Zucchini-Banana Nut Breakfast Bread
Probably the ONLY time of day when I don’t feel like cooking is first thing in the morning.
Recently, I’ve been getting into meals that I can make ahead or freeze so that I don’t have to mess around in the kitchen before I’ve had my coffee.
One of the breakfasts I’ve had on repeat for the past few months has been a delicious banana bread.
This version, which is also full of zucchini and nuts, is made even healthier and dairy-free by using unsweetened applesauce in place of butter/oil and almond milk.
The result is a slightly sweet and very moist breakfast bread – full of fruit, veggies, nuts, and flavor.
Substituting unsweetened applesauce for the “fat” component in a recipe is a trick I learned when I was following a weight loss program in college. While it can’t be substituted in every recipe, I have always had success using it in quick breads and even some cakes. It drastically cuts down the fat and adds just a touch of sweetness while still keeping your baked goods soft and tender.
Canned pumpkin purée would also be a great, healthy substitute for butter or oil, but know that it may affect the color of whatever you’re making. I love to substitute pumpkin purée for oil in my chocolate cakes since I don’t notice the color (or the flavor) once it’s baked.
This recipe is one that I adapted from Shugary Sweets.
I decided to cut the recipe in half and make it dairy-free and oil-free. Additionally, I reduced the amount of sugar called for and added a few extra flavor enhancers.
It turned out so lovely, I figured it was time to share with you all.
I love baking one of these loaves at the beginning of the week, slicing it up, and freezing it so that I can pull a slice from the freezer whenever I want. This way, I have breakfast for the entire week ready to go. I can either grab a slice to thaw the night before or pop one in the toaster in the morning while my coffee brews.
I don’t have to fuss over pots, pans, or blenders, and I still get to eat a homemade breakfast. Yes to that.
Now just a few extra tips for success or notes for those who are wary of putting vegetables in bread that also calls for sugar.
Zucchini by itself is extremely mild in flavor. It won’t cause your bread to taste like a vegetable loaf, especially because it’s grated so finely. I grate my zucchini using a microplane. It’s a superfine grater that you would use for zesting citrus or grating garlic. I use mine all the time. You can find them online or in any kitchen gadget store, and they’re usually around ten bucks.
Essentially, the zucchini aids in helping the bread stay tender and moist while also adding nutritional value. Don’t worry, between the bananas, cinnamon, coconut, and vanilla, you can’t taste it at all. I promise.
After grating the zucchini, the last important step is to squeeze as much – if not all – of the liquid out of the zucchini. There will be A LOT. You can do this with just your hands or use some very strong paper towels to help wring the water out. If you forget this step, you could very well have some seriously soggy banana bread and/or it will need to bake longer in the oven potentially burning or over browning the tops and sides of your bread. Not good. So get messy and make sure to press that water out!
After that, the recipe couldn’t be easier. Mix your dry ingredients in one bowl. Mix your wet ingredients in another bowl, then add the dry to the wet and mix until just incorporated. Pour the batter into a loaf pan, bake for about an hour, bask in the wonderful aroma of your home, and enjoy once cooled. If you decide to freeze the slices, wait until they have cooled completely so that they don’t steam after you wrap them.
Tell me what you like to add to your banana bread – I love playing with variations!
Zucchini-Banana Nut Breakfast Bread
This recipe, adapted from Shugary Sweets Banana Zucchini Bread is a wonderful bread to enjoy for breakfast or a snack.
- 2 C. All-Purpose Flour
- 3/4 C. Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 TBS Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp. Salt (I use sea salt.)
- 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/2 C. Walnuts or Pecans Chopped
- 1/4 C. Unsweetened, Shredded Coconut
- 2 Very Ripe Bananas Mashed well
- 1/2 C. Unsweetened Applesauce
- 2 TBS Almond Milk
- 2 Eggs Large
- 1-2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 C. Shredded Zucchini Squeezed to remove the water.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Add the dry ingredients (except for the chopped nuts and coconut) into a mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (except for the zucchini).
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix gently until just incorporated.
Lastly, add the chopped nuts, coconut, and shredded zucchini and mix again until they are distributed evenly in the batter.
Pour into a greased or non-stick loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes.
Remove from oven, let cool, slice, and enjoy!