Healthiest Vegan Zucchini Bread
This take on a classic incorporates low fat ingredients, whole wheat, and is refined sugar free! Not to mention adds vegetables to dessert. With all these
aspects, this really is the ultimate guilt free option for a dessert. I am going to continue to play around with this recipe, so maybe one day I'll have a gluten free recipe (that's not just gluten free flour, because I am sure you could just substitute that in this recipe), but for now this recipe really exceeded my expectations, and will definitely be a reoccurring dessert for me.
I want to dive into what makes this dessert super healthy a little more before getting to the recipe. ALSO HUGE DISCLAIMER I AM NOT A DIETITIAN OR NUTRITIONIST, JUST A NERD WHOLE READS A LOT. First of, obviously incorporating any type of vegetable into a dessert is going to make it "healthier", so zucchini gives us that wonderful combination. Zucchini is a low calorie, high nutrient vegetable. Zucchini contains high levels of Vitamin A (good for eye health) as well as Vitamin C ( which is needed to form and activate collagen (Yay for beauty benefits) and the overall health of connective tissues, such as bones, skin, cartilage, gum health etc. AND increases absorption of iron). Zucchini also contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which is a golden ticket to overall health. More and more studies are coming out that are making the connection of fiber and overall health crystal clear, so whenever I love incorporating more fiber into my diet whenever possible!
Next is walnuts. Growing up walnuts used to be my least favorite nut, but as I've gotten older I have grown to absolutely love a good nutty bread. Walnuts are a great food to incorporate into your diet because; the most obvious reason being they are super high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is something most people are lacking in their diet. Omega-3's are important because they have been shown to slow mental decline and help with stabilizing mood. Walnuts are also good for heart health, a study by the British Journal of Nutrition "found that those who consumed nuts more than four times a week reduced their risk of coronary heart disease by as much as 37 per cent". Another great benefit of walnuts, and honestly all nuts, is that even though they are calorie high foods, eating in MODERATION does not cause weight gain!
Next is the beloved spice cinnamon. First things first is the benefit of having just an amazing flavor. Cinnamon has been one of my favorite flavors pretty much my whole life, so adding it to this bread was a no brainer. Cinnamon is known for having a high amount of antioxidants, which fight the damage by free radicals in your body. Cinnamon also has a high amount of anti inflammatory compounds, these are great for anyone struggling with a chronic inflammatory issue. Cinnamon can also lower your cholesterol, and reduce risk for diabetes, and lower blood sugar levels. There are tons more benefits, that you can read about in the books, and websites I will attach at the bottom.
Another great healthy substitute that I have been absolutely obsessed with recently is replacing both oil, sugar, and butter. Apples are low calorie, high fiber filled with vitamin A and C (as well as smaller amounts of many others) and are really good for gut health. Obviously some of these benefits are lost in the processing, and form loss of the apple, but it is still BY FAR way healthier to use in place of butter, oil, or sugar.
The remaining ingredients, are still healthy, and health promoting, but for this post I'll keep it short, and just focus on those.
MAKES 4 MINI LOAFS OR 1 REGULAR
TOTAL TIME: 50 MINUTES
- 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
-1 Large Zucchini
-1 Cup Apple Sauce
-3/4 Cup Walnuts
-1/2 Cup Plant Milk (I use almond)
-2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
-3 Tablespoons Date Syrup (can be made homemade)
-2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
-1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
Begin with preheating your oven to 350.
Next you will need to sift together all your dry ingredients in a large bowl(expect walnuts)
Now take your zucchini and shred with a cheese grater. It is up to you if you want it to be small shreds, or large. I go for the larger, because I enjoy the texture it gives the bread.
Combine applesauce and plant milk with the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
Add the date syrup to the mix, and continue to stir.
Finally combine the walnuts to the mix.
Lastly pour batter into sprayed pans, and bake for about 40 minutes. Poking holes from time to time to check how it's cooking.
Let cool before serving, and enjoy your extremely healthy treat :)
SPECIAL PRODUCTS USED:
Greger, Michael, and Gene Stone. How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. Pan Books, 2018.
Greger, Michael. How Not to Diet: the Groundbreaking Science of Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss. Flatiron Books, 2019.