A friend of my sister’s recently began growing her own garden, and I am 100% convinced that there is wheaties in the soil because all of the produce is sprouting up HUGE. The zucchini she gave us was literally the size of my arm, elbow to fingertips. So the zucchini recipes started flowing… ground turkey zucchini boats, spiralized zucchini pad thai, baked zucchini fries…. you name it, we were exploring them all. I swear to you, this was like the Mary Poppin’s Bag of zucchini… it was bottomless! Trying to figure out how to finish this ‘cchini once and for all, we decided making a loaf (or three) of zucchini bread would do the trick.
I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for baking, but so often, baked goods are sugar-laden and high in calories and fat, void of any nutritional benefit. So when my sister brought home a zucchini the size of Texas, we decided to challenge ourselves to make the healthiest, most delicious dessert ever. I mean, we were already dumping vegetables into the bread – how hard could it be?!
Turns out, it wasn’t too hard! We included low-fat greek yogurt to help boost the protein content and by swapping whole wheat flour for white flour, we increased the fiber to make a more filling bread. Lastly, using ripe banana adds some sweetness to the loaf, which allowed us to cut back on some of the extra added sugars without sacrificing flavor. Bada bing, bada boom – you’re looking at a more nutritious recipe with just a few simple swaps! Not to mention we finally got rid of the never-ending zucchini. Double score.
Chocolate Greek Yogurt Zucchini Bread
Yield: 1 loaf
- 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons very ripe mashed banana
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cup lightly packed grated zucchini
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped nuts (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Lightly grease and flour one bread pan.
- In a bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, egg, butter, and honey.
- Stir in the banana and brown sugar.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix together until just combined.
- Stir in the grated zucchini, chocolate chips and nuts.
- Pour batter into the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean after insertion. Darker pans cook faster, so be mindful of timing.
Bonus life hack: If you’re like me and made three loaves of bread at once, you can freeze the extra loaves and pull them out when you’re ready to enjoy. Or, you can give one loaf to your boss right before your annual review. Convenient timing, am I right?!