protein: 5.6 g

Nutrition

Calories: 184kcal
Keyword healthy zucchini bread, zucchini bread recipe with applesauce, zucchini bread recipe without sugar
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