A simple whole wheat zucchini banana bread recipe that’s made without oil or butter but still tastes amazing. Perfect for school lunches and after school snacks for kids!
It’s zucchini season! I know of no better way to use beautiful garden zucchini than in zucchini bread. This recipe utilizes overripe bananas as an oil replacement. You get the amazing flavor that bananas bring to bread while slashing the fat content, but keeping all the flavor. This quick bread is a true winner in my eyes as a Registered Dietitian!
Keep reading to learn how to easily make this perfect loaf of bread. The trick to the perfectly crusty top and moist center? It’s achieved by baking at high heat then eventually lowering the heat.
How to Make
- Preheat the oven and prepare the pan.
- Prepare the wet ingredients.
- Prepare dry ingredients.
- Blend together.
- Pour batter into loaf pan.
- Bake the bread.
Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Then, spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. I used a 9-inch loaf pan for this recipe.
Next, add the wet ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir together until combined. Set aside.
- Eggs. This recipe calls for 2 large eggs. I find this Egg Size Conversions for Recipes guide extremely helpful if you typically buy different size eggs than what is needed for a recipe. This guide has saved me a trip from the store a time or two.
- Bananas. The perfect oil substitute. When substituting bananas for oil, the ratio is 3/4 cup fruit to 1 cup oil. This recipe calls for 3 medium bananas, which is equal to 1 cup mashed bananas. Use overripe bananas for an extra boost of flavor.
- Vanilla Extract. Add 3 tsp vanilla extract to the mixing bowl for flavor. You could swap the vanilla for 1 1/2 tsp almond extract or 3 tsp bourbon, rum or brandy.
Next, add all your dry ingredients into another mixing bowl and stir together until mixed.
- Whole wheat flour. The recipe calls for 3 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour. You may also use half all-purpose (1 1/2 cups + 2 TBSP) and half whole wheat flour (1 1/2 cups + 2 TBSP) if desired.
- Granulated sugar + brown sugar. You can substitute the 1 cup of white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar for honey or maple syrup if desired. You would swap the sugars for 1 1/2 cups honey or 1 cup maple syrup.
- Baking soda. The 1 tsp of baking soda helps this bread to rise.
- Baking powder. The 1 tsp of baking powder helps this bread to rise.
- Salt. The 1 tsp of salt helps to increase flavor while strengthening the dough.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients into one mixing bowl. Gently stir for 10-15 seconds.
NUTRITION TIP: The more you mix a batter made with flour, the more gluten you will develop. Gluten helps to hold the bread together but it is also chewy. If you over mix the batter, you will end up with a rubbery banana bread.
Upgrade your banana bread by adding in your family’s favorite mix-in(s)!
- Chocolate chips – semi sweet, dark or mini
- Fruit – dried cranberries, fresh blueberries or shredded coconut
- Nuts – cashews, pecans or walnuts
- Spices – cinnamon, cloves or allspice
Last but not least, add the 2 cups of shredded zucchini to the mixing bowl.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! First, let the bread cool. Wrap the cool bread in plastic wrap. Place in a freezer bag then in the freezer. I will wrap individual pieces of banana bread so my kids can grab one slice as a snack or to pack in their lunchbox.
Insert a toothpick or knife into the middle of the bread. If it comes out clean, it is done. If not, continue to cook the bread.
It is highly recommended. By squeezing the water from the zucchini, you can prevent a soggy banana bread loaf with a sunken center. You can use a dish cloth or paper towels to press out as much water as possible.
Nope! Simply wash the zucchini, chop off the ends and shred.
The trick to a crusty top and moist center is baking at two different temperatures.
PRO TIP: Bake the zucchini bread at 400° for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 375° and continue baking for an additional 45 minutes
Baking at a high heat initiates a quick rise of the loaf top, which then caramelizes and creates the delicious crust. Lowering the heat then allows the middle to continue to cook while not overcooking the outside of the bread. The end product – a crunchy top and soft center!
More Quick Bread Recipes
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
- Healthy Apple Bread
- Healthy Banana Bread with Applesauce
- Old Fashioned Banana Bread Recipe
- Orange Cranberry Loaf
- Sour Cream and Onion Biscuits
- Gluten Free Coconut Bread
If you enjoyed these recipes make sure to leave a comment and a star rating below! Then follow me on social media and tag #createkidsclub if you make the recipe. I love seeing what you come up with!
Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread
- loaf pan
- large bowl
- medium-sized bowl
- stir spoon
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- 3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 medium overripe bananas, mashed
- 3 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 cups shredded zucchini, skin on
- Prepare the oven and pan. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Prepare wet ingredients. Mix eggs, mashed banana, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together in a large bowl.
- Prepare dry ingredients. Blend flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
- Blend together. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Then mix in the zucchini.
- Pour batter into loaf pan. Pour the batter into a loaf pan. For smaller sized loaves use 2 pans.
- Bake the bread. Bake the zucchini bread at 400° for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 375° and continue baking for an additional 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.