We’ve just started to get zucchini in our weekly CSA shares and it’s flooding our farmer’s market, which means that it’s the perfect time to make zucchini bread. And this version of Chocolate Zucchini Bread, which features more whole grains, more protein, and less sugar, is a kid-friendly take on the recipe that your whole family will love.
My daughter doesn’t love zucchini in most of the ways that I’ve cooked it—baked in the oven, sauteed in butter—so I thought I’d try tucking the green veggie into a loaf of slightly sweet quick bread. I brought this to dinner at a friend’s house and while my daughter was hesitant to try it at first, she requested a piece after she saw her 5-year-old friend happily munching on a slice.
Working with the original recipe, I made a few adjustments to make this loaf slightly more nutritious. Here’s what I did.
- I used whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose.
- I reduced the total flour amount by 1/4 cup and subbed in that much cocoa powder.
- I took the sugar down to 2/3 cup (split between two loaves).
- I used whole milk plain yogurt for the oil.
- And instead of adding chocolate to the loaf, I sprinkled 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips on top of each loaf to add a burst of chocolate flavor, but while keeping the added sugars low.
The result was a quick bread that tastes very chocolatey—and looks that way too!—but has a nice balance of protein, complex carbohydrates, and produce. The little chocolate chips on top help it look like a treat, which is a nice way to entice the kids to try a slice. Other than grating the zucchini, the recipe comes together really easily. You could use a food processor to help make quick work of that step if you’d like, but no matter how you grate the vegetable, make sure you squeeze as much liquid out as you can. You’ll be amazed at how much water is in zucchini! And if you find yourself with only summer squash on hand, you can use that instead. I love to use yellow summer squash in baked goods since it almost disappears into the rest of the ingredients.
We like this bread served chilled either on its own or spread with cream cheese, a drizzle of honey, or some peanut butter. It’s just as good for dessert as it is breakfast, and it stores really well in the fridge in an airtight container. It’s definitely one of our favorite ways to use up zucchini, so I expect that we’ll be making this recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Bread a lot this summer!