A healthy chocolate zucchini bread full of hidden zucchini, a dark dense chocolatey cake, and topped with a luscious fudgy layer of melted chocolate. Egg-free, vegan, dairy-free, refined-sugar free and option for gluten-free. If we are going to eat dessert, it might as well be nutritious!
Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread
This chocolate zucchini bread recipe is simple. I love it and so many followers leave comments on my social media about it probably because it's so simple. Sometimes bread recipes can get so complicated, calling for multiple flours, or odd-out ingredients. But this recipe doesn't - it is pretty fail-proof with either an all-purpose flour or even a tried-and-true gluten-free all purpose.
How to Make Zucchini Bread Plant-based and Vegan
I left out the eggs and used a flaxseed egg, apple sauce, and activated milk but you can use a single egg for a more fluffy cake if want. This texture is more pound-cake-like.
I think you'll love the taste, rich with chocolatey goodness in every bite, hidden vegetables included. And I'll tell you how to make it so.
Before we dive into the recipe, I'd like to invite you to sign up for my free chocolate course. Five lessons hit your inbox with detail on how to create your own simple healthy chocolate desserts.
Okay, so back to this recipe...
It Starts with Plant Based Ingredients
The usual suspects, including zucchini and chocolate. But also all purpose flour, baking soda and powder. A flax egg with a bit less water because the zucchini comes with so much. And apple sauce, unsweetened.
he nutrition here is strong, what with flaxseed, fresh zucchini, and mood-boosting, magnesium-strong chocolate, we practically have a multi-vitamin loaf here! Specifically the loaf is high in protein, fiber and fairly low in sugar and fats.
Use The Best Chocolate For Zucchini Bread
For this dramatic black color, you need black cocoa. But this cocoa is a luxury, so no worries if you don't have it on hand. You probably have all the other ingredients to make this bread today! If you want to buy it, look for King Arthur's brand of black cocoa, pure gold!
Substitutions for Chocolate Zucchini Bread
For many people, oil-free is a plus, but if you want this cake a bit denser, feel free to add up to 2 tablespoons of your favorite oil, I recommend olive oil or avocado oil.
And feel free to use either all purpose flour or the gluten-free brand I recommend below. I have this bread both ways successfully.
And I topped my loaves with melted dark chocolate, but you can use your favorite frosting recipe!
Tips to Make Chocolate Zucchini Bread Perfectly
1. Be sure to squeeze out the shredded zucchini, even a little in a dish cloth or paper towel to remove some moisture.
2. Make this flax egg with only 2 tablespoons of water, not the traditional 3 to again keep down the moisture.
3. I find the inside texture works out best when I use a pan greased and dusted but you can line the pan with parchment paper, I just have never baked it that way.
Can This Chocolate Zucchini Bread Be Made As Muffins?
Sure, just baked them in muffin tins at 25-30 minutes.
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If you like this recipe, you might also like a few of my other super easy healthy chocolate recipes...
Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- 1 cup zucchini (should be organic as zucchini tends to absorb pesticides; shredded, and uncooked)
- 1 flax egg
- ¼ cup apple sauce
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup nut butter (I used almond butter)
- ½ cup plant milk (I used almond milk)
- 1 tsp lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips (for topping, melted in microwave at 60 seconds, poured on cooled baked loaf)
- Make flax egg by stirring 1 tbsp of ground flax seed into 2 tbsp of water and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
Spray an 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pan with organic canola spray, and dust with cacao powder
- Shred the zucchini, wrap it in a cloth and squeeze out extra water. I get varying amounts depending on the zucchini's age, etc. I also blend up my shredded zucchini into a watery pulp using my Blendtec. This is not necessary, but at the time I wanted to fully hide all green specs from suspicious family members, haha.
- Add the lemon juice to the milk and set aside for 5 minutes. This is to activate the milk to help the cake rise. Use apple cider vinegar if you don't have lemon juice. Lime juice won't work, just FYI.
Make the Batter
- In the medium bowl, stir up the WET ingredients, EXCEPT for the shredded zucchini.
- In the larger mixing bowl, wisk together the dry ingredients.
- Pour the contents of the medium bowl (wet) into the larger bowl (dry) and blend together with a hand-blender or whisk or spoon. Don't over stir or the mixture will not bake properly.
- Fold in the pureed/chopped zucchini. Hand stir into the batter, again very little stirring. Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
- Tap on counter to remove air bubbles - this batter seems to hold air bubbles easily, maybe it's my mixer.
About the chocolate top
- Some people either add into the batter or sprinkle on top chocolate chips. I don't recommend that with this recipe as it creates pockets of wetness that are unappealing IMO. Instead, I melted a half of a cup of chocolate chips on top once cake is baked.
- Bake for 40 - 50 minutes to possibly 60 minutes, but start checking at 35 minutes. Bake until a test comes out clean. To avoid the top browning too fast, cut a rectangle of parchment paper and put it on the top of the cake at about 35 minutes.Let cool 30 minutes before attempting to remove the loaf from the pan. I remove it by slipping a knife in the edges, and prying upwards and eventually tipping it over and tapping.
Frost the top
- As I said, I frosted mine with melted chocolate chips, but you can use your own frosting, or don't frost, it is so moist and dense, it can be eaten without it for more nutritional value.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients and another immunity-boosting smoothie shot book, 4-Ingredient Smoothies + Juices , due out in January 2021. On this blog you'll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism, editor at The Feedfeed and a nutritional expert at WikiHow. More about Dee Dine here.