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.


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.

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

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


(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).


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  1. Amy says

    I make your recipe for zucchini bread often and was about to make it the other day when I realized I have no apples this time of the year. I had just bought some fresh apricots at the farmers market and used 1/2 cup of chopped fresh apricots to replace the apples. It was so yummy and colorful too! Thank you for such a versatile recipe!

  2. Nikki Smith says

    I made this recipe for breakfast this morning and am so impressed. It is very rare that I can find a vegan, gluten-free recipe that turns out perfectly the first time I make it. Thank you for your detailed instructions and thoughtfulness in making your recipe easy to understand and follow. I made 1 large loaf, 4 mini loaves and 9 mini muffins from a double recipe. The muffins were done in about 30 minutes, the mini loaves in 33.

      • Nikki Smith says

        I made the muffins a second time for family members with celiac and vegan restrictions and they were a hit! However, I got some constructive feedback from them: double the amount of dates to balance the bitterness of the spices and add a small amount of oil to counter-act the dryness. Since one person doesn’t handle oats well, I made the recipe with brown rice flour and sorghum in place of the oats and it turned out better than the original. So for a double recipe: 1.5 cups millet, 1.5 cups brown rice flour, 1 cup sorghum. I also modified half the batter by putting in the walnuts and adding1.5 Tb carob powder and it was yummy!

  3. Trish says

    I made this today it is absolutely lovely! Moist and tasty went down a treat with a thin spread of date paste and organic no oil almond butter x thank you for all your recipes I’m so excited on finding your site xx

  4. Miri says

    I like to know if I want to sub the millet , what can I use? I don’t want too moist or too crumbly. what do you suggest? thanks

  5. katie says

    Hi Cathy, wouldn’t it be a lot easier to use silicone bread pans? I only have one that I bought from silicone zone years ago and now they don’t sell them. Do you know where I could find them? Dr. Klaper turned us on to your site, thank you both!

  6. LJ Grant says

    Is there an easy way to “chop dates?” I’ve made recipes in the past that called for them and to be honest, I find any more that when I see chopped dates in the ingredient list, I shy away from the recipe. It takes so much time and the dates stick to the blade of whatever knife I use so tenaciously… it’s discouraging. I think chopping ten dates would take the same amount of time as assembling the entire rest of the recipe.

    So… any suggestions on how to do this without going insane? :)

    • says

      Hi, I hear you! :) A few suggestions… I usually soak my dates, having pitted and chopped them first, but you can also soak them first, then remove the pits and cut them in halves or quarters after this (or just pull the pits out with your fingers). Might be a little messy, but they won’t stick quite as much to the blade. I also know people who don’t even chop their dates if they’re going to be blended; so you can skip this step, but you still must make sure that all pits are removed first, even in bags of supposedly “pitted dates.” In these bags (usually Deglet Noor dates), I find that about 1 in 20 have a pit. So if you don’t want to chop them, you can just break them in half or feel them out to make sure the pit is out (soaking them first will make this easier). If you’re using a Vitamix or other high-powered blender, they will blend up just fine without being chopped first, and will only take slightly longer to blend. But the bottom line is that you must be sure all pits have been removed, so however you want to go about doing this is up to you. But I don’t suggest adding whole Deglet Noor dates to your blender and taking the manufacturer’s word for it that they are “pitted” already. If you do miss a pit, remove all the mixture from the blender and fish it out; not fun. If you’re missed a pit, it will sound like a piece of glass going around in your blender. Hope that helps.

    • says

      If you don’t use millet, I would use another kind of whole grain flour/ground whole grains. Oats on their own can be too gummy sometimes. But if you try all oats, let me know how it goes. :)

  7. Rebecca says

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!! This is exactly what I was looking for!! I really wanted a “vegan” zucchini bread with no processed sugar and no oil! My 6 year old thanks you too!! And thank you for showing how to put the parchment paper in the pan so i don’t have to use spray oils!

      • Rebecca says

        When you use measure your zucchini, do you shred the zucchini, squeeze the water out, then pack it to measure 1 3/4?

          • Rebecca says

            The first time I made it, I didn’t squeeze any juice out but my bread came out really mushy in the middle. The next time I squeezed out the juice and used 1 1/2 cups packed. Then used the zucchini juice to soak the dates (I didn’t quite have a full cup juice so I added milk to make a full cup). Worked great! I also replaced the apple with applesauce. I get you don’t get as much fiber, but sooo much easier. I’m wondering if because I’m at a higher altitude maybe I need less liquid. I’m in UT and its 4200′.

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