A healthy zucchini bread recipe that still tastes like a treat.
Another zucchini bread recipe? Yep. It's not all pumpkins and apples and pears out there yet, because How To Freeze Zucchini and My One Claim to Fame is still one of the most popular posts on Farmgirl Fare this week. (You'll find the rest of the top ten posts listed in the left sidebar.)
So if the Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Bread didn't tickle your fancy, maybe this recipe will. Made with 100% whole wheat flour, plus coconut oil, unsweetened coconut, less sugar than many zucchini bread recipes, and of course, zucchini, it's a healthy indulgence that still tastes like a treat. I can't seem to stop eating it.
If you've never tasted natural, unsweetened shredded coconut, you're in for a pleasant surprise. The coconut flavor really comes through, and unlike the highly processed sweetened stuff, it doesn't contain preservatives like propylene glycol and sodium metabisulfite. If you can't find unsweetened coconut at the supermarket or natural foods store (check the bulk section), you can thankfully order it online.
I've been buying Bob's Red Mill brand, which is about $14 for four 12-ounce bags at amazon. It tastes great in baked goods, like this scrumptious Lemon Coconut Quick Bread and these Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Coconut Cookies. You can also soak it in warm water and use it in place of fresh coconut. Unsweetened coconut keeps best in the refrigerator or freezer.
Have you discovered coconut oil yet? Talk about some amazing stuff. Coconut oil can be used for all kinds of things, including as a moisturizing lotion and hair conditioner. It's antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, is an excellent anti-inflammatory, and has even shown promising results as a treatment for Alzheimer's. We started putting several tablespoons of coconut oil in our morning smoothies last January while doing a 21-day detox cleanse, but it's also great for cooking, frying, and baking. I order this organic extra virgin coconut oil from amazon. (We live in the middle of nowhere; amazon is our very good friend.)
Coconut oil is solid below 76°F and doesn't need to be refrigerated. It melts at 76°F (set the jar in hot water to liquefy), so the trick when baking with coconut oil is to let your refrigerated ingredients warm up to room temperature before adding in the melted coconut oil so it doesn't solidify.
For this recipe, I combined the sugars, yogurt, egg, and vanilla together, let the mixture sit on the counter to warm up, and then stirred in the melted coconut oil. Too much hassle? Just use your favorite neutral oil (I like safflower) or melted organic butter instead.
Recipe below. . .
100% Whole Wheat Coconut Zucchini Bread
Makes one 9"x5" loaf — Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod
This coconut zucchini bread tastes great at room temperature, but toasting a slice does wonderful things to the coconut. A slather of butter is optional. Next time I may try spreading the coconut on a baking sheet and toasting it for a few minutes before adding it to the batter.
I've been loving my Chicago Metallic commercial loaf pans (and all my other Chicago Metallic commercial bakeware) for years, but neither of the two pan sizes is 9"x5", so I recently bought one of these 9"x5" heavy duty loaf pans by USA Pans and really like it too. I've baked this bread in both a 9"x5" pan and an 8½"x4½" pan, and I think it bakes up a little better in the larger size.
White whole wheat flour is 100% whole grain flour that is made from a lighter variety of wheat, so it works better in delicate baked goods than regular whole wheat flour. Look for it in large supermarkets and natural foods stores. White whole wheat flour can vary widely from brand to brand, so try a few and see which one you like best. Whole wheat flour absorbs more liquid than all-purpose flour, so there's no need to squeeze any moisture out of the grated zucchini.
As always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients; they really do make a difference. Search for real farm eggs, freshly picked zucchini, and other locally produced foods near you on LocalHarvest.org.
1½ cups organic white whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (scant 1/4 teaspoon if using freshly ground)
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup organic yogurt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces zucchini, coarsely grated (about 1½ cups; don't squeeze out any liquid)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or safflower oil or melted organic butter)
Heat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9"x5" loaf pan (you can use coconut oil if you like).
In a large bowl, combine the white whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and coconut. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, yogurt, egg, vanilla, and zucchini and mix well with a rubber spatula. Let the mixture sit until it comes to room temperature. (Alternately, you can let the yogurt, egg, and zucchini come to room temperature separately and then combine everything.)
Stir the melted coconut oil into the wet ingredients, then fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently just until combined.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. If the top of the loaf starts getting too dark (check after about 40 minutes), cover it lightly with a piece of foil for the remaining baking time.
Let the zucchini bread cool in the pan 10 minutes, then carefully remove it and cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to three days or freeze. Tastes great sliced and toasted!
More Farmgirl Fare whole grain baked goods you might enjoy:
100% Whole Grain Bran Muffins (moist and delicious, four flavors, no cereal)
Spicy Pumpkin Pecan Raisin Muffins (these were a bestseller at my bakery)
Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.
© FarmgirlFare.com, where Farmgirl Susan shares recipes, stories, and photos from her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres—and we're all nuts for coconut. And just plain nuts. But in a good way.