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Orange Zucchini bread has a citrus twist on classic zucchini bread with a few swaps to make this delicious bread a healthier way to use up your zucchini!

Orange zucchini bread loaf with chocolate chips on top, with slices.

Is Zucchini Bread Healthy?

When you think of zucchini bread, even though you have made it a hundred times and you know exactly what is in it – doesn’t part of you think that it has got to be somewhat healthy because it has veggies in it?  I definitely do!  But the reality is that a lot of recipes have enough sugar and oil to rival a cake or cookie.  That doesn’t change the fact that I love zucchini bread and that my garden is exploding with zucchini and so I practically have to make it.  Once, a long time ago a friend made a chocolate chip orange zucchini bread.  It was to die for.  This friend is an excellent cook, but definitely not on the healthy side of things.  Since then, I have searched and searched for a recipe and finally came up with this one. I made a few swaps and added some different ingredients to not only boost the nutrition, but reduce the sugar.

How to Make Orange Zucchini Bread

This bread is your basic run of the mill quick bread with a few ingredients added, and a few ingredients taken away.  I love the hint of orange flavor combined with traditional zucchini bread spices. You can add chocolate chips on top, or we also love to add walnuts.  Either way this bread is a crowd pleaser.  You can double or even triple the recipe and freeze the extra loaves for the next time you get a craving but don’t have fresh zucchini – or don’t have an hour to let it bake 🙂

How to Grate Zucchini for Zucchini Bread

  1. Start by giving the outside of your zucchini a good scrub. No need to dig in, but you want the skin clean.
  2. You don’t have to peel your zucchini to cook or bake with it—as long as you give the thin skin a good scrub. Grated zucchini almost melts into your bread, so why peel it?
  3. My preference is to use either a food processor or a box grater to grate your zucchini. Both work great. For me it comes down to how much I am grating. If it is just one zucchini, a box grater is just grate and it goes really fast. If it is multiple large zucchini, bust out that food processor. I don’t recommend using a microplane because I feel like the zucchini can get too mushy.
  4. You don’t need to squeeze the zucchini. The moisture in the zucchini is accounted for in the recipe, so just leave it as is and add it in!

 For more ideas on eating more fruits and veggies with every meal, check out our Family Fresh Meal Plan Subscription.

Like this zucchini bread recipe? Save it to Pinterest!

top view of a loaf of orange zucchini bread with chocolate chips as a pinterest pin image
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini, shredded
  • optional: chocolate chips or chopped nuts to sprinkle on top
  • Preheat oven to 350°.

  • In a medium bowl, combine orange juice, oil, applesauce, eggs, vanilla, orange extract, and orange zest.

  • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, salt and baking soda; mix well.

  • Add orange juice mixture to dry ingredients; stir until just combined. Fold in zucchini.

  • Pour into a 8×4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.

  • Bake 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 271mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 28g

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