Time for another recipe from the AK archives that never really got the love it deserved: my healthy zucchini bread!
Originally, I first created this recipe back in 2018 but wanted to bring it back with a few small changes and new photos to lure all my zucchini lovers in. I promise you won’t regret making this bread. There are so many ways to customize it, plus it’s easily dairy free and perfect when slathered with a little nut butter + sprinkle of sea salt.
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Healthy zucchini bread ingredients
This simple, delicious and healthy zucchini bread recipe is bursting with notes of honey, cinnamon, a hint of citrus and coconut. You’ll seriously never go back to another zucchini bread again! Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Zucchini: shredded zucchini adds moisture to the bread so that we don’t have to use a ton of extra oil.
- Honey: this healthy zucchini bread recipe is naturally sweetened with honey.
- Eggs: you’ll just need 2 eggs for the bread. I haven’t tested it using flax eggs but let me know if you do!
- Milk: feel free to use any milk you’d like. I like to keep the zucchini bread dairy free by using unsweetened vanilla almond milk. You could also use freshly squeezed orange juice for more of a citrus flavor.
- Vanilla: for extra flavor.
- Orange zest: this is optional but I absolutely love the brightness it adds.
- Whole wheat pastry flour: the whole wheat pastry flour keeps this bread fluffy while including whole grains. You can also use white whole wheat flour or 1:1 all purpose gluten free flour.
- Cinnamon & nutmeg: you’re going to love the cozy flavor that cinnamon & nutmeg add to the bread.
- Baking soda & salt: to help it bake up properly.
- Coconut oil: we’re adding a bit of additional melted coconut oil so that the zucchini bread is perfectly moist. If you don’t have coconut oil, feel free to use olive oil or melted butter or melted vegan butter.
- Mix-ins: I love adding toasted chopped walnuts and dark chocolate chips in the batter + on top for a beautiful, super delicious zucchini bread, but you can really get creative with your mix-ins!
What makes this easy zucchini bread healthy?
Traditional zucchini bread recipes tend to have plenty of oil and refined sugar to keep them moist and sweet. In this healthy version of zucchini bread:
- We’re only using a bit of coconut oil. The rest of the moisture comes from nutrient-dense zucchini!
- The zucchini itself adds a boost of veggies & fiber to the bread. The perfect breakfast or snack.
- It’s naturally sweetened with honey instead of refined sugar.
- It’s also dairy free! Just be sure to use dairy free milk and dairy free chocolate chips (if you’re adding those).
Tips for making zucchini bread
- Be sure to squeeze out all of the extra moisture after shredding your zucchini, and remember to measure the shreds before squeezing it out.
- You can use frozen, shredded zucchini, too! Check out my tutorial here.
- Make sure your coconut oil is completely cooled before adding it to the bowl.
- Do not overmix the batter, otherwise you’ll end up with a bread that’s more dense and gummy instead of fluffy and soft.
Customize your healthy zucchini bread
While this healthy zucchini bread recipe is very straightforward, it’s also incredibly versatile.
- You can add chocolate chips, coconut, dried fruit or basically whatever your heart desires. Time to get wild!
- Make it gluten free by using 1:1 all purpose gluten free flour.
- Make it nut free by skipping the nuts in the recipe and using a nut-free milk.
I’m a little obsessed with this bread. I love serving it warm or slightly toasted with peanut butter. Another great way to enjoy it is with a drizzle of honey + a sprinkle of sea salt. SO GOOD.
How to store homemade zucchini bread
This healthy zucchini bread should be kept well-covered in foil or plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days, then I recommend transferring to the fridge or freezer.
How to freeze zucchini bread
This healthy zucchini loaf freezes well! Simply wrap in plastic, then tightly in foil and finally place in a reusable bag or freezer friendly bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature once you are ready to eat. You can also feel free to freeze individual slices for a quick on the go treat.
Other healthy zucchini recipes you might love
- Zucchini Bread Pancakes
- Coconut Chocolate Zucchini Smoothie (with sneaky veggies)
- Peanut Butter Zucchini Bread Baked Oatmeal
- Healthy Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Frosting
Get all of my zucchini recipes here!
I hope you love this healthy zucchini bread recipe! Be sure to let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment below and rating the recipe. You can also upload a photo to Instagram and tag #ambitiouskitchen. Enjoy, xo!
Healthy Zucchini Bread
The best healthy zucchini bread made with whole wheat flour, coconut oil and naturally sweetened with honey instead of sugar. This easy, healthy zucchini bread recipe is bursting with flavor thanks to the hint of coconut, orange zest and toasted nuts. Great for breakfast and can easily be made into healthy zucchini muffins!
- 1 ½ cups packed shredded zucchini that has been squeezed of excess moisture with a paper towel (from about 1 medium zucchini)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (any milk will work) or sub fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Optional: zest from 1 large orange or lemon
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled (can sub melted butter or vegan butter)
- Optional add-ins:
- ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts (or chopped macadamia nuts)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling on top of bread
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 8x4 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, zucchini, honey, eggs, almond milk, vanilla extract and optional orange zest until smooth.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Next add in coconut oil and mix again until well combined. Fold in toasted nuts and/or chocolate chips if desired
Pour into prepared loaf pan, sprinkle with extra chocolate chips if using, and bake for 50-60 minutes until tester comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Cut into 12 slices.
To make vegan: Use two flaxeggs instead of regular eggs. I haven't tested it, but let me know if you do.
To make gluten free: Feel free to use a 1:1 gf all purpose flour.
To make nut free: Sub almond milk with a nut free milk and skip the nuts in the recipe.
To freeze: Simply wrap in plastic, then tightly in foil and finally place in a reusable bag or freezer friendly bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature once you are ready to eat. You can also feel free to freeze individual slices for a quick on the go treat.
Other fun mix-ins: I think chopped dates or raisins would be fabulous in here instead of chocolate chips!
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
Ahh LOVE zucchini bread! This looks so delicious!
Zucchini bread is my fav!! Hope you love this one!
Will definitely be making this with my plethora of garden zucchini this summer!!! Love the citrus addition 🙂
Perfect!! The orange zest is a game-changer here 😉
I didn’t even know it was national zucchini bread day?? Gosh I love it. You are so right, whoever invented these days straight up GENIUS. Especially peanut butter cup day (is that a thing?)
Anyways, I am SO making this for my mamma on mothers day! She’s going to love it 🙂
Right?! Food holidays = the best holidays 🙂 This will be perfect for Mother’s Day!
I was going to say peanut butter on top would be extra delicious! Subbing sugar with honey was genius as well! This is definitely not your average zucchini bread 😉
Subbing honey for sugar.
PB on top is the best!! Hope you get a chance to try this one Kelli 🙂
What are the small slices of something on the bread? It looks like garlic!
It’s the zucchini!
Thank you for the vegan option! I love the way this bread looks. The hint of citrus sounds heavenly–chocolate chips are probably so so good in this loaf too!
You bet! And yes – chocolate chips are always a good idea 😉
using regular baking flour would work as sub? (only flour I have at the moment). Would 2 cups be alright, or measurement changes? Thanks xx
using regular baking flour would work as sub? (only flour I have at the moment). Would 2 cups be alright, or measurement changes? Thanks xx
Yes that should work!
I made this for my 18yr old whose body is a temple…. and he inhaled it 💞 Thankyou for giving me a recipe for my whole family.
Haha amazing! Glad the whole family liked this one 🙂
It’s really a very simple recipe and it’s very necessary to try right away. Thank you for sharing that unique and delicious recipe.
It seems very good indeed. Can not wait to try the recipe.
I subbed butter and left out the nuts because my husband’s allergic. It was moist, delicious, and flavorful–a keeper. My six year old niece was dubious (after one bite “…have you ever HAD zucchini bread before?”) but she came around to this less sweet but still very yummy version of the classic. (To be fair, she thought there was literally one recipe for zucchini bread In The World.)
Glad these converted your niece! One of my fav breads.
Would this recipe work if I subbed maple syrup for honey? Thanks!
Yes it should!
This sounds so yummy especially with the citrus! Any chance I could make with with almond meal?
It’s delicious! I wouldn’t recommend using almond meal as it will change the consistency of the bread.
Love this! Made it into muffins for a camping trip and everyone raved about how good it was!
Perfect! So happy to hear that 🙂
Full of flavor! Turned out a bit dry but that may have been baker error. Thankful for the vegan option and definitely would make again!
Glad you enjoyed!
Seriously so good!! Love
Glad you love it!!
I have tried this recipe, however, i find difficult to search for the equivalent cups to grams..
would it be possible to maybe one day accommodate this dream? would be just wonderful to really dive into all your wonderful recipes.
Totally understand, Carolle! We’ll look into it 🙂 in the meantime I’d recommend searching for an online conversion calculator.
A zucchini bread that isn’t too sweet, but enough for a sweet tooth! We didn’t have an orange so we opted for 1 teaspoon of orange extract. Yum!
Absolutely! And that sounds delicious 🙂
Thanks for the recipe! I have been craving zucchini bread and even a very picky child friend of ours enjoyed this.
Absolutely! Glad they loved it too 🙂
This was so yum! I used a combo of whole wheat flour & cake flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour and I skipped the orange zest. The bread was so moist and fluffy, just like you said. I would definitely make this again! Thank you for the recipe!
I’m glad that worked out well! 🙂
Looks fabulous. I’ll substitute 1/3C coconut oil with 1/2C DIY unsweetened applesauce (made with Granny Smiths). What’s your prediction??
I made this zucchini bread and included some walnuts and chocolate chips (not a ton), and instead of whole wheat flour I used half white flour and half oat flour. Let me tell you – it turned out absolutely FANTASTIC. I am obsessed with the combination of flavors and spices and the texture of this zucchini bread, and I love that it is naturally sweetened! This is a new favorite for sure. Thank you!!
Perfect! I’m glad that combo worked out well!
This is a great recipe. Mine turned out a bit dry which surprised me because a lot of the comments mentioned how moist and fluffy their loaves were. Any ideas on what could’ve made it dry? I’m curious for next time.
It could have just been an over baking issue or that your zucchini wasn’t very moist/wet. Try again and maybe check the bread 5-10 min early 🙂
Fantastic!! Here’s my details
1. white whole wheat flour
2. 1/2C maple syrup minus 1T
3. 1/2C oat milk (1/2C is fine. I freeze it in 1/2C cubes. No reason to futz around with 1/3C)
4. 1/2C DIY applesauce made with granny smith apples only instead of 1/3C coconut oil
5. orange zest from 3 oranges. Could use more zest. I’ll double it next time
6. I did both add-ins: 1/2C dark choc chips and 1/2C chopped toasted walnuts, both in the batter
7. 1/4C choc chips on top of cake
8. Will bake on top rack next time because this cake really rises and it needs a lot of clearance if there’s a rack above it.
9. toothpick came out clean after 55 minutes
As soon as I buy and zest more oranges, I’ll make it again. I’ll try honey next time, also minus 1T. It’s sweet enough with 7T instead of 8T. Preliminary impression is that this cake/bread needs nothing slathered on it. It’s sooooo good by itself.
Perfect! So glad those little swaps worked out well. Perfect snack or breakfast!
Thanks, Marge, for sharing your test results!!
I subbed the flour for almond and oat flour and it came out perfect!!! the orange zest shouldn’t be optional it smells sooooooo damn good!! gonna have to make it again during the week to bring it to my family because I’m gonna have to keep the first batch!
I’m glad that worked out well! So happy you loved it 🙂
What amounts of almond + oat flour did you end up using? Been wanting to try out those substitutions as well!
I really wanted to find a healthy recipe for zucchini bread. . This bread lacks flavor. I’m not sure what’s missing but it tasted very bland.
Sorry to hear that you found it bland! That’s surprising given the spices + orange zest baked right into the bread. You might like my marbled chocolate zucchini bread!
Can this recipe be made using Stevia instead of honey? What changes would be made to compensate for the moisture honey adds?
I don’t typically bake with alternative sweeteners like stevia so I’m not sure – sorry! I do know that stevia is much sweeter than traditional sugars so just be mindful of that if you try swapping it.
Just did this thing! It’s not very good or worth the amount of effort I’ve put into it.
Perhaps it is just that I have taken it out of the oven a few minutes ago, of course, but nonetheless, the taste is pretty, and forgive me for saying the f word, fucking underwhelming.
Bitter and far too chewy for a decent cake or bread, the tiny slice i took of it was the proof I didn’t actually needed that I’ve wasted my time & flour.
Nonetheless, the recipe was fun to make. I enjoyed that part, at the very least. It will probably taste better as it cools down, as most of the healthy baked goods do.
So sorry to hear that you were so disappointed! We love this over here, especially with the orange, coconut and chocolate chips baked in.
Delicious! My husband said that he remembers when his mom used to make zucchini bread and how much he loved it, and so I knew we needed to try this recipe. It is seriously so good esp with the chocolate chips and walnuts. And the orange zest is a must! Whole wheat pastry flour is for some reason once again impossible to find in my local stores (I looked at 4 stores!), so I used 50/50 whole wheat and all purpose. The bread was more dense, but that is the flour’s fault. I can’t wait to try it again once I can get whole wheat pastry!
Oh I also reduced the honey to 1/3 cup, and it was the perfect amount of sweetness.
So glad you both enjoyed! And great idea to use a mix of flours – hope you get a chance to try with whole wheat pastry soon, too 🙂
YUM! The ONLY way I can get my toddler to eat anything green these days. Thanks for this delicious recipe!
Oh my this looks so delicious! To make it gluten free, do you think using 1 cup oat flour + 1 cup almond flour (like the GF lemon poppy bread!) would work? Any suggestions?
It’s amazing! Check out the full post for GF swaps – a 1:1 GF flour should work well 🙂
I love zucchini bread but have never made it before— so glad I used this recipe for my first try! Delicious. Subbed 1:1 gluten-free flour and it came out perfectly!!! Will be my go-to zucchini bread recipe! Thank you!!!
So glad you gave this one a try! One of my favs 🙂
Delicious and healthy! Love it, the orange zest is a great addition!
Absolutely! Glad you enjoyed!
This will be my new go to zucchini bread recipe!! The only thing I did different from the recipe was I used protein pancake mix instead of flour and it turned out great!!
Awesome!! Glad to hear that worked well for you 🙂
I always loveee all your recipes, so I was a little disappointed with this. Not that it was bad, but it was just average haha. I look forward to trying one of your “fancier” zucchini breads, like the chocolate one.
Sorry you didn’t love this one, Melinda! Let me know if you end up trying any of the others soon 🙂
Quick easy and a crowd pleaser during zucchini season! Loved using honey because it’s less sweet than other recipes with maple syrup. Also used 1.5 of 1:1 GF Flour and added 3/4 of almond flour and 1/2 cup of flax seed to make it GF and heartier.
Also, did not use chocolate chips because I’m just not a huge fan of sweets.
Thanks for sharing, Sharon! I’m so happy you loved it 🙂
Trippled the recepie for 3 loafs did two with pecans and walnuts with a little extra honey and used whole milk ,my girls love it defenely baking again.
So happy you and your girls are loving this one, Alma!
Love this recipe! Made as a loaf the first time, and muffins the next time. Great for keeping in the freezer or packing up for a road trip
Agreed, so good for on-the-go snacks and breakfasts! Glad you’re loving it 🙂
followed the recipe as written with no add-ins (twice this week already!) amazing taste and texture
So, I made this bread this past week for an easy grab and go breakfast each morning, and let me tell you it DID NOT DISAPPOINT! It is scrumptious. I love love the warm spices, the crunch from the walnuts, and the moisture that the zucchini provides. They all three come together to make a happy marriage. I made no adjustments, just followed the recipe. It was super easy and incredibly delish! Go make it and thank her when you do!
This was delicious and simple to make! I added the chopped walnuts and it was great!!
We used homemade oat flour and it turned out delicious. My husband ate helpings for breakfast and for dessert at night. Will br coming back to this all summer long as our zucchini continue to grow! Thankful for all of these easy healthy AK recipes.
The orange zest is a delicious addition – very yummy!
Loved this recipe! Such a delicious zucchini bread! I used the melted butter option and the flavor was outstanding.
Typos in step 2 and 3.
Loved this recipe! Made into muffins and had to sub honey for sugar (didn’t have enough honey). Delicious!
Could you use all purpose flour in place of the whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour?
I couldn’t wait! I made this with 1 cup all purpose and 1 cup bread flour and it turned out delicious!! This is going to be one of my new go-tos. The orange zest is a must!
Yes, I think that should work well! Enjoy 🙂
This is a great recipe! I followed it as is with the orange juice and orange zest options with chocolate chips and walnuts. Came out perfectly moist and incredibly delicious!! The orange was a really great addition to make it unique. I always love the combo of orange and chocolate. Will definitely make again.
I’ve made this bread twice now and it has been a hit both times! I love the natural sweetness from the honey. I did sub out the flour for regular white flour just based on what I had in my pantry, but can’t wait to try it next time without the substitution – I’m sure it will be even better. Macadamia nuts are a great add and I ended up doing half and half with macadamia and walnuts. Delicious! Great addition to a breakfast spread or as a snack throughout the week.
Thanks so much for sharing, Liz! Glad that the regular flour worked well in here. And yummm love macadamia nuts!
If I add 1 cup of pureed sweet potato to the recipe do I need to increase the flour by a 1/2 cup? I have time for a bread using these ingredients but not cake! Although the cake look incredible. So does this bread! Torn and in need of veggies! Thank you so much!
I haven’t tried it so I can’t be sure on the ratios, sorry!
Thank you for this recipe! I used GF flour and it’s delicious. Perfectly moist. Hard to eat just one piece.
So happy it worked well with the GF flour and that you’re loving it!
One of my go to zucchini recipes! I added in mini chocolate chips and it is 10/10
YES to the mini chocolate chips 🙌 So happy you enjoyed it!
Gorgeous loaf of zucchini bread! I didn’t alter the recipe and it is flawless.
So glad to hear that! 🙂
I made this with agave nectar instead of honey and with olive oil instead of coconut and I really enjoyed it. Will be making this again. The Chocolate chips are perfect addition, but I’ve also done this with raisins instead and it’s super yummy.
So happy those all worked well in here!
Do you measure the zucchini before sqeezing the moisture out?
Sorry just seen instructions in the post 🙂
No problem, glad you found them!
My children claim they hate zucchini, but I made this for breakfast the other day and they devoured it! Very moist and delicious
Super moist yummy recipe! I doubled the batch in order to make two loaves!
Awesome, I’m so happy it turned out perfect!
Easy and so good!
My new go-to zucchini bread recipe. Well worth running to the store to buy the whole wheat pastry flour. I’ve made 4 loaves in 1 week (freezing 2) – 2 chocolate and 2 plain. Chopped chocolate chunks instead of using chips, and left out the orange zest (didn’t have one). So easy to put together and really good
Yay!! So happy that you’ve made so many loves and are loving this recipe. Thanks for the review 🙂
Just made this last night – so easy and turned out delicious! Baked for just over an hour, and for me that was perfect. Will definitely bookmark to make again.
Awesome! So happy you loved it, Emma!
Your zucchini bread recipes are delicious. I wanted to know can the flour be substituted for almond flour?
I haven’t tried that in this recipe so I can’t be sure, sorry! I think a 1:1 all purpose GF flour will maintain a more similar consistency.
I have been making chocolate zucchini bread using date paste in the same ratio as instead of honey or maple syrup. Also I use thawed frozen bananas in place of applesauce. I was looking for a recipe that was not chocolate (which is really good by the way) for a new flavor. I was kind of thinking just adding walnuts and maybe dried cranberries. Any advise is appreciated.
Have you tried this Spiced Apple Zucchini Bread?? One of my favorites for the fall!
For step 2, mix by hand the ingredients or blend with a hand mixer until smooth? Thank you for the clarification!
Sorry for the confusion! Yes you can mix with a spoon or mixer 🙂
I love this zucchini bread! I used one cup of oat flour and one cup of all purpose flour because it’s all I had, and subbed apple sauce for the oil for health reasons. It came out perfect!
I’m glad that it turned out delicious! Thanks so much for leaving a review, Emma!
Love this loaf!! It’s my go-to for using up zucchini, but it also works with butternut squash, applesauce, or banana! I make it vegan by using flax eggs and it rises beautifully with a soft, moist crumb. Highly recommended 🥰
So happy to hear that!! Love that you’ve tried all those variations 🙂 Thanks, Geneva!
Hi! Do you measure the 1/3 cup coconut oil then melt it?
Usually I eyeball 1/3 cup in a small bowl, microwave it, then measure it out! Any leftover melted coconut oil can just be poured back into the jar 🙂
I got a giant zucchini from my neighbour so I’ve been looking for recipes. This loaf tastes great! It has a nice light texture, not dense at all. I used grated orange rind which gives it a lovely flavour. I used 1% milk with a splash of whipping cream (needed to use it up!), and butter. The chocolate chips were a must and I used toasted pecans instead of walnuts. Baking time was 77 minutes for me at 325. So good!
p.s also made the zucchini pizza crust which is good also! See review.
I added around close to 1/3c more vegetable oil (a tiny bit less than a third cup), added about 1/4c more honey, added a lot more cinnamon, then allspice, nutmeg, and ginger. Baked at 325 for ~40 min covered with foil, then uncovered for ~20-23 more minutes. TURNED OUT AMAZING!
Perfect! Glad you loved it!
Can I use almond flour or coconut floor in this recipe? Thank you
Hi! I wouldn’t recommend swapping the flour in this recipe (sorry!) but I have a similar recipe that uses almond flour here 🙂
This is a great bread! Perfect moisture, taste, and a nice crust. Thank you!
THE BEST EVER!!! Not too sweet, perfect texture. I even made it gluten free and it was wonderful. This is going to be my go to recipe. Love the coconut oil at the end, really a new and nice touch for moistness!
YUMM! Happy to hear you found this recipe and are loving it ❤️