Zucchini-blueberry bread - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Zucchini-blueberry bread

Have I warned you about planting mint in your garden?  No?  Ooops, sorry ’bout that.  I know I have told several people to only plant mint in containers since its root system will go crazy and you’ll never be able to get rid of it or kill it no matter how much you think you would never want to do such a thing.  I have said many times that I’d like to write a book titled “I Can’t Believe the World Isn’t Covered in Mint.”  I’ve changed my mind.  I think my book will be called “I Can’t Believe How Many People Plant So Much More Zucchini Than They Can Possibly Eat.”  Is this you?  It’s meeeeeee.  And I really should know better having grown up with a father who year after year planted too much zucchini.

I am devoting two posts in a row to zucchini because I sympathize with your plight, not because zucchini is some nutrient-dense vegetable, which it’s not.  It is an appropriate food for the summer months, though, due to its high water content and cooling thermal nature.  It is alkalizing to the body to boot.  I don’t know how alkalizing zucchini bread is, but when my kids devour it, I commend them on how wonderful it is that they enjoy green vegetables.  Then when zucchini is served for dinner, I just remind them it’s the same green that’s baked into the bread they love.

Many zucchini breads tend to be overly oily and loaded with sugar, but claim health benefits from a cup of shredded zucchini.  You’re not falling for that one, are you?  This one instead has a base of whole wheat pastry flour with a minimal amount of maple syrup to sweeten it.  I use either olive oil or melted coconut oil, which can be reduced with the addition of unsweetened applesauce (see the lead photo.)  Like a lot of the recipes I post, you can adapt this zucchini bread so many ways.  Our favorite way is with fresh blueberries and a touch of lemon zest.  It’s light and fresh and makes for a perfect quick summer breakfast or snack for camp.  I have also made it with raspberries instead of blueberries and that’s a winner, too.  I know you’re going to ask me if you can add chocolate chips, and who am I to tell you no?  If you use chocolate, I would drop the lemon zest though, and maybe add some walnuts.  Like I did right here.

Zucchini-Blueberry Bread
Author: Pamela
Serves: makes 1 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf
  • ¼ cup melted unrefined coconut oil or olive oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce (or omit applesauce and increase oil to ½ cup)
  • ½ cup organic 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini, about 2 small
  • zest of half a lemon (optional)
  • ½ -1 cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 ½ “ x 4 ½ “ loaf pan, or if aluminum, grease it and line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a blender, blend together the oil, maple syrup, applesauce, eggs and vanilla. This helps to emulsify the oil and keeps your bread from being greasy.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry mixture.
  4. Fold in the zucchini, lemon zest, blueberries and nuts. Pour into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. When made with applesauce, it usually takes 5 minutes longer than when made without. Cool slightly, about 10 minutes, remove from pan, and cool completely on a rack.
You can also make these in standard muffin tins and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. This will yield about 12 muffins.

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  1. Thank you Pamela!!
    It’s In the oven now, We’ll see how it turns out, I left out the cinnamon because that’s not my favorite. But I followed everything else And thank God I put parchment paper because it’s a little over the top the top. Hopefully it’ll come out just as good as yours!!!
    Absolutely not a duplicate!!

    • Cinnamon is not a crucial ingredient and you should definitely feel free to leave it out if you don’t care for it. Enjoy!

  2. It’s In the oven now, We’ll see how it turns out, I left out the cinnamon because that’s not my favorite. But I followed everything else And thank God I put parchment paper because it’s a little over the top the top. Hopefully it’ll come out just as good as yours!!!

  3. Hi Pamela!

    I made a couple loaves of this over the past few days and froze them – got a busy few weeks coming up! Curious though, if I were to make these into muffins, how would I freeze them?

    • Nice planning ahead! I usually freeze two muffins at a time, wrapped well in aluminum foil. Put all the wrapped muffins in a resealable bag.

  4. I made these into muffins for my daughter Kaydee to take with her on vacation to Lake Havasu. I actually had to make two batches because I grated too much zucchini. They were delicious!! Just sweet enough and I adore blueberries. Kaydee said she really liked them and our other daughter Haylee kept the rest of them because she loved them too. I am going to make a few more batches for school which starts on Wednesday :-(. My son has requested chocolate chips so I may humor him and make a batch of those as well. Thank you as always,

    • Zucchini and chocolate always works!

  5. I made these AGAIN tonight in muffin form – easy to pop in kids lunches, etc! I love them – whole family does! Thanks again for another great recipe!

    • Woohoo!

      • If I want to cut the sugar and reduce the maple syrup would you suggest adding an equal amount of applesauce? Or should I substitute with something else?

        • I haven’t tried your suggestion. What MIGHT work is using the full amount of oil, the suggested amount of applesauce listed and cutting the maple syrup by whatever amount you wanted. Applesauce does not have the same sweetness level as maple syrup though so keep in mind if you cut the maple in half, for example, this will not be very sweet. But maybe that’s what you’re going for :). Let me know what you try and how it turns out.

  6. This looks like a good recipe and I’m pleased to read all the positive feedback. I am wondering if I can sub honey for the maple syrup? I certainly don’t want to compromise the taste. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Honey and maple syrup can often be substituted for each other, especially in recipes like this. I would just add that the honey flavor may be more detectable. But you should have success!

  7. Hi…just discovered your website as I was looking for a zucchini bread recipe. Your website looks amazing! I have 2 questions…does the shredded zucchini need to be squeezed dry (with paper towels) before preceeding with this recipe? And, do you think I could use spelt flour instead of the whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour as stated to use? I am gluten sensitive, and would like to make your recipe using spelt flour! Thanks!!!

    • Thanks, Jerilyn! I don’t squeeze the zucchini before using them. Spelt flour would work perfectly in this recipe BUT it contains gluten, so you can’t use it if you’re sensitive. Try King Arthur’s Multipurpose Gluten-free Flour and add 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum or use another good GF flour blend. You would keep all the other ingredients the same. Let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Thanks so much for your speedy reply. I find that I can tolerate modest amounts of spelt flour without a stomach problem. So, that was why I asked if I could substitute the whole wheat flour for an equal amount of spelt flour. Thanks for letting me know there is no need to squeeze dry the zucchini! I look forward to trying this recipe!

      • Ok, good. I just needed to make sure since a lot of people think spelt is GF. Enjoy!

        • I have no milk can I use condensed sweet milk

          • No milk needed in this recipe!

  8. Sooooo good!! Made 2 loaves and a tray of muffins tonight. Yes, I had a lot of zucchini…

    • It’s that time of year! At least the breads freeze well. Enjoy!

  9. Love this recipe! Best zucchini bread I ever baked. Love the maple syrup, apple sauce and lemon zest. Many thanks!

    • Yippee! I love it, too! Thanks, Beate.

  10. Hi Pamela 🙂 do you think this if i made a cream cheese icing instead of adding blueberries? or do you think it would be better if i substituted the blueberries for chic chips and didn’t make the icing?

    • Hi Winnie 🙂 In my opinion, you can add blueberries to the batter and a cream cheese icing on top, although I’m not a big fan of icings since they add a lot of extra sugar. So I say this will be delicious with just blueberries!

      • Thanks for the tip 🙂 I couldn’t find any nice looking blueberries so should I substitute them chocolate chips? or if I chop up some dark chocolate and add it in instead?

        • You can actually make this quick bread with nothing added! The blueberries and chocolate chips are just suggestions. I have also added walnuts, pecans, and raspberries. I’m sure there are many dried fruits that would work well, too. If you love chocolate, go for it, otherwise don’t feel pressure to add anything. 🙂

  11. This bread is delicious. I also made your banana bread recipe and wondering if I could add applesauce and/or maple syrup to that one as well?? I loved the taste of these two items in the zucchini bread! Thanks!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the zucchini bread. If you don’t want to use date puree in the banana bread, I’m sure you could sub 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1/2 cup applesauce instead. If you do, let me know how it turns out!

  12. Hi,
    Thanks for this great recipe, have you made it gluten free? Would you know the substitutions for that.


    • Yes, I’ve made it gluten-free, but with King Arthur GF flour mix and a little xanthan gum. Just sub one for one. I’ve also tried the Bob’s Red Mill (bean-based) GF mix and it was not that good — too beany tasting. I’m sure you could go the rice flour-potato starch-tapioca-xanthan gum route and make that from scratch. Do you know that method?

  13. I have to say you are a miracle worker! 🙂 somehow your recipies and the way you explain them, the fact that you use such healthy ingredients and also knowing that you are there for us every step of the way has made me actually cook for the first time in my life! I can’t even recognize myself:)!!! Anyway, I just finished making the muffins (I decided to make it into muffins instead of bread) and they are SOOO good, I can’t even believe it myself. I did add a few little ingredients for health. I put rice protein and also groud flaxseed. I was a little nervous but it didn’t seem to affect the outcome at all. Can’t wait to try your other recipies:) on this thanks giving holiday, not just me but my whole family THANKS YOU:):):)

    • I’m so happy you’re here, Vivianne, and that you found your inner cook! Please keep me posted on your adventures in the kitchen!

  14. Is this bread a healthy option? Looks delicious!

    • Well, I can make the argument that it’s a more healthful option than a piece of cake or most of the other zucchini bread options out there which contain white flour and tons of refined sugar. But if you’re comparing this recipe to kale salad, I would say the kale is more healthful. One thing is for sure — it IS delicious!

  15. Hi Pamela, my name is Cynthia. I am a huge fan of this website, it is very helpful, and everyone in my family loves it as well! I just did zucchini bread and no blueberries, and it was delicious! Thank you for teaching me how to cook through this website, it has really helped me!

    • Welcome, Cynthia! So glad you found me. Keep cooking!

  16. I made this recipe using Ener G egg substitute and it was a hit with my entire family. Delicious, Thanks!

    • Thanks Sharla! I hadn’t tested the recipe yet to be egg-free. Glad it turned out well!

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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