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Healthy zucchini bread + gluten free option

This healthy zucchini bread is a foolproof mix of nuts, cinnamon and zucchini in a tender loaf–spread it with a little butter and dig in! You can also make this gluten free with a simple 1:1 gluten free flour swap. I’ll show you how! 

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a slice of zucchini bread on a blue plate

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There are a million ways to dress up zucchini bread, but all of them (hello chocolate, we see you!) add calories and extras you may not need. That’s why I made this healthy zucchini bread with some adaptations you’ll want to dive right in to. Check the recipe notes for all of the details if you don’t want to read the post.

Where did Zucchini bread originate?

Believe it or not, zucchini were first found in Mexico between 7,000 and 5,500 B.C. That’s some old squash y’all. Centuries later, industrious housewives began blending these prolific producers into baked goods when the first commercial leavening agents (baking powder) hit the market in 1857.

I bet they felt like it was their birthday–not having to use yeast all of the time was a real treat.

a whole loaf of zucchini bread in a baking pan

How can I make this bread healthy?

Quick breads are almost foolproof, so making adjustments to the recipe are simple to do and almost always produce a quality final result. Here are some simple swaps you can make for a healthy zucchini bread:

  • Swap out the vegetable oil. We’ll talk more about this in an upcoming post but vegetable oil is inflammatory to the body, not to mention all of the bleaching and chemical agents it’s been processed with. I used refined coconut oil in this version which doesn’t taste like coconut–but if you have unrefined on hand the coconut flavor would be delicious here so go ahead and use it.
  • Reduce or swap the sugar.  This version still has a fair amount of sugar–but you can reduce it from 1 cup to 3/4 if you’d like. It would be fine.You can also use coconut sugar here in a 1:1 swap. It has a nutty flavor that goes perfectly here and it has half the glycemic spike of regular sugar so that’s a definite win! And yes, you can use applesauce if you’d like to as well.
  • Go gluten free. I’ve made this and my banana bread gluten free with great success. In the case of a quick bread, it’s really easy to swap with a 1:1 gluten free flour for the wheat flour. I like King Arthur’s Gluten Free 1:1. If you use another brand, just check the ingredients to make sure it has xanthan gum or another binding agent in it. If not, you’ll need to add some to your dry ingredients.

Can zucchini bread be frozen?

Yes! Allow your bread to cool then wrap in a layer of plastic wrap and two layers of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw it on the counter or place the loaf, wrapped in just foil, into the oven at 300 degrees until warmed through–20 to 25 minutes if it’s frozen solid.

Looking for more zucchini bread variations? Check out these 14!

a slice of zucchini bread on a blue plate

Healthy zucchini bread + gluten free option

Make your zucchini bread as healthy and delicious as possible with this simple gluten-optional version.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 466kcal
Author: Rachel Ballard

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar or 1 cup coconut sugar; can reduce to 3/4 cup
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour or 1 1/2 cups gluten free 1:1 flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cups shredded zucchini undrained
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Grease a 9x5 loaf pan with coconut oil.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs until well blended by hand.
  • Add the sugar, melted coconut oil and vanilla and mix.
  • Sift the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda together into a small bowl.
  • Add to the wet mix and stir until just blended. Don't overmix it.
  • Stir in the zucchini and nuts.
  • Pour into your prepared pan.
  • Bake until a toothpick comes out clean--about 45-50 minutes, checking it at 40 minutes. Tent with foil if the top gets too brown.

Notes

Use gluten free 1:1 flour to make it gluten free. Here's my favorite (affiliate link) https://amzn.to/31xDnqO
Use coconut sugar 1:1 to swap with the brown sugar in this recipe. Reduce sugar by 3/4 cup if desired. 
Use refined coconut oil in the place of vegetable oil if you'd like no coconut flavor. Here's my favorite (affiliate link): https://amzn.to/31JKywp

Nutrition

Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 319mg | Potassium: 208mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 3.7mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2.4mg

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Recipe Rating




Shelly Huff

Friday 9th of August 2019

The pudding sounds good. Instant or cook and serve. What size?

Rachel Ballard

Saturday 10th of August 2019

Instant is best and I use a 3 3/4 ounce box. You'll love it! --Rachel

Rhonda L Mundy

Tuesday 14th of August 2018

What is sift the sour?

Rachel Ballard

Tuesday 14th of August 2018

Flour. It was just a typo.

Amy Griffin

Friday 10th of February 2017

I can hardly wait for fresh garden veggies!

Nagi@RecipeTinEats

Saturday 22nd of August 2015

Before this, no one ever tempted me to make zucchini bread! I'm going to try this! :)

Rachel Ballard

Sunday 23rd of August 2015

Nagi! Zucchini bread is nothing to be afraid of! Give it a go and let me know what you think. Really it just gives moisture...you won't know it's there. ;)