Saturday, September 29

Recipe: 100% Whole Wheat Coconut Zucchini Bread

100% Whole Wheat Coconut Zucchini Bread (1) -
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. Look for unsweetened coconut at the supermarket or natural foods store (check the bulk section); I really like Bob's Red Mill brand.

Unsweetened coconut 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. It keeps best in the refrigerator or freezer.

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 detox cleanse, but it's also great for cooking, frying, and baking.

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.

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

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.

©, 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.


  1. Hi-this looks AMAZING to me! Quick question...I don't have wwwf but do have ww pastry flour. Do you think that I can just sub it? I know that the pastry flour is a softer wheat. I also don't think it absorbs as much moisture so would likely have to squeeze the zuke a bit I would guess...thoughts? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hmmm. I'm not sure if whole wheat pastry flour would work here or not. I have almost no experience baking with it. I used to keep it on hand all the time but then never ended up using it, so I finally (we're talking after years) stopped buying it and tossing it out, lol.

      I know a lot of people say you can't substitute pastry flour for regular flour, but other people do it all the time. So I suppose the only thing you can do is try it. :) And yes, you might want to go ahead and squeeze out some of the moisture from the grated zucchini, especially if it's really moist (I've noticed that it can really vary).

      Another option would be to use half all-purpose flour and half 'regular' whole wheat flour. That combination often works really well in baked goods, though of course it wouldn't be 100% whole grain.

      If you do try the whole wheat pastry flour, I hope you'll come back and let us know how it turned out!

    2. Sheila in MD10/09/2012 9:49 AM

      I am not the one who originally asked about subbing WWPF but I did it:-) so thought I would report. I thought this was a GREAT, I have no idea what it would be like with WWWF but it was wonderful with the WWPF and my coworkers are all enjoying it! I did use sweetened coconut as I had it on hand but had really wanted to try the unsweetened and will next time...time was not on my side to get to the store that carried and still get the bread made. I did squeeze the zucchini and liked the texture of the bread so likely would repeat that step in the future. Oh...I only used 1/4 cup of coconut oil per the recipe originally posted on Two Peas...hadn't realized this one called for 1/3...was great as is though so likely will leave it at the 1/4. Thanks for a great recipe!

  2. White whole wheat flour is new to me. I'll have to look for some. I loved the lemon zucchini bread and it freezes well too!

    1. Yes, do try it! It's really wonderful because it is so much 'lighter' than regular whole wheat flour.

      I've been sneaking it into all kinds of baked goods, and sometimes you can't tell the difference (start by using just 1/2 or 1/3 of the total amount of flour, and the rest all-purpose). Other times I've found the white whole wheat flour actually gives the finished product more flavor and a nicer texture.

      I've even been working on a 100% whole wheat double chocolate chip zucchini bread recipe, which is also low fat and reduced sugar. And because of the dark color you don't even see that it's whole wheat.

      I don't have the recipe quite perfected yet, but even Joe thought the first one was really good - although he did say he didn't need to hear all the whole wheat, low fat, etc. details. It definitely makes it sound less appetizing, lol.

      My goal is to come up with a recipe that tastes like 'real' cake - and doesn't make you want to say forget it, I'll just skip the healthy dessert and have a plate of cooked zucchini instead. ;)

  3. Well, I guess I'm going to have to break down and try some unsweetened coconut now! LOL!! We live in the middle of nowhere too and I never remember to look for it during our trips to "the city." This recipe looks great, thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Hi Candy,
      If you like coconut, I bet you'll really love it. As for living in the middle of nowhere, I don't think I would survive without amazon, lol, especially since these days we only get to the really big city (with a Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, etc.) about once a year (!). It's amazing how much stuff we order from them.

      At first I was hesitant to order the multi-pack of 4 bags, but it actually works out better (and is about the same price, at least from amazon) than buying a big bag in bulk, because it stays fresher in the smaller packages. I just toss all of mine in the freezer so they'll last for ages.

      I'm sure you will soon be coming up with some wonderful new baked goods to sell using unsweetened coconut! :)

  4. What did you think of the cleanse that you and HFG Joe did? I remember you mentioning it and just followed your link to the book. I wonder if I could stick to it?! Did you feel a difference?

  5. hey, FG--
    This is great bread. I made it in an 8 x 4 pan 'cuz my big one was dirty. It's nice and light, but slices easily without falling apart. I particularly love the golden color of the finished loaf, due no doubt to the www flour. I also lightly toasted the coconut. Next time I'm going to throw some walnuts in, too.

  6. LOVE this bread. I live in Quito, so I added a bit more flour and turned up the temp a bit to account for the altitude. It's a bit difficult to find some ingredients here too, so I didn't have the coconut oil or white whole wheat flour, but it turns out absolutely delicious with just unsalted butter, regular whole wheat flour, and freshly grated coconut. Looking forward to trying your other recipes!

  7. Thank you, this sounds so yummy, i have to try :-)

  8. I just made it last night and it came out absolutely perfect. I put in a little more zucchini than the recipe called for because the smallest zucchini at the farmers market was just over 12 oz, but the recipe was very forgiving.
    I used plain greek yogurt this time because I didn't want to stray too far from the recipe the first time I made it. Next time I think I'm going to try some of the toasted coconut greek yogurt I saw in the store.


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

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