When I think of zucchini, it grows while you watch it. So plentiful, it’s manna of the garden. But just where did this vegetable come from? Zucchini was first developed in Italy in the 19th century near Milan. Zucchini is the plural form of zucchino, meaning a small gourd. It was brought to America in the 1920s by Italian immigrants.
Botanically, zucchini is a fruit but is treated like a vegetable. It can also be incorporated into breads or desserts and even transformed into zoodles — a gluten free alternative to traditional noodles. The possibilities are endless.
This Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread is delicious. I have baked it in a longer Norpro bread pan to have a slightly smaller piece because it is so rich. The dark chocolate is wonderful paired with a strawberry puree, whipped cream, and grated chocolate. I have also found these flavors to be delightful on a hot summer day with a tall glass of spearmint iced tea.
Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- 1 cup flour (all-purpose, bread flour, or artisan flour)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (I used Redmond Real Salt)
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used bittersweet chocolate chips)
- 2 large eggs or 4 egg whites
- 1/4 cup liquid coconut oil
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
- Extra chocolate chips for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
- Shred the zucchini and lightly squeeze it with paper towels so the zucchini is not dripping, yet still moist.
- Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs or egg whites, oil, yogurt, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
- Use a fork to mix the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring until fully incorporated and there are a few lumps.
- Gently fold in the zucchini, pushing the dough around to make sure the zucchini is evenly spread throughout.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Loosely scatter chocolate chips on top of the batter to your liking.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack. When it’s cool enough to handle the pan, tip the bread out onto the wire rack. It should slide out easily.
I love zucchini. Enjoy this recipe and be creative with this fruit/vegetable, whether it’s sauteed and savory or incorporated to be sweet or even made into pickles.
Recipe adapted from Wyldflour.