Grain Free Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

By Lilian Dikmans

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This Grain Free Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread is sweet, moist and dairy-free. It tastes super decadent, like a rich chocolate cake. You would never know it contains a hidden vegetable!

Zucchini bread is a great alternative to banana bread. If you don’t like the taste of bananas, or can’t eat them, give this recipe a try. Similar to the role of bananas in banana bread, the zucchini in this recipe gives the bread a beautiful moist texture.

Since zucchini isn’t sweet, I use pure maple syrup as the sweetener in this recipe. You could use another liquid sweetener like honey or rice malt syrup if you prefer. Just keep in mind that rice malt syrup is less sweet than maple syrup, so substituting rice malt syrup will make the bread less sweet.

Grain Free Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Zucchini bread fresh from the oven

Being grain-free, I use almond meal and eggs in this recipe to hold everything together. I find that blanched almond meal, also known as almond flour, gives the best texture. But whole almond meal should also work.

I love to make this zucchini bread when I feel like chocolate cake. It tastes sweet and chocolatey enough to satisfy the craving, but it’s made with more real food ingredients and less processed ingredients.

Granted, the recipe does include chocolate chips. Maple syrup is also technically processed. But my general philosophy when it comes to nutrition is to focus on eating nutrient-dense foods, while not becoming too obsessive or restrictive. I also want my sweets to taste good!

Baking zucchini bread recipes

When baking with zucchini, it’s important to follow the recipe carefully for best results. This is because zucchini contains a lot of moisture.

Some recipes will have you grate the zucchini and then squeeze out as much moisture as possible before adding it to the mixture. Other recipes will allow you to add the grated zucchini without squeezing because the other ingredinets soak up the excess moisture.

Slicing up Grain Free Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Slice up the zucchini bread and freeze any leftovers

It really depends on how the recipe has been developed. If a recipe calls for squeezing and you skip this step, you may end up with soggy zucchini bread!

When squeezing is required, I use a simple method that makes it as easy as possible:

  1. Lay out a few sheets of absorbent kitchen paper towel, then grate the zucchini across the sheets. You want the zucchini to form a thin layer across the sheets.
  2. Place another few sheets on top, then press down so the towel absorbs the excess moisture.
  3. Scoop up the squeezed, grated zucchini and measure it out to use in the recipe.

You can also squeeze grated zucchini by hand, or leave it to drain in a colander. But hand squeezing can be messy, and leaving the zucchini to drain takes time.

If you’re after a savoury zucchini recipe, you might like to try my Buckwheat Zucchini Muffins. In that recipe, you don’t have to squeeze the grated zucchini because the buckwheat flour absorbs any excess moisture.

Ingredients for Grain Free Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Zucchini: Since we’re making zucchini bread! It gives a moist texture and you won’t taste it. See above for how I squeeze out the excess moisture before adding it to the recipe.

Cashew butter: I like to use cashew butter here because it has a creamy, neutral flavour. You could use almond butter or another nut butter if you prefer.

Maple syrup: To sweeten the zucchini bread. You could use honey or rice malt syrup if you prefer. Just remember that rice malt syrup is less sweet than maple syrup, so using rice malt syrup will make the bread less sweet.

Coconut oil: To keep the zucchini bread dairy free. It also adds a subtle sweetness. You could use melted butter if you prefer.

Free-range eggs: To bind everything together. I haven’t tested the recipe with an egg substitute, but would love to hear if you try that out.

Blanched almond meal: Also known as almond flour, blanched almond meal is made from almonds that have had the skins removed. I find that it gives the best texture, but you could use whole almond meal if that’s all you have.

Ingredients for Grain Free Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Zucchini, eggs, cashew butter, raw cacao powder, blanched almond meal, maple syrup, coconut oil, dark chocolate chips, baking powder and sea salt

Raw cacao powder: For the first chocolate element. You can use cocoa powder if you prefer.

Baking powder: To give the zucchini bread a lighter texture.

Fine sea salt: To enhance the flavours. I highly recommend that you do not skip it!

Dark chocolate chips: For the second chocolate element. Dark chocolate chips sometimes contain dairy (milk solids), so if you’re strictly dairy free, check the ingredients.

Serves
10 slices

Prep time
15 mins

Cook time
55-60 mins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (125g) cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup (120ml/144g) maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (60ml/54g) coconut oil, melted
  • 2 medium free-range eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (100g) grated and squeezed zucchini (see notes below)
  • 1 3/4 cup (168g) blanched almond meal
  • 1/4 cup (23g) raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (150g) dark chocolate chips

Method

  • 1
    Preheat your oven to 160°C fan-forced / 180°C / 350°F and line a 10cm x 20cm loaf tin with baking paper.
  • 2
    Mix the cashew butter, maple syrup and melted coconut oil together in a large mixing bowl. Add the room temperature eggs and mix until well combined.
  • 3
    Add the grated and squeezed zucchini, almond meal, cacao powder, baking powder and sea salt. Fold everything together until just combined. Then fold through half of the chocolate chips.
  • 4
    Pour the mixture into the lined tin. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top.
  • 5
    Bake in the preheated oven, in the centre of the middle rack, for 55-60 minutes or until a skewer or knife inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
  • 6
    Allow to cool completely before slicing. See notes below about freezing any leftovers!

Notes

You’ll need about 150g whole zucchini to get 100g (3/4 cup) of ‘grated and squeezed’ zucchini. I grate the zucchini across a few sheets of kitchen towel, place another few sheets on top, then press down so the towel absorbs the water.

Make sure your eggs are at room temperature. If they are cold from the fridge, the coconut oil will harden and form lumps. To quickly get fridge-cold eggs to room temperature, place them in a glass of warm water for a few minutes.

You can freeze the loaf in slices, then defrost in the fridge or warm up from frozen in the microwave or oven. I wrap each slice individually or separate the slices with some baking paper for easy removal.

Nutrition

Serving size: 1 slice (made with 70% cocoa dark chocolate chips)
Energy: 1658kJ (396Cal)
Protein: 9.6g
Total Fat: 30.8g
Saturated Fat: 13g
Total Carbohydrate: 23.1g
Sugars: 15.4g
Dietary Fibre: 2.9g
Sodium: 184mg
Potassium: 172mg

Nutrition information is an estimate only. It may vary depending on the brand of ingredients used.

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Author

Lilian Dikmans

Lilian Dikmans is an Australian model, Muay Thai fighter and founder of Real Food Healthy Body

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