Healthy Zucchini Bread or Muffins

We’re pretty much past the peak of summer squash season in Alabama, but for most of the country the bounty of summer squash is probably still going strong. If you’re like me, when zucchini starts coming in, it’s hard to find enough ways to prepare it. This year, I’ve been busy baking whole wheat zucchini bread and muffins several times each week.

When it was time to start baking, I couldn’t put my hands on my mom’s zucchini bread recipe, so I developed my own and it perfectly suits my tastes. I use a combination of whole wheat and plain white flour and apple sauce to replace most of the oil.

Rather than making two loaves at a time, I’ve been baking 24 mini muffins and one loaf. And that’s worked out perfectly. I baked a lot of muffins for a family bridal shower and the zucchini muffins were so popular that the few leftovers were claimed by the hostesses.

A few cooking notes before we get started:

  • My recipe makes two standard loaves or you can bake it as muffins or a combination, like I’ve been doing.
  • If you really don’t like whole wheat flour, you can use all white flour. If you’re using self-rising flour, omit the salt, baking power and baking soda. My advice: Use the whole wheat flour for health reasons. You’ll never taste the difference.
  • You’ll need enough zucchini so that you have approximately 2-1/4 cups of grated zucchini. I grate the big zucchinis for the bread. Since my zucchini is from the pesticide-free family garden, I don’t peel it before grating, but some people do.

Ingredients:

  • 1-3/4 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/4 cups of plain white flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cardamom (optional)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce (I used organic, to minimize exposure to chemicals)
  • Slightly less than 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used organic canola, but any vegetable oil will work)
  • 2-1/4 grated zucchini

How To Prepare Zucchini Bread

Preheat your oven to 375° F.

Step One: Grate the zucchini. I use a hand grater. Takes 2 minutes, max.

Step Two: Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir so that all the dry ingredients are mixed together. Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients.
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Step Three: Add eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla flavoring to the dry ingredients by dumping them in the well. It’s fine if you want to beat the eggs first. I typically break the eggs directly into the well and break-up the yolks with a fork without stirring in much flour. Then I add the applesauce, oil and vanilla flavoring. Mix these ingredients into the flour until the most of the flour is moistened, but no need to overstir.

 

Step Four: Make another well in the batter and dump in the grated zucchini. Stir the zucchini into the batter until the zucchini is thoroughly dispersed in the batter. Again, no need to over-stir (that makes the bread more dense). Just make sure everything is mixed together.

Making Zucchini Bread

 

Step Five: Pour into your pans. Since I’m using the mini-muffin tins, I put a spoonful of batter into each muffin slot and then pour the rest into my loaf pan.

Zucchini Muffins Before Baking

Making Zucchini Bread in Loaf Pan

Step Six: Bake muffins for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top. The loaves will will take longer, usually 60-75 minutes, depending on size of loaf pan and how fast your oven cooks.

Baked Zucchini Muffins

Baked Zucchini Bread

Serve and enjoy. I typically freeze most of my muffins and take out a couple, as needed. The bread also freezes well.

Zucchini Bread with Sliced Peaches & Fresh Whipped Creme

Zucchini Bread with Peanut Butter

My neighbors are probably glad the zucchini is about gone, as I’ve shared several loaves and bags of muffins around the neighborhood.

 

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About Sheree

Change Catalyst, Idea Explorer, Dot-Connector, Square Peg

  • Joy

    I love your recipe! I tried it out as full sized muffins. How long should they cook for?

    • Sheree

      Hi Joy–

      I’m so glad you like the zucchini bread! We’re getting a new round of zucchini after a second planting, so I’m about to restock my freezer with a couple of batches for winter coffee snacks and breakfast.

      For the full-sized muffins–I’d say cook them around 14/15-18 minutes at 400 degrees F. My oven seems to cook “fast” so a regular-sized muffin in my oven might be finished in 14 or 15 minutes. You can kind of gauge by the coloring around the top. As it starts to turn golden, the muffins should be close to done.

      I’d love to hear what you think about the timing …. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your question. I really appreciate it!

  • Kari

    These sounds delicious! I was ‘google-ing’ zucchini muffins with whole wheat flour and applesauce, came across your blog. I’m going to try out these as full sized muffins and mini ones. I bought some huge zucchini’s at a farm down the road and need to use them up in a great recipe. These will be perfect to freeze, then take out in the morning for my girls lunches. Thanks!!