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!
- 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 ½ 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).
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