loaf of zucchini bread

How to make healthier Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Basil Bread is healthier zucchini bread! Yogurt, whole grains, protein, and fiber with less sugar and fat. Plus basil adds a flavorful twist.

Does your counter look like mine? Piled with late summer vegetables? I love ’em. But it’s hard to keep up! Especially zucchini.

All. That. Zucchini. I’ve stuffed zucchini, grilled it, sautéed it, and added it to salad. I avoided baking zucchini bread because so often these loaves taste like dessert. But the zucchs kept coming. So I started tinkering.

See me with my happy face?

sliced zucchini bread
Zucchini Basil Bread
Why I like this Zucchini Bread recipe

✅There’s less sugar and fat. Many quick bread recipes have 1 to 2 cups of oil and 1 to 2 cups sugar. Not this lightend-up LiveBest Zucchini Basil Bread.

✅I replaced some of the oil with yogurt. That bumped up the protein. But so do the eggs and pumpkin seeds.

✅I added oats and whole-wheat flour so fortified the bread with more fiber.

✅It’s so pretty! Love those crunchy pumpkin seeds! It’s unique with the basil infusing the bread. If you grow herbs, shop your yard, try mint, lemon balm, thyme, or parsley.

High Five Fiber Challenge

Are you ready for your own fiber challenge? I created a free, 5-day challenge you can join by clicking this link. You’ll get tips and tools, resources and recipes to create your own roadmap to meet your fiber goals. Don’t ya? Won’t ya? Seriously, it’s only 5 days 😉 Find it right here.

Quick bread tips

This is a quick bread recipe. That means no kneading so it’s quicker to make. The bread rises because of baking soda and baking powder. These two start working when they’re mixed with liquid. But it doesn’t stop there. Most baking powder is double acting. That next leavening boost comes when it’s heated. That’s why you want your oven ready when your bread batter is mixed. So you can get the bread in the oven to maximize the baking powder’s potential…so you get a tall loaf.

One more thing about quick breads. Overmixing makes a tough bread. The wheat’s protein, gluten, gives the bread structure as it bakes. But if you overmix it, the gluten overdevelops and you end up with a tough, heavy texture. An overmixed batter is shiny and smooth. Lumpy batter his your goal.

How to make Zucchini Basil Bread

Heat the oven to 350ºF.

Rinse the zucchini under running water. Leave the skin on then shred the zucchini. A food processor works too, but I like this Microplane box grater. Some recipes have you squeeze out the moisture in the zucchini. I didn’t do that. If the zucchini is big, like 4-inches in diameter and 14-inches long, it’s mature. These can be tougher, seedier, and more bitter. I pick out the really big seeds. And now, back to the recipe.

Stir together the dry ingredients.

Dry: flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper

Stir all the wet things together.

Wet: eggs, yogurt, oil
Mix Wet until its smooth.

Gently combine them just until the things start to moisten. The batter should still be lumpy.

Add Dry to Wet and stir just until things moisten.
Add zucchini, basil and pumpkin seeds

Bake. You’ll know when it’s done if you can stick a toothpick near the center of the pan and it comes out clean, no wet dough sticking to it. That takes 40-45 minutes at 350ºF. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes to set the structure, then flip the pan over to release the bread.

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The best pan to bake in

I use an aluminum pan because it conducts heat so well. That means it bakes a little faster and browns better. Stainless steel pans don’t conduct heat as well as aluminum. On the other hand, glass takes longer to heat and doesn’t conduct heat well, but it does hold heat for a longer time. That means with a glass pan the edges of baked goods may cook faster than the center, so you might end up with dry bottom and sides. Reduce the heat by 25° F. to remedy this.

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Zucchini Basil Bread

loaf of zucchini bread

Zucchini Basil Bread is healthier zucchini bread! Yogurt, whole grains, protein, and fiber with less sugar and fat. If you don’t like basil, try mint or parsley. Or go herb free.

  • Author: Judy Barbe
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: Quick bread, breakfast
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (walnuts also work), toasted (to toast, bake 350℉. for 1215 minutes)
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or basil

Instructions

Set oven to 350℉. Spray a loaf pan 8.5 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
Nuts spread nuts in a single layer on baking sheet. Toast while oven is heating for 12-15 minutes. Remove from pan to cool.
 
Mix oil, yogurt, eggs together, then stir in sugar and brown sugar until well blended.
 
Combine In a separate bowl, stir flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and black pepper together.
 
Spoon flour mixture to eggs, stir a few times, (you’ll still have flour lumps). Add pumpkin seeds, zucchini and herbs. Be really gentle in stirring. If you stir too much, the bread gets tough.
 
Sprinkle If you want to sprinkle a few oats and seeds over top before baking, now is the time do that.
 
Bake 40-45 minutes, until bread is browned and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool on cooling rack for 15 minutes, then turn out of pan to cool completely on rack.

Notes

Store loaf in refrigerator up to a week.

Wrap tightly to freeze. Freeze up to 9 months.

Keywords: healthier quick bread,

Comments

  1. Dear Judy,
    I made the zucchini basil bread. Farm eggs, home ground wheat. I used sunflower seeds. I have a big basil bowl growing on the deck, so I probably got a little carried away with it. I’m sure I used more than a tablespoon! I know, it’s still summer, but I had zucchini from last year in the freezer. I’ve been hearing about draining the excess water. After thawing, the zucchini was half the amount I needed so I just thawed another package! I use the toaster oven on the deck while it’s still hot weather, so not to heat the kitchen. I have mini pie plates so I put a small amount of the batter in two of them. It was so good with our soup for dinner. Garden tomatoes in the soup. I wish I had thought to put the zucchini juice in the soup instead of down the drain! Over all, I love the recipe and can’t wait to try other herbs I have growing around here. It was fluffy, moist, and I didn’t overdo the basil!

    1. Author

      Hey Kendalyn, thanks for the note! Sounds great! Like you, I can heavy handed with all those fresh herbs.
      Hope you’re doing well, Judy

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