I am going to try go right ahead and say it, this is my favorite bread recipe that I've ever baked and I am so excited to share this with you all! This paleo chocolate zucchini bread is super moist, light, fudgy, and sweetened with just a touch of maple syrup! It makes the perfect (healthy) breakfast, afternoon snack or whenever the chocolate craving hits. You are seriously going to question the fact that there is zucchini hiding in each bite you take. Basically you feel like you are eating a chocolate fudge loaf, but are secretly still getting a healthy dose of vegetables at the same time. There is a god. Make this for your friends or family and they will never know, it can be our little secret.
The idea for this recipe came from the fact that I had a drawer full of zucchini that I needed to use. I was a little aggressive you could say the other week at the market and bought 10 or so large zucchini's but with no plans of what I was going to do with them. I couldn't eat anymore zoodles or zucchini chips, so I thought I would try making some zucchini bread. I had first tried zucchini bread many years ago from my aunt and was completely skeptical at first, but fell in love with it because it was so moist and flavorful! I can't stand it when baked goods or breads are dry or taste as if they are a few days old, but I feel that you never have that experience with zucchini breads or muffins because of the amount of water that the vegetable naturally contains!
Also, even thought I do not follow a paleo diet, I have been experimenting lately with coconut flour and wanted to see how it would work in this recipe! I stay away from wheat flour, I thought almond flour would be too dense, and eat enough oats in the morning so I didn't want to use oat flour, so coconut flour it was! My favorite brand of coconut flour is from BetterBodyFoods and used it for this recipe, as well as their coconut oil and vanilla! I also love how coconut flour is low glycemix, low in carbs, but high in fiber, and doesn't make anything taste overly coconutty.
The chocolate zucchini bread is extremely easy to make and surprisingly pretty filling without weighing you down! I believe this is from the fiber content in the coconut flour, the coconut oil, and the protein from the amount of eggs that I used. I have found that you tend to need to use more moisture when you are using coconut flour, so it may seem that you are using too many eggs, but trust me, it was the perfect amount in terms of texture. I also decided to add a little cinnamon and nutmeg to the batter to enhance the flavor. It gives the chocolate zucchini bread such a sweet yet spicy, warm, nutty flavor and really comes through when you first bite into the bread. Nutmeg does have a very strong flavor, so I did only use a little bit! If you have more of a sweet tooth you may want to add more maple syrup but I think it came out fine just the way it is! It isn't overly sweet- just the perfect touch. I haven't tested it with honey or agave, so please let me know if you do! Also, the chocolate zucchini bread can be of course, made plain, but cacao powder has so many health benefits and well it's chocolate, so is there really an argument against it?
With only 11 ingredients you can prepare this in less than 10 minutes by throwing it all in your blender, mixing it up, and pouring the batter in a greased pan. The hardest part is waiting the 45 minutes for it to bake in the oven!
Yields: 1 standard loaf size (9inch x 5 inch)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 & 1/2 cup zucchini (grated; about 2 medium zucchinis)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp. vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Either grease a 9x5 pan with coconut oil or line it with parchment paper. (I used parchment paper, makes for easier clean up as well!)
2. Grate the zucchini and set aside to let some of the moisture release while you are preparing the remainder of the ingredients.
3. In a large mixing bowl or your blender (I used my Vitamix!) whisk together the maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla. Blend on low or whisk until well combined.
4. Slowly incorporate the coconut flour, cacao powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt. Mix until well combined.
5. Last, add the grated zucchini to the batter and mix. The batter will be very thick. Stir in any additional optional add-ins here!
6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and gently smooth on top.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. I checked mine after 35 minutes and then decided it needed another 8-10 minutes! Let it cool for 30 minutes, if you can!