Zucchini is one of summer's delicious gifts and while it can sometimes overwhelm you with its generosity (if you're growing some in your backyard you know what I'm talking about), it is so versatile, you don't have to look far to find great uses for it.
One of my favorite zucchini recipes -- one I look forward to each summer -- is this extra-tasty and nutritious whole wheat vegan Zucchini Bread.
If you have kids, this is a great recipe to keep them happy and fed over the summer break. I use these months to wean Jay off all the junk he inevitably consumes during the school year, whether it's from well-meaning teachers handing out bags of chips or candies as gifts, friends who share their snacks, or whatever other way he has of acquiring them, and he has plenty. When I make him delicious and healthy snacks at home, like this vegan zucchini bread, or vegan banana bread, he doesn't miss the crappy snacks at all.
Squash is also very much in season in the summer and it's usually easy to find locally grown varieties or grow it yourself -- all great reasons to consume it. Besides, it is an easy veggie to love, with its dark green skin and tender white flesh and pleasantly bland taste that can adapt to almost any dish, sweet or savory. Like other summer squash, zucchini is rich in vitamin C and beta carotene and, of course, fiber, which makes it super-healthy eats too.
Why you'll love this vegan zucchini bread
- It's delicious. Whatever zucchini bread you are used to making, and however good it is, there is no turning back from this one when it comes to flavor.
- It's all whole wheat.
- It's packed with veggies.
- It has that amazing, nutty crunch from heart-friendly walnuts.
- It's low-fat, with very little added fat.
- It's naturally sweetened. Coconut sugar is a lower glycemic sweetener than sugar and a great one to use in richly flavored breads/cakes like this one. You can also use maple syrup or just use regular vegan cane sugar.
- Whole wheat pastry flour. I have always made this recipe with whole wheat pastry flour, which makes healthy baking super easy and super fun. But if you wish, you can certainly use part regular whole wheat flour and part unbleached all purpose flour, or just all purpose flour is good too.
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Cinnamon. I add cinnamon to my zucchini bread, and sometimes a mix of cinnamon and cloves. You can also add nutmeg or even ginger.
- Zucchini. You need 2 ½ cups of grated zucchini for this recipe (about 2 medium zucchini)
- Sugar. I use coconut sugar because I love its deep, rich flavor, especially in recipes like zucchini bread and banana bread. But you can use any sugar for great results, including white sugar, turbinado sugar, cane sugar or even maple syrup.
- Flaxmeal: This is the egg substitute in this recipe and it makes it even more nutritious by adding good protein and fiber.
- Applesauce. You can substitute with an equal quantity of pureed banana.
- Vegetable oil: Any kind is fine. I use avocado oil, but canola, safflower or sunflower oil are all great substitutes.
- Pure vanilla extract: For more flavor and sweetness.
- Walnuts: Nuts add a great crunch to these loaves. Both walnuts and pecans work equally well.
How to make Vegan Zucchini Bread
- This is an extremely easy recipe to make and you don't really need any special equipment like a hand mixer or stand mixer. You do need two loaf pans, but if you don't have them, you can also bake these in cake tins. Or bake them up into muffins. If you are making zucchini muffins with this recipe, cut down baking time to between 25 and 30 minutes and check with a toothpick to make sure they're done.
- Chocolate chips are a fun addition, especially if you have a young 'un who likes chocolate. You can substitute the walnuts with 1 cup chocolate chips.
- You can make this recipe in one bowl by mixing up your wet ingredients first, then tossing in your dry ingredients one by one followed by the zucchini and nuts.
- Use the large holes in your grater to grate the zucchini. When you mix up the batter it will seem a bit thick, but don't worry. The zucchini is full of water that will express itself during baking and your loaves will be moist and tender and not dry at all.
- Make sure to grease and flour your loaf pans for easy unmolding.
- Cool your loaves thoroughly on a rack before slicing and eating.
If you have always loved a classic zucchini bread and missed making one, try this recipe. It will definitely make you a fan. And then come back and tell me about it, or take a photo and tag me @holycowvegan on Instagram. I'd love to see!
- Vegan Mango Bread
- Vegan Zucchini Cake
- Vegan Squash Cake with Pineapple Frosting
- Vegan Banana Crumb Muffins
- Vegan Banana Muffins
Vegan Zucchini Bread
- Large bowl
- Two loaf pans
- Grater with large holes
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or use half whole wheat flour and half all purpose or all purpose only)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tsp cinnamon (use cloves or ginger, or a mix, for a nice variation)
- 3 tbsp flaxmeal
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cups coconut sugar (or any sugar of your choice, or maple syrup)
- ¾ cup applesauce
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups zucchini (grated. About two medium zucchini)
- 1 cup walnuts (lightly toasted, then chopped. Pecans would work too)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
- Whisk the flaxmeal with 9 tbsp water in a large bowl. Add to it the oil, sugar, applesauce and vanilla and whisk well.
- Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt to the bowl and mix together just until everything comes together, then stir in the zucchini and the nuts.
- Grease and flour two loaf pans. Divide the batter equally between the two and smooth down the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack about 15 minutes, then slide a knife around the edges to unmold. Continue cooling on a rack.
- Stir 1 cup chocolate chips into your bread instead of walnuts for a kid-friendlier version.