Zucchini Bread

Traditional zucchini breads are rich and dense due to their refined oil and sugar, but these ingredients are not necessary, or health-promoting. This bread gets its moistness and heartiness from zucchini, apples, dates, and millet and oat flours.

ZucchiniBread_0431

I have happy memories of my mom’s zucchini bread made from the squash in our garden. And it was full of walnuts from our trees, which my dad used to pay me and my sister twenty-five cents a bucket to pick up. We complained a lot, but those walnuts were so good! Usually we’d make this in the summer or fall when zucchinis were fresh and plentiful. But there’s no reason you can’t make this tasty bread anytime of the year.

A word about baking pans: This recipe makes one standard loaf or two “half” loaves. Most recipes make 2 standard loaves, but you can easily double this recipe if you want to make two. I wanted to touch on baking pans since a different size pan will affect the baking time slightly, and there are so many sizes of loaf pans.

My standard pan holds 5 cups of water (to the brim) and is about 8.25 x 4.25 x 2-1/2″ (it’s says “medium loaf pan” on the end, and is “Gourmetware” brand).

What I call my “half” loaf pan holds 2 cups water and measures 5.75 x 3″ (the brand is “Good Cook” and says “mini loaf pan” on the label). It doesn’t say “half” on it, but that’s what I call it since it looks like about the size of my standard pan (see comparison photo below).

There are also true “mini” loaf pans that measure closer to 2.25 x 3.5″. These can be sold individually or as “cavities” in one large pan. I have not made these super small loaves, but I’d start checking them for doneness around 25 minutes and cook longer as needed.

So, if you want to replicate my loaves, those are the two pan sizes I have used (I have the Good Cook brand of pans in my online store as well as a true “mini” pan). If your pan is not one of these sizes, this chart on pan sizes may be helpful.

Ingredients
10 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup non-dairy milk
1¼ cups quick or Old Fashioned rolled oats (not instant), ground into flour
¾ cup dry millet, ground into flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground (dry) ginger
1¾ cups unpeeled and grated zucchini (about 1 and a half medium zucchinis)
½ cup unpeeled, grated apple (about half of a medium apple)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup walnut halves, chopped

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325. In a small bowl, cover the chopped dates with the non-dairy milk and set aside to soften.

2. Dry ingredients: Grind the oats and millet into a flour using your blender (a high-speed blender will do a finer job) and place into a bowl. Add to this the soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

3. Wet ingredients: In another bowl, place the grated zucchini and apple, and vanilla. Using your blender again, blend the dates and the non-dairy milk until very smooth. Add the date mixture to the bowl of zucchini, apple and vanilla, and mix with a fork.

4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon, adding in the chopped walnuts at the end. Pour into one standard size loaf pan OR two half-loaf pans (see above) lined with parchment paper (see photos of how to do this below), or use silicone bakeware. The batter will fill the pan about 3/4 of the way.

5. Bake 1 standard loaf for 65-70 minutes uncovered with your oven rack in the center position. If you are making two half loaves, bake both at the same time on one rack with some space between them for 40-45 minutes uncovered. The bread will be done when the top of the loaf is an even medium brown, it has started to pull away from the sides of the pan, and there are some cracks in the top of the loaf.

When you take the bread out to test for doneness, insert a toothpick far down, and if it comes out clean, it’s likely done. If the top of the loaf is brown but doesn’t pass the toothpick test, put it back in covered lightly with a piece of foil and cook for 5 more minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan to cool further on a cutting board. Cool for another 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Preparation: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 40-70 minutes
Makes: 1 standard loaf or two half loaves

NOTES

Sweetness: This bread is not overly sweet, but just sweet enough, according to my palate. But feel free to add 2-3 more dates if you prefer a sweeter bread.

Nuts: Any type of nut may be used; or they may be omitted altogether.

Raisins: A half cup of raisins would also be a nice addition, and would add additional sweetness.

ZucchiniBread_0448

Above: A close-up of a slice from the standard loaf. The crumb (the soft inner part of the bread) is moist yet not under-cooked. Adding the ground millet helps this since oat flour alone can sometimes result in a texture that is heavy and sticky.

ZucchiniBread_0462

Above: The half loaf is on the left and the standard loaf is on the right. The standard loaf was cooked a little longer, so it’s darker in color.

ZucchiniBread_0439

Above: This is the half loaf made with sliced almonds instead of walnuts. You can see the millet grains, which look like cornmeal, even when ground. If you were to grind the millet and oats in a Vitamix or other super high-speed blender, the texture would be finer (I used my small Tribest Blender to grind my grains). I like the grainier texture just as well.

HOW TO LINE A PAN WITH PARCHMENT PAPER

(1) Cut a piece of parchment paper larger than your pan, and set your pan on it. (2) Mark where the four corners are. (3) Cut from the corners into the marks, and also trim the long sides so that they are the approximate height of your baking pan. (4) Press the paper into the pan, pressing firmly into the corners so it will conform to the pan. Flatten the paper against the insides of the pan, and trim off any that rises above the top edge of the pan so it doesn’t burn. (5) This is what the finished project looks like (this is my “half” loaf pan).

ParchmentPaper3

Click here to visit my Amazon kitchen store with all my favorite products (appliances, pans, kitchen tools, food items, and books). When you make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this site. Thank you for your purchase and your support!

Print Friendly and PDF

Comments

  1. I can’t wait to try the recipe, Cathy. Just this past Saturday I bought a hearty amount of zucchini from our local organic Farmer’s Market. I’ll let you know how this turned out. The ingredients sound wonderful, and, of course, healthy. That’s what we want. Thank you!

  2. Hi, Cathy! Made the loaf this afternoon. The taste is FABULOUS-sweet enough and the spice mix is wonderful. However, I didn’t have millet on hand, and used almond meal instead. The texture was soft in the middle, and didn’t rise as in the pic. I’ll make next time with millet. Wondering if grinding oats in Vita mixer had something to do with it. But in the final analysis, it’s a great recipe…..healthy, and very tasty. I’m signing off; going to enjoy my 2nd slice!

    • Have to add – hubby just ate some of the bread, and loved it!!! So tasty! Doesn’t have that oily, greasy feel of zucchini bread made the SAD way!

      • Hi Joanne! Nice to hear from you! :) I’m so glad the bread went over so well with hubby! Per your other comment, yeah, I think the millet really helps it with “lift.” There are so many factors, like the Vitamix vs. another blender. Yes, it’s nice to have zucchini bread that isn’t an oil sponge. ;-)

  3. It’s in the oven, rising…….

  4. Made this last night with a few changes. My dates didn’t make it home from the store so used a 1/4 c agave nectar instead and used spelt in place of millet. Tastes super delicious but took a long time to firm up. I think the nectar made it a little too soupy. The bf really liked it too!

  5. Hi, thanks for posting such a healthy zucchini bread recipe! I really appreciate it. I like the flavor and texture. Mine didn’t rise really at all, though, and I followed the recipe. Any ideas? (The batter seemed very soupy–it was a really juicy apple. Maybe that’s it?) Thanks again.

    • Hi Heidi, did you grind the oats and millet, or did you use store-bought flour? That might make a difference. What kind of milk did you use?

      • I ground the oats and happened to have millet flour on hand (and no millet), so that was the one thing I guesstimated on–put in a little less flour than the…and now I see my problem. I was reading on my phone and misread it as 1/4 c millet!! My oops, not yours. I’ll try it again. Thanks!!

        • Ah! If you make it again let me know how it turns out. :)

          • Tried again today with closer to the correct amount of millet (still only have already-made millet flour). I added a few extra dates for a little more sweetness, and used nuts and raisins. The texture and flavor is excellent. However, I still didn’t get much rise, and it’s super crumbly/not sliceable. I’m not saying this to complain as I really love the healthy recipe. I’ll keep trying and will get some millet to grind next time. Maybe that’s somehow it? Also I had a super juicy apple–likely things like that matter too.

            Science question: is it the baking soda or powder that makes it rise? Should I experiment with more of one or the other? Also wondering about using a flax egg as binder.

            I really, really appreciate the recipe!

            • Hi Heidi, yes, the baking soda and powder make it rise. You could try adding more, but I try to keep it low because you can start to taste it if it’s too much. You could try flax eggs too. What kind of pan are you using?

              • I have made this nearly every other day since finding it. So yummy and healthy! I add 2 t of ground flax and increase baking soda/powder to 1.5 t. It raises maybe a titch more and maybe holds together a bit better. Today’s version has raisins and candied ginger:-)

  6. Delicious! For some reason, the millet didn’t ground up and I didn’t notice until it was already mixed with the other ingredients. I even used a Vitamix.

    Next time I’ll need to cook it a bit longer. It was a little under cooked even though It passed the toothpick test.

    Again, sooo delicious!! Thumbs up from the whole family! This will be a regular recipe for me. :)

  7. Cathy, would you’d be okay if I shared the zucchini bread recipe in my upcoming newsletter, AND, of course sing your praises and promote your site? Let me know. Thanks. Joanne

  8. YUM!!!! I made this bread over the weekend and loved it! Mine didn’t rise much (ground the millet and oats in my vitamix) but that didn’t bother me at all. I love a nice dense bread! I’m going to make it again but shape the dough into individual scones, just for fun!

    • Hi Gina, I think this recipe would make great scones, as it has a bit of a crumbly texture like scones usually do. I don’t think zucchini breads do rise very much, generally since they are a heavier quick bread. As long as it’s not gooey inside though. :)

      • Linda Dale says:

        I ground the millet and the oats in a Krups coffee grinder that I use only for nuts, seeds, and grains. It worked beautifully. I didn’t change any quantities or ingredients in the recipe; I often don’t the first time I prepare a recipe. The bread turned out great and was just the right amount of sweetness, IMO. Thanks again, Cathy.

  9. I don’t have any millet on hand, can I substitute whole wheat flour? If so, would I use the same amount? thanks!

    • Hi Janie, you could give it a try, with either wheat or more of the oats. The millet seems to “lift and lighten” so using another flour might make it a bit more dense; but I’m sure it will still taste great. :)

  10. Hi Cathy, I made this bread last night and think it is one of the best treats I have made so far. Thanks for the receipe. I baked it in a silicone loaf pan and found the recipe quick and easy. Everyone in the house loves it. Thanks for posting the recipe.

  11. Wound up here thanks to the FB post by the Engine 2 Diet! Just wanted to clarify (because I’m a nerd)…I should measure the oats and millet and THEN grind them?

  12. Soooo have to make this!!!!! I’m drooling!

  13. Hi Cathy – this recipe sounds awesome. Can I substitute figs for the dates? I happen to have a lot of figs on hand right now.

  14. Making this again. I put it into muffin tins because my kids go crazy over muffins. Made the oat flour from whole oat groats instead of rolled, so I hope the measurements will be right.

  15. This was a big hit in our family!! Love the denseness of the bread. So nutritious and tasty. Husband loved it as is. Added a very small amount of non dairy choc chips for a kid friendly version which went over very big with the younger set. Thank you so much for designing a baked good recipe that didn’t need any oil but still tasted moist and yummy!!

  16. Christina says:

    Hi Cathy!

    I made this last Friday and I loved it. Took it to my parents place for coffee, but they thought it wasnt sweet enough… well, more for my hubby and me! Do you think one could sub Banana for the Zucchini? I miss Banana bread! ;-)

    • Hi Christina, I think you could but not sure of the measurements. I had the same thought, of using the zuch recipes and just using bananas to make banana bread. I’m going to try that. :)

  17. I’m in heaven looking at this recipe. I can’t wait to try it. GF and vegan and I never make myself “treats”…which I’d classify this as one! Love, love zucchini bread too but the traditional is always way too sweet and oily. You’re a genius!

  18. It turned out perfect and the house smells so good. I was so excited to have a healthy recipe turn out so well!!! Thanks Cathy!!!

  19. LOVE your Carrot Cake Donute recipe and this one looks like it will be fantastic as well, I’m printing it out for future use. Thanks for the Parchment tutorial, I’ve always struggled with that and it’s so simple!!

  20. Hi, great blog! I have oat flour I’d like to use up and wonder if that’s the same as measuring the oats then grinding?

  21. This bread turned out great! I used one cup of pre-ground oat flour to the 1 1/4 cup of oats and it was perfect. I love the addition of ground millet–awesome texture and crumb. Thank you for this recipe! I also like that it’s not oily or too sweet—this way I can spread no-sugar added apple butter on it—yum.

  22. Is it possible for the bread to lift if I don’t use the baking powder and baking soda, but only use the millet? And how much amount of the millet should I use? Thanks.

  23. I have two zucchini and a granny smith sitting in my fridge. Now I know what to do with them. Still McDoogling. :)

  24. I just made this, and it was so yummy. Thanks for the recipe.

  25. Loved this loaf! The first time ever not using flour. Amazed how easy it was to make flour from millet and oats. Filling as a great morning snack and feels so good everything in it is good for you! Thank you!

  26. Christine says:

    I soaked the dates in almond milk overnight- kinda happened by mistake because I didn’t have all the ingredients- and it came out delicious, moist and solid. Loved it! Will add raisins next time for added sweetness

  27. Magdalena says:

    Hey! Thank you for the recipe! I tried these yesterday, following every step. It took a really long time to bake and it seems as it really never finished inside, it had a very chewy consistency and well it just didn’t taste so good. I wanna try again because I really love the idea of baking without any added fats and sugar. What would you recommend, more flour, flax? I’ll definitely use more dates and add raisins and nuts as well.

    • Hi Magdalena, Yes, breads like this take a while to cook. I made this yesterday two; made 2 loaves in class. It turned out fine for me; the only issue I would say is the length of cooking. It’s got to be really medium brown on top and toothpick inside comes out clean. So cook a bit longer if needed. But the taste was great. I used nuts, which really makes it.

  28. I am so anxious to try this recipe!!! I have a big zucchini waiting to be used :) However, I cannot tolerate any dried fruits. Do you think it would turn out okay just leaving the dates out? I don’t have a big sweet tooth, so I’m not too concerned that it wouldn’t be sweet enough, but I’m concerned about it being too liquidy without them there to stick it all together. Any ideas you have on how to tweak the recipe would be much appreciated before I just start experimenting…

    PS I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE your bolg!!! You are a genius in the kitchen :)

    • Hi Sarah, thanks so much! ;-) Medjool dates are not dried or dehydrated like apricots and mango; they come off the tree like that (unless they are the date pieces rolled in flour, in which case those have been dried). So don’t know if that makes a difference. If not, I would add some fresh fruit; maybe try blending two very ripe bananas blended with the milk. The consistency would be similar after blending and bananas are pretty sweet. :)

      • Unfortunately dates are a big headache trigger for me which is why I usually stay away from them. However, it occurred to me that I’ve never tried them baked into something before so maybe they will be okay. Sadly bananas are even worse in the headaceh departmen :( I’m thinking I’ll probably just try the dates, but maybe use fewer and see if I can tolerate it. If it doesn’t work at least it will be a tasty way to a headache :) Thanks so much for your help!!! I can’t wait to try this out :) :)

        • Well I finally made them today and they are delicious!!!! I have never ground millet myself for the flour and it makes such a difference!!! I wound up using a cashew cookie Lara Bar instead of the dates and blended it with 2TBSP of cashew butter and 1c. of water to make my nut milk date mixture. I also omitted the apple, but just added a bit more zucchini. And I made them as muffins instead of the loaf, which only needed to be cooked for about 30mins. I am such a happy camper now that I have two of them in my tummy :) Thank you so so so so much!!! I can’t wait to try out some of your other recipes!

  29. Wow! Thank you for this recipe! Just had my first bite and it is sooooo good! Followed your recipe exactly. Loved the walnuts with this bread :).

  30. OH MY GOD. This is just amazing. Yummy so delicious and easy to make and healthy and perfect for a Sunday. Thank you for what you do!

  31. Carol Chretien says:

    I made this recipe and somewhere it went wrong (I am not known for my baking! So I know it was ME) It was so dry. So not one to waste food and it tasted GOOD…I diced it up and toasted it and have a bag of what tastes to me like Granola Bites! Delicious! I reach in and take a few when I need a crunch of something.
    I am going to make this again though…the right way! LOL

  32. Made this tonight and hubby & I had a hard time not eating the whole thing! Made two changes that I really enjoyed: 1) ground only half the millet and left the other as is for a nice crunchy texture, 2) used raw cacao nibs in place of nuts. Absolutely delicious!!!

  33. what is the calories in this bread

  34. Eating my first slice; husband said “good zucchini bread” , and I agree; it rose well, and is plenty sweet for my taste. I didn’t realize dates had to be chopped, so had to chop them after they’d soaked in the soy milk; and I would cut back a bit on the nutmeg; maybe 1/4 tsp, instead of 1/2. Will make this again.

  35. Hi Cathy!
    Looking forward to making this soon (yahoooo! Fall’s here!). Hoping to make two loaves — one with zucchini and apple, and then for the second loaf: what are your thoughts on replacing the zucchini/apple mixture with canned pumpkin? Would the conversion be the same?
    Most online vegan pumpkin bread recipes I’m finding are incorporating oil or sugar, or both. Ugh!
    Thanks!

    • Hi Erika, I think it would work well. I’m not sure on the exact amount; but maybe try one can instead of the zuch/apple and see how that does (or add the pumpkin gradually to the batter to gauge the thickness of the batter). Pumpkin breads are very dense and moist, so that would be ok. Let me know how it comes out. :)

  36. Looking forward to making this soon – just need to get some millet :). I’m in the UK, so have never had zucchini bread before, but have been intrigued for a while now. I’ll let you know when I make it!!

  37. I substituted unsweeted apple sauce left over from the blueberry bars for the grated apple, hoping it would come out a little more moist. good flavor though.

  38. Hi Cathy! I have the salt-free baking soda substitute from your amazon store and I’m wondering if this recipe is based on that product (which recommends doubling the amount) or based on regular baking soda. Can’t wait to make this. :)

  39. Hi Cathy. I plan to make this later today. When you say 1-1/4 cups quick or Old Fashioned rolled oats (not instant), ground into flour
    ¾ cup dry millet, ground into flour

    do I measure that before I grind it or after? It makes quite a difference, especially on oats. Thank you – I’m discovered your site a couple of weeks ago and and have enjoyed everything I’ve made so far! Love baking with dates instead of sugar.

  40. This recipe looks awesome. I’ve made your pumpkin pie squares in the past and liked them a lot. One question – since date sizes vary, what would be the cup or ounce equivalent for 10 oz.? (In the pumpkin pie square recipe, you indicated that 12 dates would equal 1 and 1/4 cups or 8 oz.). Thanks so much!

    • Hi Ray, probably 7 ounces/a little over a cup chopped. :)

      • Thank you!

        • Hi Cathy, I FINALLY made this yesterday. We found the taste awesome, but the texture was somewhere between a bread and fudge. I’m wondering what might have gone wrong. I used pre-ground oat and millet flours – 1 cup and 0.6 cup, respectively, to account for the reduction of grinding. Do those amounts seem right to you? Also, I cooked it for 70 minutes, and chopped up slightly more than a cup of dates. Any tips you could offer would be greatly appreciated. I love the fact that all of the ingredients in this – and your other – recipe(s) are so healthy. Thanks!

  41. I neglected to include my second question – in your experience is there an easy way to chop the dates? Would a food processor work?

    • I don’t think a food processor would work; they would just get really gummy and stuck on the sides and blade. I just use a chef’s knife to cut one side off, I then remove the pit, then put that side back on and chop into 3 or 4 chunks. :)

  42. Wow I made this recipe and it’s great, and I’m here to tell you that I’m not known for my expertise in the kitchen!! My family thinks maybe there’s hope for me after all!

  43. I am sorry if you have answered this elsewhere (I did look!), but i am curious about your use of millet. i have celiac, so i cannot use millet — before i waste my time trying subs that are ineffective, did you experiment with any gf “flours” before choosing millet and/or are there any gf flours you would specifically advise against or suggest? Obviously I can just use all gf oats, but the millet seems to be the glamor ingredient here. Your date technique i can transfer to any gf quick bread, of course (and i live surrounded by date palms to forage from!). I have been checking through your comments for a gf blogger who has done the experimentation for me — anyone you have noticed? Thanks for the sugar-free, oil-free baking — i have found it difficult to get bakers to share these recipes!

    • Hi Michele, millet is gluten-free. I only use oat and millet flours in my recipes, as they are easy to grind at home (I don’t use store-bought flours). You could also try cornmeal in place of millet to get a similar texture. :)

  44. I just found your blog via Dr. Klaper’s newsletter–thanks for posting all these glorious recipes, and a big thank you to Dr. K for mentioning you in his email!
    I cannot digest oats, unfortunately; do you think hulled, soaked-dehydrated buckwheat would be an appropriate substitute here?

  45. The dates we can get are already ground up in a big block. How much would we use 1Cup 1/2 cup ? How about using buckwheat instead of Millet?

  46. Kris McCormack says:

    This bread is delicious, but it is the first recipe of Cathy’s that has given me some trouble. I can’t seem to get the loaf “done” all the way through. I baked it initially for 70 minutes. Then another 15! with a foil cover. The top was nice and brown, but the thin knife (no toothpicks) was not coming clean. It seemed okay when I set it to cool, and the first couple of slices were fine, but (the next morning) the slices in the middle were still “dough-y” in the center. Fixed that by toasting them (on a parchment-lined plate in a toaster oven) before serving, but even so, they were still a bit undone.

    I used the same size loaf pan, and followed the recipe except that I used pecans instead of walnuts and added raisins (as mentioned in the notes).

    The only thing I can think of that might be affecting cooking time is that I used my Cuisinart to grind the oats and millet into flour. That leaves the millet more in tact. This works great for the blueberry muffin recipe, so I thought it would be okay here, too. But maybe not? Maybe the millet doesn’t absorb as much moisture if it is not finely ground??? I have not worked with this grain much. Could that be, Cathy?

    • Hi Kris, may be old baking powder/soda(?) Also, yes I usually grind my whole grains pretty finely, so maybe the denser flour made it heavier to rise? :)

Leave a Reply