This healthy chocolate zucchini bread is a fudgy delight with hidden zucchini and several healthy ingredient swaps to create a more nutritionally dense sweet bread.
Can You Taste The Zucchini?
No, you really can't! The flavor of the zucchini just kind of blends away into the other ingredients and you'll never know it's there until someone tells you. If you're like me and currently on the struggle bus to get any extra servings of vegetables in your kids, this is a good way to do it!
It's also a good way to use up extra zucchini from your garden or last grocery trip. Does anyone else always seem to end up with an extra one? I do! I'm always looking for the healthiest food and supplements, right now I'm using the thermogenic fat burner and it makes me feel amazing!
This is Healthy!? No! It has Sugar! Reee!
Yes, I know, I'm always taking a risk when I label a recipe as "healthy" since that word has different meanings depending on who you ask. So, is this recipe 100% the healthiest bread you'll ever put in your mouth? No. Does it incorporate some healthier swaps that are an improvement over more classic sweet bread recipes? Yes! Next, let's take a look at some of the ingredients.
Does This Have To Be Eaten Right Away?
No! In fact, this is a healthy chocolate zucchini bread that I recommend making a day in advance to get the fully developed flavor in each slice. You can eat it cold from the fridge, at warm temperature, or you can warm slices in the microwave for about 8 seconds. I prefer it a little warm!
Here's a glance at the ingredients that go into this healthy chocolate zucchini bread as well as some substitutions you can make.
- Oat and Whole Wheat Flour - I love this combination! Both have a more robust flavor than all-purpose flour with some complex carb action added in there as well. If you don't have oat flour you can use all whole wheat. I don't recommend using all oat flour.
- Cocoa Powder - I used a natural unsweetened cocoa powder, but because this recipe calls for both baking soda and baking powder, you can substitute dutch process cocoa powder if you prefer.
- Sugar - Yes, this is the questionably "healthy" ingredient of this recipe, as I did include regular sugar. But! You can easily substitute the sugar using a dry/powder substitute that can be substituted cup-for-cup for sugar. Products like Stevia in the Raw Baker's Bag is a good option.
- Yogurt and Applesauce - instead of traditional liquid ingredients such as oil, butter, milk, and/or eggs, this recipe uses a combination of yogurt and unsweetened applesauce. I used plain yogurt to test this recipe. You can use Greek yogurt if you want, and you can use both plain or vanilla varieties.
- Zucchini - the sneaky hidden vegetable in this bread. Finely grated is the way to go, or you can pulse it a few times in a food processor. I did not squeeze the water out of my zucchini, but if you notice yours is particularly watery, pour off any additional water after processing before adding to the dough.
- Vanilla Extract and Salt - classic flavor enhancers that are always welcome in sweet bread recipes. Use pure vanilla extract for best flavor.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda - for leavening and acidity balance.
- Dark Chocolate Chips - I really like the flavor of dark chocolate chips sprinkled on top because of the slightly bitter and bold flavor. You can use any kind of chocolate chip that you want.
What Kind of Kitchen Equipment Do I Need?
A standard loaf pan (9x5) like this one is all you need to make one loaf of healthy chocolate zucchini bread.
A mixer is helpful for combining the batter efficiently. I love this 7-speed Kitchenaid Hand Mixer. My husband gave it to me years ago and I use it allll the time.
Finally, I like using elevated cooling racks to help air reach the bottom of the pan and help the bread cool faster. These are also so helpful for cooling cookies, cupcakes, or really any baked treat.
Now for the reason why you are here: the recipe!Print
Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 1 loaf 1x
This is a super fudgy and chocolatey zucchini bread with lots of hidden, healthy ingredients inside. A great step up from most sweet breads for those who are making minor healthy swaps in their favorite recipes.
- ½ cup + 2 TBS oat flour
- ½ cup + 2 TBS whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder, heaping
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅔ cup sugar or cup-for-cup sugar substitute
- 1 cup grated zucchini, packed
- ¾ cup plain yogurt
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 TBS pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- ⅓ to ½ cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and lightly flour a 9x5 pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, stir together both flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
- Add the zucchini, yogurt, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Mix until a moist dough forms and ingredients are just combined. It will seem dry at first when you start mixing, but I promise it will come together. An electric mixer will help.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out the top. Add chocolate chips to the top of the batter.
- Bake on center rack for 35 minutes. Turn off the oven - do not open the door - and let the bread sit in the oven for an extra 5-6 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let bread cool completely. Run a knife around the edge before attempting to remove from pan. Cut into slices.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Serve cold, room temperature, or warmed in the microwave for a few seconds. Pro-tip: This bread tastes even better the second day!!
More finely grated zucchini will "hide" better in the bread. You can pulse it a few times in a food processor or use a knife to give the grated zucchini a few chops.
If you use a sugar substitute, use a dry cup-for-cup measure variety such as Stevia "baker's bag" etc.
You can use regular or Greek yogurt and both will work fine. You can use vanilla-flavored as well!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
Keywords: zucchini bread, healthier recipes, hidden veggies, sweet bread, quick bread
Don't have time to make this right now? Pin for later by using the image below! This is one recipe you'll want to sock away for a rainy day, trust me. Also, please share with your friends on social media using the buttons at the top and bottom of this post. Thanks so much for visiting!
AMAZING!! I'm already on my second loaf!