Greek Yogurt Zucchini Bread

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Here is my favorite lightened-up zucchini bread recipe aka the healthyish snack of the Summer/Fall season. I sliced off a piece of this bread every time I walked in and out of the kitchen. I swear. And there has been no shortage of this bread recently.
I am going to take this base and work on it for a banana version next! Stay tuned. 

I love zucchini bread because it is an anytime bread--delicious for breakfast or as a totally delicious and awesome snack. And it most certainly counts as dessert with a big ol' smother of peanut butter or almond butter.  This bread is great to have around when you want a little something sweet that isn't overloaded with sugar or dripping with oil. Plus, you sneak vegetables into it! Bonus, if you have picky vegetable eaters in the house. 

This recipe is a spin-off of a recipe I found in the St. John The Baptist Historical Cookbook from Dayton. Minnesota. (A fabulous Christmas gift from a friend of mine that knows how much I love any and ALL cookbooks).  Here is what I did differently. Not much, just a few tweaks here and there. I cut out all of the white sugar, reduced the oil, added protein-happy Greek yogurt, a little orange zest, took out the chocolate chips (whaaaat????), increased the cinnamon, and added walnuts. 

The Greek yogurt makes the bread suuuuper moist. Moisture is usually sacrificed when fat (the oil) is reduced, but the yogurt pulled through. The orange zest brightened it up and gave it that next level flavor with the cinnamon and vanilla extract. I think you are going to love it too! 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/3 cup canola, vegetable or melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup organic blue agave (I used Wholesome non-gmo brand)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature (I used fresh eggs from my chickens)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
  • 1 1/2 cups whole grain all-purpose flour (you can also subsitute an all purpose gluten free baking flour)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 medium large) 
    Optional: 2 tsp. orange zest (so good!)
    Optional: 3/4 chopped walnuts, pecans, raisins, or chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9X5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Whisk the oil, agave, egg, yogurt, and vanilla together in a medium bowl until combined. Ina  large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together. pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula until combined. Avoid over mixing. Fold in the zucchini, orange zest, and walnuts. 
  3. Spread batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you find the top of the bread is browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with foil or parchment. 
  4. Remove the bread from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving. Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 5 days. 

Make ahead tip: Bread freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. 

Coach Baking Tips: 

  1. If your zucchini is extra wet, give it a few blots before adding it to the batter. 
  2. I use plain full fat Greek yogurt. You can use vanilla or honey flavors if you check the added sugars first. 
  3. You can try making this bread as muffins too! Prepare the batter as instructed and grease a 12-count muffin pan or use liners. Fill with batter all the way to the top and bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees then, keeping muffins in the oven, lower the oven temp. to 350 degrees and continue to bake for an additional 13-14 minutes approx. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan before serving. Makes 10- 12 muffins.