Food

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread: A Healthier Sweet Treat

Coming up with healthy after-school snacks (that my kids want to eat) can be a challenge in my house. I have had to explain to my kids – repeatedly – that cookies aren’t snacks, but desserts.

I actually had my kids make a list of acceptable (for both parties) after-school snacks that we posted on the fridge. The list includes apples with peanut butter, yogurt, granola bars, popcorn, carrots and hummus, PB&J or turkey sandwiches, and bagels with cream cheese or peanut butter. Now, when they come home from school and inevitably ask “What can I have to eat?” I just tell them to look at the list.

On my quest for healthy after-school snacks, I made this Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread and it has been added to the sanctioned snack list. Even though I usually think of zucchini bread as a summertime baked good, zucchini is, of course, available year round.

This quick bread is incredibly moist and I used a combination of applesauce and vegetable oil to cut down on the fat content. I’ll cut up the loaf and pop individually-wrapped slices in the freezer for easy after-school snacking.

This is an incredibly simple recipe. You shred 2 cups of zucchini (one large or two small ones) and press down with a paper towel to soak up some of the liquid. Whisk together your dry ingredients, add the sugar and wet ingredients, and mix. Next, you add the zucchini and chocolate chips, transfer to a prepared bread pan, and bake for an hour or so. Easy peasy.

This bread is so moist you need to let it cool completely before eating it (a good exercise in self-control!). If you dig in while it’s still hot or even warm, you will think it’s underdone. Once it’s cool, it’s perfect. Happy snacking!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread 

Ingredients

2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 large or 2 small)

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1/2 cup applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and flour an 8″ x 4″ x 2 1/2″  loaf pan and set aside.

2. Use a towel or paper towels to slightly press down on the shredded zucchini to eliminate some of the moisture. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the brown sugar, eggs, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix to combine. Stir in the zucchini, then fold in the chocolate chips. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

4. Let the bread cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before serving. Don’t skip the cooling process – the bread will appear underdone if you slice and serve while it’s still warm.

Wanna keep baking? Try:

A Simple Chocolate Souffle 
Classic Snickerdoodles
Nutella Banana Bread

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