Paleo zucchini bread is my favorite grain free, dairy free baked treat! It’s crumbly, moist, and just sweet enough. This recipe is made with shredded zucchini, almond flour, coconut oil, eggs, and spices and topped with dark chocolate Enjoy Life chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. It’s easy to make, relatively healthy and low carb, and out-of-this-world delicious.
One of my fondest childhood food memories is baking and eating zucchini bread. It was a much anticipated summer ritual that I’ve repeated annually well into my adulthood.
Over the years, my zucchini bread baking has gotten a wee bit healthier year by year. Dark chocolate for milk. Natural sugars for refined. Three zucchini instead of one. Eventually I ended up with this paleo zucchini bread made with almond flour and coconut oil. It packs in all the flavors and textures of the classic, but is made with wholesome real food ingredients and way less sugar.
Is is truly healthy? Meh. It is freaking delicious? You betcha.
Even though I wouldn’t classify this zucchini bread as a health food, it does have lots of good-for-you ingredients and is on the lower carb end of things (19g per serving – less if you skip the chocolate). It’s perfect when I’m in the mood for a sweet treat, and it’s a snack I can feel pretty good about giving my kids. It has only 13 grams of sugar per serving (about half that of standard zucchini bread), so it’s also a nice option for the diabetic or low sugar friend in your life.
How to Make Paleo Zucchini Bread
This grain free zucchini bread is crumbly but moist, sweet but not too sweet, and super easy to make.
I’ve tried loads of recipes that call for coconut flour, but I really love the flavor and texture of almond flour in this bread. It’s nutty and airy, and results in a super moist texture and crisp crust that is nearly identical to the real thing. I buy my almond flour in bulk via Amazon – it’s the cheapest source I’ve found.
- Shred the zucchini. Wash throughly, then grate against the largest holes on a box grater. There’s no need to peel it or trim the root end, although you should stop just short of the woody stem.
- I pack three entire medium sized zucchini into this recipe – two to two-and-a-half cups in total. In addition to using up the surplus of squash that’s bound to fall into your lap sooner than later, this surfeit of zucchini adds a nice kick of nutrition and loads of beautiful green flecks to the finished loaf.
- Remove moisture from the shredded zucchini. The eggs and coconut oil keep this recipe super moist, and unwringed zucchini will make the bread soggy.
- Place the grated zucchini into a fine mesh strainer, then set the strainer over a bowl. Sprinkle the zucchini with a pinch of salt, toss, then let it sit for 15 minutes. Press down on the zucchini with a rubber spatula to release the water.
- Make the batter. Whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, and other wet ingredients until incorporated, and then whisk in the coconut sugar.
- Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients one at a time, starting with the salt, spices, and baking soda, and then the almond flour.
- The resulting batter will be thick, like brownie batter. It doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth, and some lumps are totally fine.
Now for the mix-ins! Add the drained zucchini plus the nuts and chips (if using) and gently fold them into the batter. See below for my list of suggestions for other mix-ins and substitutions.
- Scrape the batter into an 8″ bread pan that’s been greased with a little bit of coconut oil. You can also line it with parchment paper.
- (Not pictured). Sprinkle the top with about a tablespoon each of reserved nuts and chocolate chips. It gives the finished bread a picture perfect finish and a little bit of extra texture.
- Bake in a 350°F oven for just under an hour. The finished bread will be deep golden brown, and will spring back slightly when pressed. You can also use the toothpick method to check for doneness.
- Cool the zucchini bread in the pan for about 20 minutes, then remove the bread and finish cooling on a wire rack. Learn from my mistakes and do allow it to cool completely before cutting, or it’s going to fall apart.
Zucchini Bread Mix-Ins and Substitutions
- You can forego the chips. Sad, but true. Replace them with dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, diced figs) or just leave it as is.
- Try pecans or chopped almonds instead of walnuts.
- If you don’t have, don’t like, or don’t want to use coconut sugar, substitute a quarter cup plus one tablespoon of honey or maple syrup. If doing so, drain the zucchini extra well. The resulting bread will be more moist, and not quite as crisp around the edges.
How to Store Paleo Zucchini Bread
This recipe makes for about twelve servings. You can either share it with neighbors (a certain strategy to win friends and influence people), or you can store it.
- Cover loosely with a tea towel and store at room temperature for 24 hours.
- Like most paleo baked goods, you’ll get the longest shelf life by storing this bread in the fridge. Place the bread into an airtight container or wrap in plastic wrap. It should keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can eat the bread straight from the fridge, or lightly toast in the toaster oven.
- To freeze, wrap in aluminum foil, then plastic wrap and store for up to 2 months. Defrost on counter overnight, remove the plastic wrap, then gently reheat in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes.
More Paleo Baked Goods
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- 8" Loaf Pan
- Box grater
- Nut-milk bag
- 3 medium zucchini, grated (2-2.5 grated cups)
- 1/2 tsp sea or kosher salt, divided
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 c melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 c coconut sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 3/4 c almond flour
- 1/2 c chopped walnuts
- 1/2 c paleo dark chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8" loaf pan with 1 tsp solid coconut oil. Set aside.
- Grate the zucchini and then place in a strainer. Sprinkle the grated zucchini with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, then toss. Set aside to drain for 15 minutes.
- Place the eggs, coconut oil, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar into a mixing bowl. Whisk until combined. Add the coconut sugar, and whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in stages. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, then the baking soda, then the cinnamon and nutmeg. Finally, whisk the the almond flour until just barely combined. The batter should be thick like brownie batter.
- Drain the zucchini. Gently press down on the salted zucchini with a spatula to release as much water as possible. Alternatively, transfer the zucchini to a nutmilk bag or cotton kitchen towel and squeeze out the water.
- Add the drained zucchini, nuts, and chocolate chips to the batter and gently fold with a spatula until incorporated. Reserve 1 tbsp nuts and 1 tbsp chips for topping the bread.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the nuts and chips on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the loaf is deep golden brown and springs back when you press it with your finger. Alternatively, use a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the bread - it's cooked through when it comes out clean.
- Cool the bread in the pan for 20 minutes, then remove the bread and cool throughly on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy. Paleo zucchini bread can be stored: loosely covered with a tea towel at room temperature for 24 hours; wrapped in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days; and wrapped in foil then plastic wrap in the freezer for 2 months. To defrost, place on the counter overnight, then remove plastic wrap and heat in a 350* oven for 10-15 minutes.
- For best results, be sure to drain the zucchini thoroughly. Wet zucchini will result in over-moist bread.
- Use blanched almond flour, not almond meal.
- For alternative mix-ins, try almonds, pecans, or your favorite dried fruit.
- Honey or maple syrup can be used in place of coconut sugar. Use one quarter cup plus one tablespoon of either.