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.Jump to Recipe
Table of Contents
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.
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
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.
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.
Instead of hazelnuts, you can use other ground nuts of your choice, such as almonds or walnuts.
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.
I hope you like this healthy zucchini bread recipe with applesauce and that you give it a try soon.
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,
Save for later
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If you loved this recipe, I hope you will also try some of my other healthy baking recipes!
Healthy Zucchini Bread Recipe with Applesauce
- 1 box grater
- 1 hand mixer/ kitchen machine/ whisk
- 1 loaf pan
- 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
- 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.
- Wash the zucchini thoroughly and grate it finely, set aside.
- 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.
- Drain half of the date water and finely mash the date pieces with the remaining water to a fine puree using a fork.
- 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).
- 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.
- Let it cool briefly before removing it from the pan, then let it cool down completely on a cooling rack.
- 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