Zucchini Bread, Lightened Up

I get a bit nervous when it comes to “lightening up” recipes since I’ve had both successes and (massive) failures in doing so. Most memorably, there was the time I substituted in whole wheat flour for all-purpose when I was making doughnut holes. The result? An all-too enlightening discovery that doughnut batter can actually take on the color and texture of charred Cheetos.

All slip-ups aside, this healthier version of Paula Deen’s Zucchini Bread is a definite hit. I’d been craving just a taste of something sweet and carbo-loaded, so I followed the hundreds of FoodNetwork.com reader comments and subbed in some healthier ingredients like apple sauce for oil and Splenda sugar substitute for the real stuff. The result was a moist zucchini bread treat packed with healthy flavor. Wrap up a loaf and share the slimmed-down goodness with your neighbors and friends!


Zucchini Bread, Lightened Up

Yield: 2 loaves

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 45 min


3¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2½ cups Splenda sugar substitute
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Combine the flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and Splenda in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the apple sauce, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry then fold in the nuts (optional).

Pour the batter into 2 standard loaf pans (or five mini-loaf pans) that have been greased with cooking spray.

Bake the standard-sized loaves for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (alternately, bake the mini-loaves for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean).



  1. 3

    Connie says

    I was looking for a heart-healthy zucchini bread recipe, as my husband recently had a heart attack. This bread served that purpose well. It was moist and delicious.

  2. 4


    I didn’t get to plant zucchini this year. But I happily find myself receiving zucchinis grown in friends’ gardens. What fun.

    I have fresh zucchini to make my favorite zucchini bread. I’ve used this recipe for years. I’ve tried others, but always come back to this Wisconsin farm-woman’s recipe. Here’s a link to the recipe and a story about garden-giving reciprocity. http://food-fun.wisconsinfood.com/edible_antics/2008/09/food-fun—givi.html


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