Please answer yes/no for the following foodie questions:
- Are you looking to do something with all that summer zucchini around right now?
- Are you looking for an easy baking project for this weekend?
- Are you crazy about zucchini bread?
- Are you still drooling over the zucchini bread/muffin photos I posted on Facebook earlier?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then I have the perfect recipe for you! Healthy and Oat-licious Zucchini Bread and Muffins.
Ooh la yum! 😉
I have a few squash plants in my garden outside and they are producing like crazy. I accidentally let one get a little on the large side.
For a split second, I was sad that it probably wouldn’t be good in a stir-fry (or soup)…until I realized that the large zucchini in my hands would be perfect for one of my favorite breakfast treats – zucchini bread and muffins!
All I needed was some flour, apple sauce, eggs, lemon, and a couple other pantry ingredients.
Ooh and a food processor (to finely cut that zucchini) and a stand mixer (though you could easily do this by hand).
Mix a little of this and a little of that and before you know it, you have…
Warm, sweet, delicious zucchini muffins and bread (perfect weekend brunch eats). I like doing both the muffins and the bread because I get to enjoy a little variety.
Ok, ok, and my impatient side likes the instant gratification of baking muffins since they take a fraction of the cooking time of the bread (and if I time it right, I can be eating muffins while the bread finishes baking away). It’s like having your
cake muffin and eating it, too!
Now, I haven’t always been such a zucchini bread fanatic.
I distinctly remember the first time I heard about zucchini bread (or at least my reaction to it). I was a young kiddo back in elementary school, and I didn’t like vegetables nearly as much as I do now. The only kind of sweet breakfast bread I ever wanted to eat was my mom’s piping hot banana bread.
I don’t really remember the exact conversation around the zucchini bread, all I remember is they (they=adults) said something about zucchini bread, and I was instantly disgusted. Vegetables? In a sweet bread? Whoa. I couldn’t imagine how that could be a good thing. (If only I knew back then that I would one day develop a sweet bread/muffin recipe made with spinach!)
The adults around me claimed that the zucchini bread tasted like banana bread, but I refused to accept that truth. What child listens to an adult, right? In fact, it wasn’t until a few years later that I finally caved. I’m stubborn like that sometimes.
But you know what, I enjoyed every last bite of that first slice of zucchini bread. I even asked mom to make it! And of course, she did. 🙂 And thus, a love for zucchini bread began.
It was a long time before I decided to try making zucchini bread on my own (mostly because I didn’t have a food processor for a long time). When I finally did, I was so pleased to find this tasty recipe (click) by Cooking Light.
I made a few changes the first couple times I made that Cooking Light recipe, but a week or so ago, I decided to do a few more:
- I subbed white wheat and oat flour for the all purpose to utilize less-processed, cleaner ingredients
- I made the overall flavor less sweet by reducing the amount of sugar used (hello Not So Sweet recipe!)
- I don’t like egg substitutes (unless it’s going to be a flax/chia seed egg), so I just used real eggs
- I reduced the amount of oil used by subbing in some applesauce
- I increased the amount of lemon zest used because it is truly one of the signature ingredients of this recipe and deserves to stand out a little more
- I topped my bread/muffins pre-baking with oats and nuts so you can really see what’s inside – I think it looks cool
- And finally, I increased the amount of nuts used in the recipe
The result – pure deliciousness that middle-school-me would have been proud of.
*Vegan if you use vegan options indicated below* *Vegetarian*
- 2 cups white wheat flour (or flour of choice)
- 1 cup oat flour (or flour of choice)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup applesauce
- 2 large eggs (or vegan egg substitute, for example: flax/chia seed egg)
- ¼ cup canola oil (or oil of choice, preferably a non-flavored one)
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest (be sure to not skip over this ingredient - it's the key)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)
- ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans (or nut of choice), toasted (if you want), plus more for topping, about ½ cup
- Cooking spray
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Pre-pare baking containers of choice (see recipe notes above for options) - I used one loaf pan and one muffin tin - with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, combine white wheat flour, oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Whisk till evenly combined.
- In a medium bowl, combine applesauce, eggs, oil, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Whisk till evenly combined. Whisk in sugar. Stir in zucchini.
- Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients. Stir gently to combine, just till all dry ingredients are mixed in (careful to not over-mix). Fold in ½ cup pecans, if using.
- For muffins and loaf (like I made) - Using an ice cream scoop, put one scoop worth of batter into each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin (should fill muffins cups about halfway up the sides). Repeat if making 24 muffins total. Otherwise, pour remaining batter into your prepared loaf pan.
- Sprinkle oats and reserved nuts, if using, over batter evenly. Bake muffins for 14-17 minutes and bread 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin or loaf comes out clean. Note: I chose to put both my muffin tin and loaf pan in at the same time, removing the muffins when they were ready while my bread finished in the oven (so I could enjoy the muffins whilst waiting for the bread to finish baking).
- When the muffins and/or bread are safe to consume, serve and enjoy.
If making all muffins, evenly distribute batter between 24 muffin cups.
If making all loaves, evenly distribute batter between 2 loaf pans.
Note #2: this is a Not So Sweet recipe. I've reduced the sugar by a bit, so if you like a sweeter bread, you may wish to add about ½ cup of sugar back in.
You may also like:
- Green Monster Muffins (similar to this recipe but with spinach!)
- Green Monster Muffins (vegan version)
- Spelt Banana Bread
- Mini Matcha Green Tea Banana Nut Muffins
- Individual Apple Breakfast Cakes
Did I mention the muffins (or bread slices) are tasty on their own or served with a lovely cage-free fried egg and some bacon and OJ? Yummm…hello weekend brunch!
How old were you when you first tried zucchini bread? Did you think the name sounded weird, too?