Banana zucchini bread is a moist, lightly sweetened zucchini bread filled with crunchy walnuts. It's a great way to use up leftover bananas and zucchini!
If you enjoy banana bread, you'll want to give this banana zucchini bread a try. It's lightly sweetened, moist, and filled with crunchy walnuts - you won't even notice the added zucchini inside!
Shredded zucchini and banana help add moisture and structure to this quick bread recipe. Because of this, can reduce some of the higher calorie ingredients like oil and eggs. Plus, they add nutrients like Vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants.
Serve banana zucchini bread for breakfast with your morning coffee, or enjoy as a lightened up dessert. If you like this recipe, you may also enjoy my applesauce zucchini bread or chocolate chip banana zucchini bread recipes.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Zucchini - You'll need one cup of finely grated zucchini (before squeezing out the liquid). We're squeezing the liquid out of the zucchini because we're also adding bananas and don't want to add too much moisture (which causes your bread to be gummy). One cup of shredded zucchini should weigh about 135 grams before, and about 70 grams after squeezing the liquid out. This equals about 1 medium or 1.5 small zucchini. Zucchini can also be substituted with yellow summer squash if desired.
- Bananas - Ripe, medium-sized, several days old bananas work best in banana bread. Bananas sweeten as they age, adding extra sweetness to your bread. They're also softer and easier to incorporate into the batter.
- Sugars - We're using a combination or granulated and brown sugars in this recipe.
- Vegetable oil - Adds moisture to your bread. Can be substituted with ghee or any neutral cooking oil you have on hand.
- Egg - You'll only need one egg for this recipe today, since the banana and zucchini help add structure to our bread.
- Vanilla extract - Adds depth of flavor. Can be omitted if desired.
- All-purpose flour - Adds structure to your bread and balances out the wet ingredients in the recipe. I have not tested this recipe with other types of flour. Baking is an exact science, so I can't say for sure whether other types of flour will work as a substitute.
- Leavening - You'll need a combination of baking soda and baking powder to get the proper rise in this recipe.
- Cinnamon - Adds a hint of warmth and depth of flavor to your bread.
- Salt - Enhances the flavor of your bread.
- Walnuts - Walnuts add a bit of crunch and texture to your banana bread. They can be omitted if desired, or substituted with pecans.
Zucchini in bread
You may be wondering, "what is the purpose of zucchini in bread?" Because zucchini has a mild flavor, it can be added to baking recipes without adding extra flavor. What it does add is moisture, structure, and extra nutrients. This allows us to reduce other high calorie ingredients slightly, like vegetable oil and eggs.
For more information, check out my post: benefits of zucchini.
Should I peel my zucchini?
No, there's no need to peel your zucchini before shredding it for zucchini bread. The skin of the zucchini contains fiber and other nutrients you'd otherwise be missing out on by peeling it off.
Once your bread is baked, the only sign of zucchini will be the tiny flecks of green throughout. Otherwise, the zucchini, skin included, melts right into the bread.
How to shred zucchini
Zucchini can be shredded in a few ways. For baked goods, I always recommend using the small side of a box grater for a fine grate. Finely grated zucchini melts seamlessly into baked goods, with the only sign of zucchini being the tiny green flecks.
The large side of a box grater also works, but will add a noticeable texture to your baked bread.
Some food processors also come with grating blades, which work well for grating large quantities of zucchini. They'll give you the same result as a box grater would, but faster.
For even more detailed information, check out my post: How to shred zucchini
Banana zucchini bread can be stored at room temperature for 3 to 4 days in a tightly sealed container.
If, for some reason, your banana zucchini bread turns out extremely moist, I'd suggest storing it in the refrigerator. Zucchini bread will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week in a tightly sealed container.
Zucchini bread can also be frozen for up to 6 months in a tightly sealed, freezer-safe container. To thaw a whole loaf, place on the countertop for up to 3 hours to bring to room temperature. Single slices will thaw in about 1 hour or less.
Banana Zucchini Bread
- 1 cup (135 g) finely grated zucchini, after measuring, squeeze liquid out*
- 2 medium bananas, very ripe
- ½ cup (106 g) brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (66 g) vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (56 g) chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease one 9x5 loaf pan (or line with parchment paper) and set aside.
- Measure 1 cup (135 grams) of grated zucchini. Place zucchini into a few layers of paper towels, or a kitchen towel, and gently squeeze over the sink to remove excess liquid. Zucchini should measure about 70 grams afterward.
- In a large bowl, add peeled bananas. Mash with a fork or a hand mixer. Add remaining wet ingredients: zucchini, brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix, or stir, until incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, add dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to remove clumps. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Add chopped walnuts and stir to combine.
- Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, OR until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with crumbs, or bread pops back when pressed gently on top. (baking times will vary based on your oven and type of pan used).
- Allow bread to cool completely on the counter before removing from pan and slicing.
- Measure 1 cup (135 grams) of finely grated zucchini, then squeeze liquid out (70 grams) before adding to the batter.
- Leftover banana zucchini bread will keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. If your bread is very moist/wet, I recommend refrigerating.
- Banana bread can be frozen for up to 6 months. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap/foil and store in a freezer safe bag or container. Thaw on the counter top for 1 to 3 hours.
- Walnuts can be omitted or substituted with pecans or chocolate chips.