At this point in the pandemic, banana bread has very likely lost it’s, ahem, appeal. Even with all the twists you can give it—adding cinnamon, chocolate chips, making it gluten-free…at the end of the day, it’s still a loaf made out of bananas too ripe to enjoy in any other way. (Except perhaps vegan ice cream? But I digress.)
That said, baking a loaf of a filling bread is a habit worth keeping up: Spend half an hour baking and you have a delicious breakfast for the entire week. Slather a little ghee on top and, man, can you think of anything better to pair with your iced latte or matcha?
Of course it should be pointed out that not all breakfast breads are equally nutritious. Even with breads with fruit in them, like blueberries or raspberries, the added sugar can really get you in many recipes. Zucchini bread, however, is typically on the healthier side—especially when you follow one of the recipes below. (Plus, it features zucchini itself, which is high in fiber, water, vitamins, and antioxidants.) All the zucchini bread recipes rounded up here are made with nutrient-rich ingredients and are low in sugar. Ready to get baking? Scroll down to get the goods.
7 healthy zucchini bread recipes to try ASAP
This zucchini bread is made with walnuts, which adds both protein and healthy fats to your loaf. Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for both cognitive function and cardiovascular health. Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and just a touch of honey add sweetness without any refined sugar.
What isn’t improved by the addition of chocolate? Dark chocolate is delicious and high in antioxidants, and is healthy when consumed in moderation (like most other foods). Made with whole wheat flour, this recipe also has a good amount of fiber, which the zucchini of course helps with, too.
Small amounts of orange juice and orange zest brighten up this loaf. Ginger is also an integral ingredient to this recipe to play off the sweetness of the oranges. To make this recipe even healthier, swap out the sugar for coconut sugar, which is less refined and contains small amounts of minerals and prebiotic fiber—just keep in mind that it will make your loaf a slightly darker shade (so keep an eye while it’s baking to avoid burning).
All about that Paleo life? You can definitely still have bread for breakfast. The secret is using almond flour instead of white flour. Even if you don’t follow a Paleo diet, this recipe is still a good one to try because almond flour is higher in protein than white sugar and has less extreme effects on blood sugar.
Lemon loaves are a classic breakfast bread, and the tart citrus fruit tastes great in zucchini bread. The lemon juice gives a lot of added flavor on its own, but this recipe also uses honey to sweeten it up in place of sugar. Even those little poppy seeds have nutritional benefit, adding small doses of calcium, zinc, and magnesium to the loaf.
One of the benefits of baking with zucchini is adding fiber to your loaf, but if you add chia seeds you’ll up it by even more; those seeds may be small, but two tablespoons has nine grams of the nutrient. (You want to aim to get between 25 and 30 grams of fiber a day.) Cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup all add sweetness.
Okay, okay, if you’re *still* riding that banana bread train, this is the recipe for you. Here, both classic loaves combine into one super loaf. Apple sauce, cinnamon, and vanilla add sweetness, in addition to the bananas, of course.
Did you make one of these zucchini bread recipes or have another favorite you love? Share it in Well+Good Cook With Us Facebook group.