Have you ever had a well-meaning neighbor or co-worker beg you to take some zucchini off their hands? It’s happened to me many times…and now…guess what?? I’ve turned into a zucchini-pusher myself!
Yup. We’re quickly reaching zucchini overload here in our small raised vegetable beds in New Hampshire. This is the first time we’ve had such a prolific harvest, so I wasn’t quite prepared. We tried to share some with family and friends, of course…but they mostly tried to dodge us. I recognized their subtle moves and polite “thank you’s.”
So here we are…making zucchini bread and searching for zucchini muffin recipes! At least we can freeze baked goods and spread out the bounty over the next three months. [If you’re curious, check out Why Your Zucchini Plant Produces So Much. Guess what? You only need one plant to produce 8 to 10 pounds of zucchini!]
A Healthier Version of Zucchini Bread
The recipe I’m sharing today is a little different than your average zucchini bread, which often has all-purpose white flour and lots of sugar. This healthier Lemon Zucchini Bread, on the other hand, isn’t too sweet and has a nice little lemon zing. It’s made with nutrient-rich almond flour, has no refined sugar, and is great for a snack, breakfast or dessert.
If you like lemon as much as I do, then be sure to check out Lemon Chia Oat Muffins, too.
Where the Lemon Zucchini Bread Recipe Originated
I can’t take credit for this delicious recipe. I found it on Olena Osipov’s blog, www.irealfood.com and didn’t change a thing from the original recipe. Be sure to check out her excellent blog which has an FAQ on this recipe plus over 240 comments from visitors. You can learn a lot there!
A Quick Primer on Almond Flour
First, you should definitely use almond flour in this recipe. You simply won’t get the same results if you try to substitute all-purpose or whole wheat flour. [I didn’t test this myself; this comes straight from Olena, but it makes perfect sense. Each type of flour has different properties and requires different ratios of wet to dry ingredients for baking success.]
Be sure you’re using almond flour and not almond meal. Almond flour is typically made from blanched (peeled) almonds that are ground fine, while almond meal includes the skins.
When using almond flour, you’ll notice your baked goods will be flatter and denser — because it has no gluten. This means almond flour is a great option for people with celiac disease or wheat intolerance.
As a brief nutrition comparison, almond flour is much lower in carbs than wheat flours, but higher in fat. It makes up for the extra calories by offering more nutrients than wheat flour — including a good amount of vitamin E, manganese, magnesium and fiber.
Finally, it’s important to measure the almond flour correctly, using the spoon and level method. If you use too much flour, this Lemon Zucchini bread will turn out too dense. Basically, instead of scooping flour out of the bag, you need to aerate the flour a bit with a spoon first; lightly overfill your measuring cup using the spoon and then level it off with the back of a knife.
So let’s get baking, shall we? This bread is lemony, moist and simple to make!
Lemon Zucchini Bread
Store this moist Lemon Zucchini Bread covered in a cool, dry place for up to five days or freeze it in an airtight container for up to three months.
3 large eggs
1 large lemon, zest and juice
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey (I used honey)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup zucchini (grated; do not squeeze out moisture)
3 1/3 cups almond flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a non-stick 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray. Alternatively, I used three mini-loaf pans (about 2.25 x 5-inch) each.
- Grate a zucchini (unpeeled), using the medium-sized holes on a grater. Set aside.
- Zest a large lemon and then juice it.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the first seven ingredients — from the eggs to the salt. The mixture will be frothy.
- Add grated zucchini and flour, mixing in gently with a spatula to combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake for 50 minutes (for 9×5 loaf) or 25-35 minutes for mini-loaves. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Transfer the cooked bread to a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes. Let cool for a minimum of 20 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!
- Oven temperatures vary, so be sure to check the bread while baking. Especially if you are using smaller pans, you’ll want to watch the breads carefully and remove them when the edges are lightly browned, the top is springy and most importantly, the toothpick test comes out clean.