It’s zucchini season, and there’s no end to it in my garden. The solution is this moist and luscious Chocolate Zucchini Bread. (Yes, those are MY teeth marks on the first slice!) I guarantee it will stir your taste buds, and send an enchanting message right downstairs to your heart. With so many nutritious ingredients, it’s good for your body too! The flavor is similar to Paleo Pumpkin Bread or Sweet Potato Bread, but infinitely sexier…
This is a low-carb, Paleo bread that’s gluten-free and grain-free, with natural, zero-sugar sweeteners that won’t affect your blood sugar. The recipe allows you to sweeten to your own taste by tasting the batter at the end. What level of sweetness do you prefer? A low level of sweetness indicates a healthy metabolism, however many of us are used to a high level of sweetness. So you can choose your preferred sweetness: Level 1 is low, Level 2 is medium, and Level 3 is high. That’s giving you a lot of power to control your own flavors, so let me know your comments.
Honey is a true Paleo sweetener, however I don’t use it much as it’s almost as high in sugars and carbs as cane sugar! That’s why honey causes blood sugar to spike, setting up a vicious cycle that de-stabilizes the metabolism for the whole day, and is especially bad for children. With an epidemic of obesity and diabetes related to sugar consumption, I’ve taken myself off honey.
What about stevia? I recently discovered that stevia is highly refined with chemicals, which is not Paleo at all. The chemical taste of stevia powder or drops doesn’t sit well with me. A true Paleo option is unprocessed green stevia powder, however many people dislike its lingering aftertaste. In this recipe I’m using a new Lo Han sweetener called Lo Han Pure by Swanson. It’s a safe, natural sweetener from Monk Fruit and is zero-glycemic with zero calories, to give your blood sugar a break. (This is a REAL find!) Lo Han Pure is about 2x as sweet as sugar, so I used half of the normal amount, and it was delicious. Another sweetener option is Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root. Or use your preferred sweetener.
This Chocolate Zucchini Bread is tree-nut optional, for those or you that have allergies. If that’s YOU, to make it tree nut-free, use arrowroot instead of almond meal; use coconut butter for the nut butter; and omit the nuts in the last step. Hooray! A food processor is needed to grind the shredded coconut. A digital scale is helpful to weigh the zucchini, but not required. Makes 3 delicious mini loaves 4.5 x 2.5 x 2, or one 9 x 9-inch square pan.
Look what I found in my garden! A GIANT zucchini hidden under the leaves.
Guess what I made out of it?
- 1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut flakes (not coconut flour)
- 1/4 cup almond meal or arrowroot powder
- 1/3 cup pure cacao powder, or 1/2 cup unsweetened cacao nibs, or 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate in 1/2-inch chunks.
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon and a little more unprocessed salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon decaffeinated coffee crystals, optional for a deep mocha flavor.
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- Zest of 1/2 orange or lemon
- 2 inches fresh ginger root, chopped or grated (20 grams), or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup almond butter or your favorite nut butter (coconut butter is ok too, particularly if you’re tree-nut intolerant)
- 250 grams raw zucchini, in 1/2-inch chunks. That’s about 1 cup. Look for organic zucchini, which is non-GMO.
- 4 tablespoons Paleo sweetener. Taste the batter and sweeten to taste. (I used 2 tablespoons Lo Han Pure, which is about 2x as sweet as sugar. Or use 4 tablespoons Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root), or your favorite sweetener.
- 1 1/2 cups nuts, soaked and toasted if possible (See All About Nuts.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 3 small loaf pans covered with parchment paper and handles on each side for easy removal. I use office clips to hold paper in place on the sides.
- In a dry food processor, add shredded coconut, chocolate or cacao, almond meal or arrowroot, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and coffee crystals, if using. Process well. Spin it for a full minute. Open the processor to redistribute the flakes, then spin again. It's important to grind the shredded coconut and chocolate into a fine flour.
- To the ingredients already in the food processor, add the eggs, zest, ginger, vanilla, vinegar, nut butter, and raw zucchini. Process again very well until liquefied.
- Taste the batter (Yum!) and add sweetener to taste. You'll need this total amount of sweetener: Level 1: 2 tablespoons Lo Han Sweetener or 1/2 cup Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener), or equivalent. Level 2: 3/4 cup Just Like Sugar or equivalent. Level 3: 1 cup sweetener. Process well until you’re satisfied with the sweetness level.
- Add nuts and pulse them in very briefly so they remain in chunks.
- Pour batter into 3 prepared pans. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Test for doneness when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan on a rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate for quicker cooling. This bread is a little easier to slice when it's cooled.