Make it Natural: Healthier Zucchini Bread


Zucchini Bread

Summer zucchini season inspired Jill, one of our Whole Story readers, to request a healthier version of her mom's zucchini bread recipe, since mom's version used loads of vegetable oil.Thanks for the opportunity to play around with this! We love zucchini bread too - one of summer's best treats and an excellent way to use up an abundance of summer squash. Typical recipes do call for a lot of oil (a cup of oil in batter? Yuck!), so we cut back on that and made a few other improvements as well. Check out our Healthier Zucchini Bread opens in a new tab recipe.Here's a rundown on how we updated this classic to improve the nutritional profile:

  • Substituting whole wheat flour for enriched white flour adds fiber-you'll get about 3 grams of fiber in each serving of our zucchini bread-as well as important vitamins and minerals.

  • Applesauce is a naturally fat-free ingredient that can be substituted for oil in many baked good recipes-try it! It also contributes some vitamins and minerals, such as potassium and vitamin C, that traditionally would not be there.

  • Yogurt, an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and iodine, is another ingredient that can be substituted for some of the oil in baked good recipes-in this zucchini bread we added two tablespoons.

  • Zucchini is the low-calorie, naturally fat-free secret ingredient and hidden vegetable in this recipe. The cup of zucchini used in the recipe contributes essential nutrients such as fiber, iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin C and magnesium.

  • You can never go wrong with walnuts! Our recipe calls for 1/3 cup walnuts, adding protein, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and selenium. They are lower in saturated fats, higher in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic (ALA).

  • Per serving, when compared to a more traditional zucchini bread, (with more oil!), our recipe saves about 70 calories and 4 grams of fat while adding 2 grams of fiber.

Did you miss the link above? Check out our Healthier Zucchini Bread opens in a new tab recipe now.


So, the next time your neighbor hands you some zucchini over the fence, you'll be ready with this recipe. And try some of our other tips for improving the nutrition of your homemade baked goods.Got a recipe that needs a natural makeover? Post it in the comments section below! If we select your recipe for a healthy makeover and publish the improved version on our website, we'll send you a $25 Whole Foods Market gift card. We're starting work on our holiday plans, so think ahead to some of your favorite seasonal recipes you'd like to see improved and let us know!Send us your idea for a chance to win a $25 gift card!

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