Homemade (Healthier) Zucchini Bread

Written by contributor Donielle Baker of Naturally Knocked Up.

Happy National Zucchini Bread Day!

Why this day is on April 25th and not in July when we all have more zucchinis than we know what to do with, I have no idea. But here we are.

I remember my mother baking zucchini bread, laden with white flour and lots of tasty white sugar. The smell greeting me as I came home from school. The sugar giving me an extra jolt of energy.


All we didn’t know about nutrition back then!

When I bake for my family now I try to use the most wholesome and least processed ingredients possible, so I’ve come up with a couple of different alternatives for us.

Photo by Donielle

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

(makes 2 loaves)


  • 3 cups whole white wheat flour (or 1.5 cups wheat, 1.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice (you can substitute cinnamon)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup honey (or 1 1/4 cup whole cane sugar)
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • optional – 1/2 cup raisins or chocolate chips

Method of Preparation

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two bread pans.

2. Stir together dry ingredients and set aside.

3. Lightly beat the eggs and add in the oil, applesauce, and vanilla. (Bring the eggs to room temperature first, if they are cold it may make the oil solidify again.)

4. Mix the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, combine and add the zucchini and any optional ingredients.

5. Pour equal amounts into each pan and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

I’ve found that using coconut oil and adding the applesauce, it adds a slight sweetness to the bread without having to use a ton of sugar. If you are just beginning to make more wholesome foods, or you have a husband (or kids!) resistant to change, try adding just a bit more sugar (not honey as it will affect the texture of the bread).

You can then begin to decrease the amount over time, allowing tastebuds to change and your family members will never notice.

Photo by Donielle

Gluten-free/Grain-free Zucchini Bread

(makes one loaf)


  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice (or substitute cinnamon)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey (or 1/2 cup whole cane sugar)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • optional – 1/4 cup raisins or chocolate chips

Method of Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease one bread pan.

2. Stir together all dry ingredients and set aside.

3. Lightly beat the eggs and add in the honey, oil, and applesauce.

4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and add zucchini and any optional ingredients, mixing until well combined.

5. Bake for 45 minutes, a few minutes past a toothpick coming out clean.

A few more thoughts

These two variations have been our favorites for some time now; the whole wheat was our go-to for many years until we went gluten-free. Now when I bake I like to use a finely ground almond flour instead of the many gluten-free flours and starches it takes to make a decent loaf.

In fact, the loaf I made with almond flour this morning has only one lonely slice left.

Maybe I should go remedy that………

How do you make a family favorite like zucchini bread a bit healthier?

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  1. Yum! What a great recipe! My mom makes the most amazing zucchini bread, full of oil, and sugar, but it is still amazing 🙂 I will have to try this instead though! We have recently started using whole wheat flour for baking, instead of my usual unbleached white. The kids don’t seem to notice, and my husband likes the heartiness of it.

  2. The whole whet version looks really good.

    • i am really excited to try the almond flour zucchini bread. after just finishing the book Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD, i don’t recommend anyone making the whole wheat version- or wheat anything. definitely read the book to see how wheat has been genetically modified and is now toxic to our bodies.

  3. The whole wheat version looks really good

  4. We’re gluten free so I love that version. I’m pinning it now.

  5. I make a lot of zucchini bread in the summer, when our garden explodes with zucchini. I am pinning this recipe. It is great to have a healthy version of this delicious bread.

  6. I am so excited to try the grain free recipe! I love almond flour!

    • Almond flour really adds a lot to the bread, giving it a different flavor. We absolutely love the almond flour version! When I made it again to take pictures for this post we had it gone within a matter of hours. 🙂

  7. I use applesauce and shredded carrots in mine. I also use a mix of regular whole wheat and whole wheat white so my kids develop a love for the rich taste of the grain. When I have it I use ginger instead of cinnamon. I like the pumpkin spice idea! I haven’t tried coconut oil yet!

  8. Thank you for the grain free recipe! I can’t wait to try it!

  9. I love healthier versions of classic treats! This looks really good. Now to go see if I have any zucchini left in the freezer…=)

  10. Both version look great! It was a favorite in my house growing up too. I like the idea of more whole wheat and the coconut oil.

    I’m organizing a farmers market in my town and we keep getting requests for a baker who specializes in zucchini bread and offers a gluten free version too!

  11. I am 34 and have hated zucchini bread my WHOLE life, until I made this recipe! It was nice to bake zucchini bread using healthy ingredients and I just loved the taste! The pumpkin spice really spices it up perfectly that you can hardly taste the zucchini! My kids loved it too!! They had no idea there was zucchini in there! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  12. sounds great! i have a “healthier” pumpkin bread i make.

    a great idea for the sweetener would also be subbing rapadura for the honey, since it is better for you than cane sugar and the flavor would blend well with the cinnamon.

    my recent post: how to pray with boldness…

  13. Great recipes. I noticed that you used coconut oil in both of them. Excellent choice. I was just reading an article on Dr. Mercola’s site about cooking with coconut oil rather than conventional oils. This is the site address. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/05/05/dr-mercola-interviews-dr-robert-rowen-part-2-cholesterol.aspx?e_cid=20120505_DNL_art_1

    I’m going to try them. Thanks.

  14. I tried this recipe (ww) but both loaves came out overdone on the outside and raw on the inside.

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