Chocolate Chip Paleo Zucchini Bread
I am a sucker for a good deal, which is probably why we are stocked with enough zucchini to feed a family of raccoons. One more trip to the farmers market, where zucchini the size of my torso go for as little as $1, and we’re going to need a second refrigerator. My latest solution to handle our surplus: Chocolate Chip Paleo Zucchini Bread.
Moist and decadent like a cake, but made from healthy ingredients, naturally sweetened, and dairy free + grain free + gluten free, this Chocolate Chip Paleo Zucchini Bread expertly toes the line between best-behaved and forgivably-naughty. Appropriately enough, this is exactly how I’ve felt about myself over the past few weeks.
Unlike the majority of our downtown-dwelling friends, Ben and I live in the suburbs. It’s not a far drive from the city, and I am more than willing to make the trek, which if you follow my personal Instagram account or Snapchat (wellplated), you have no doubt witnessed. Between street festivals, dinners with friends, and an epic Bachelorette season finale watch (WHY DID SHE PICK JORDAN?), over the past weeks, I’ve found myself out downtown into the late hours, and wishing that I could just Uber home in five minutes, instead of needing to face the highway haul.
In other words, I want all of the chocolate and none of the zucchini.
But then, Sunday night comes, and there is nowhere else I’d rather be in than in my kitchen, cooking dinner for Ben and myself to enjoy on our porch. We’ve skipped brunch earlier in the day to do housework, which I enjoy in its own, odd way. Spending a few hours working on the house together makes me feel more invested in our home, as if we are building (or at least maintaining) something permanent and stable.
Now, give me all of the zucchini and none of the chocolate.
In reality, I want both. I yearn for a care-free city life, where it’s easy to stay out late, and there’s no lawn to mow. Simultaneously, I desire a comfortable home with a back porch and space for guests…and my collection of kitchen appliances.
The answer, I suspect, is somewhere in between.
Which is exactly why I baked a loaf of the most wholesome, healthy paleo zucchini bread, then dumped an entire load of dark chocolate on top.
Although I’m not following a paleo diet, lately I’ve been experimenting with coconut flour, which is high in fiber, low in carbs, and an excellent alternative for anyone who is sensitive to grains or following a paleo diet themselves. I used it to make these Cookie Dough Protein Balls, and I’m loving baking with it too. It’s the secret ingredient that makes this Paleo Zucchini Bread so rich and filling.
Coconut flour does require a seemingly excessive amount of moisture to bake properly, so in addition to the shredded zucchini, I added a mashed ripe banana, which both makes this Paleo Zucchini Bread incredibly soft and sweetens it naturally. The rest of the zucchini bread’s moisture comes from a touch of coconut oil, pure maple syrup, and six whole eggs, which might sound like far too many, but all are necessary. Although I was astonished at the final amount, I ended up loving how much protein they added, and the final texture of the paleo zucchini bread was spectacular.
Although you could keep this paleo zucchini bread entirely on the healthy side by omitting the chocolate, I highly doubt you will regret keeping it. You certainly won’t regret saving the biggest chunks to sprinkle over the top. When the Paleo Zucchini Bread is warm, they soften into shiny pools of chocolate bliss and infuse every bite with just the right amount of indulgence.
Tools I used to make this recipe:
Chocolate Chip Paleo Zucchini Bread
Ultra moist paleo zucchini bread made with coconut flour, naturally sweetened with banana, and loaded with chocolate chips. Even if you aren’t following a paleo diet, you’ll love this recipe!
Yield: 8x8-inch pan—9 large or 16 small pieces
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes (plus time to cool)
- 1 cup shredded zucchini (from about 1 medium zucchini)
- 6 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 large ripe banana, mashed
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (I like to use Grade B, which has a more intense flavor)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup coconut flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into chunks or dark chocolate chips (to keep the bread completely paleo, use a dairy-free chocolate such as Enjoy Life)
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven 350F. Line a 8×8-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper, allowing some to hang over two sides. Set aside.
- Place the shredded zucchini between two paper towels and press out as much water as possible. You can also place it over a sieve and press a paper towel on the top to dry it. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mash the banana, then briskly whisk in the eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Sprinkle in the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt, then stir until evenly combined. The batter will be very thick. Stir in the shredded, dried zucchini, then fold in 2/3 of the chocolate. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining third of the chocolate on top.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden and firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then using the parchment overhang as “handles,” remove the bread from the pan to cool completely.
- This bread is on the less-sweet side. If you prefer additional sweetness, add an additional tablespoon of maple syrup.
- Store leftovers at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Coconut flour has very particular baking qualities and cannot be substituted.
Serving Size: 1 (of 16)
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 124
- Total Fat: 8g
- Saturated Fat: 5g
- Cholesterol: 44mg
- Sodium: 70mg
- Carbohydrates: 11g
- Fiber: 3g
- Sugar: 5g
- Protein: 4g