A moist and decadent chocolate bread made healthier by adding a generous amount of shredded zucchini, this can be eaten as a snack, for breakfast or even dessert. Topped with chocolate chips and almond flakes, this chocolate zucchini bread is every bit as delicious as it is pretty!
Baking healthy, quick breads on a Friday evening is my sure-fire way to ensure that we have a quick but delicious breakfast waiting for us on lazy Saturday mornings. Add a hot cup of tea, toast, maybe some eggs, and that’s the perfect start to the weekend. I do like a big Indian breakfast like this one or American classics like this one (homemade waffles and syrup, anyone?), but some days, I take certain shortcuts. And hey, if the shortcut means you get to have this for breakfast, nobody complains!
It looks like a chocolate loaf cake, it even has a bit of chocolate chips and flaked almonds on top. But let me tell you, this loaf is absolutely healthy and delicious. No point in it being healthy if it isn’t equally delicious to eat and pretty to look at.
And what is the secret ingredient that makes this loaf healthy? Zucchini, and lots of it! Zucchini was a vegetable I was introduced to here in the States and I absolutely fell in love with it. It is mild enough so that you can use it in any way you like. I eat it raw in salads and raita, make stir fries, toss it in noodles, add to curries, make into fritters, and lots more. And now, I can add dessert/snack/breakfast bread to the list. The coming zucchini season aka summer is the best time to indulge in this healthy ingredient.
Would you believe me if I said this chocolate bread is eggless and butter-free as well? No kidding. The zucchini does a super job of keeping the loaf moist and tender, you absolutely do not need either butter or eggs. Yogurt and a bit of oil together will give just the right amount of fat needed for the batter to rise. You can add nuts and chocolate chips into the batter or layer them on top for a beautiful speckled effect.
As with any ‘cake’ made with cocoa powder and oil, this bread keeps well in the refrigerator for many days. It stays moist and soft with the perfect crumb, making this an ideal snack/breakfast/sneaky-healthy dessert!
- Flour - 1⅓ cups (I used a combo of all-purpose and whole-wheat flours)
- Unsweetened cocoa powder - ⅔ cup
- Salt - ¼ tsp
- Baking powder - 1½ tsp
- Baking soda - ½ tsp
- Vegetable oil - ½ cup
- Sugar - ¾ cup
- Yogurt - ½ cup
- Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
- Zucchini - 1½ cups, grated
- Chocolate chips - ¼ cup
- Almond flakes - ¼ cup
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg.F. Line a 9"x5" loaf pan with parchment paper or foil and set aside.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, using an electric beater, cream the oil and sugar together. Add yogurt and beat on high for 2 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Add grated zucchini to this and mix well.
- Tip in the dry ingredients and fold in carefully till just combined. The batter will be thick.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle chocolate chips and almond flakes evenly on top of the batter. Bake for 50-60 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then remove bread to a wire rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container when completely cooled. Serve bread slices warm or cold with a cup of milk, coffee or tea.
This quick bread is great to pack and take while traveling.
If the bread is not done after 50 minutes and you see that the top is rapidly browning, loosely tent the pan with foil and continue to bake till done.
You can bake the batter as cupcakes/muffins too. Check for doneness around 15-18 minutes.
A gorgeous, delicious and healthy chocolate zucchini bread is just what you need to banish those early morning blues away. Enjoy fat slices of this chocolate bread with hot cups of coffee or tea and warm milk (or chocolate milk!) for the little ones.
You can make this recipe without the chocolate chips and almonds, but they add a lovely texture and flavor to this already delicious chocolate bread. Not to mention, it makes the loaf so pretty to look at. Isn’t that important when it comes to good food?!
What is your lazy day breakfast trick? I usually make banana bread, but sometimes I like to indulge in a dark, chocolatey loaf. Do share any recipes you have.
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