Zucchini Bread, Lightened Up

It’s easy to be fooled into believing that zucchini bread is good for you – it’s made with vegetables after all! In actuality, many recipes are weighed down with fat and sugar -- so we’re going to lighten things up.

It’s easy to be fooled into believing that zucchini bread is good for you – it’s made with vegetables after all! In actuality, many recipes are weighed down with fat and sugar, so we’re going to lighten things up. Here's how we do it.

Nutrition Facts

Zucchini bread is a favorite summertime treat but when most recipes call for heaps of butter and sugar it’s far from healthy. We analyzed recipes that came out to more than 350 calories and 15 grams of fat per slice. Our version (recipe below) comes in at only 180 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving!

Swap Outs

You don’t need to reinvent zucchini bread to make it more sensible. Make these 4 swaps and you’ll slash the fat and calories in your favorite recipe.

  • Replace half of the fat (butter or oil) with unsweetened applesauce
  • Swap out half of the flour with whole wheat pastry flour
  • Use 25 percent less of the sugar that the recipe calls for
  • Use 50 percent of the nuts that the recipe calls for
Dana’s Lightened Up Zucchini Bread
Makes 1 loaf (10 slices)
Canola oil cooking spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup grated zucchini
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Spray a loaf pan with canola oil spray and set aside. In a large bowl whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg  and set aside. Using an electric mixer, combine sugar and canola oil. Add applesauce, egg, egg white, vanilla extract, lemon juice and zest and mix on low speed until well combined. Slowly add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Using a spatula, fold in zucchini and walnuts. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until a cake tester comes out clean (about 45 minutes) . Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Info (per slice)
Calories: 180
Total Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Carbohydrates: 26 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Sodium: 105 milligrams
Cholesterol: 20 milligrams
Fiber: 2 grams

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

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