When I was in high school, Mom decided to plant a garden in the unused space in our side yard. Although the previous owners had set up a little garden space surrounded by wooden slats to keep it contained, we hadn’t thought much about that bare rectangle of dirt since we moved in a few years earlier.
We bought tomato plants, rosemary, and sage for the first half, and we designated the other side as a flower garden. Mom opted for brightly colored snapdragons, petunias, and geraniums, and we even installed a small drip irrigation system so all of the plants would survive when we went on vacation that summer.
Over the next few weeks, we kept an eye on the plants, excitedly waiting to see them grow… Yet if anything, they seemed to shrink. After a few more weeks, we finally realized why: we had basically installed a salad bar for the deer, and they had been nibbling on nearly all of the plants!
However, they never touched the geraniums, and a couple years later, those original six flowers turned into a massive geranium bush. They took over the entire second half of the garden with their bright green leaves and bold red blooms!
We never tried to plan vegetables again and stuck with geraniums… But the past few years, I’ve thought about how fun it’d be to have a zucchini plant. I’d definitely turn my summer harvest into loaves of this Healthy Morning Glory Zucchini Bread!
It’s supremely tender and full of cozy spices, and it’s also incredibly simple to make. You don’t even need a mixer! And with no refined flour or sugar and only 119 calories, this healthy morning glory zucchini bread tastes wonderful as a guilt-free breakfast or snack!
Let’s talk about how to make this healthy morning glory zucchini bread!
You’ll start with whole wheat flour (or gluten-free, if you prefer!) and a mix of cinnamon and nutmeg. My grandma’s famous zucchini bread always included both, so I add them to my loaves as well. This is my favorite type of cinnamon because it has a stronger, warmer, and sweeter flavor than regular cinnamon!
Unlike my grandma’s zucchini bread—and many other traditional recipes—that called for ½ cup (or more!) of oil, this healthy morning glory zucchini bread only uses ½ tablespoon of butter. Yes, that’s it! That small amount of butter really helps keep this zucchini bread low in calories.
Then the rest of this healthy morning glory zucchini bread’s tender texture comes from… Greek yogurt! If you’ve been around my blog before, you know how much I love baking with Greek yogurt. It adds the same moisture to your batter as extra butter or oil but for a fraction of the calories. It also gives your baked goods a protein boost!
Instead of refined granulated sugar like in my grandma’s recipe, this healthy zucchini bread is sweetened with another one of my favorite ingredients: liquid stevia. Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!), and it’s also really concentrated. You just need 1 ½ teaspoons for this entire loaf!
This is the liquid stevia that I use because I love its sweet flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertaste like with some other stevia products. Although you can find it at many health-oriented grocery stores, I buy mine online here because that’s the best price I’ve found. (And you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!)
Of course, you can’t make zucchini bread without the zucchini… So you’ll need freshly grated zucchini! However, before mixing it into the batter, you must thoroughly pat the zucchini dry with paper towels.
This removes excess moisture from the zucchini. If you didn’t pat the zucchini dry, the zucchini would release that water into the batter as the loaf baked in the oven. That extra water would cause your zucchini bread to collapse while cooling. Not good! So even though it takes a little extra time, I promise it’s worth squeezing out that extra moisture from your zucchini!
Time for the “morning glory” part of this healthy zucchini bread! Morning glory muffins contain a mix of carrots, apple, raisins, nuts, and coconut. What a delicious mouthful of ingredients!
It’s really important to use freshly grated carrots. Do not substitute store-bought pre-shredded carrots, also called matchstick carrots. Those are thicker and drier, and they don’t soften properly while baking. You’ll already pull out your grater for the zucchini, so just use it for the carrot as well!
I use Fuji apples in just about all of my baking recipes, including this one. I love their sweet flavor, and they have a great firm texture for baking. Cut them to be about the same size as the raisins so your healthy morning glory zucchini bread bakes evenly!
Before you begin, check your raisins. Are they fairly hard, dry, or old? Then hydrate your raisins before adding them to the batter! This is super simple to do. Add your raisins to a microwave-safe bowl, seal it with plastic wrap (or put a lid on top!), and microwave that on high for 1 minute. Let the raisins sit for at least 10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. By the time you’re ready to add them to the batter, they’ll be extremely plump and juicy!
Before you slide your loaf pan into the oven, cover the pan with foil. This little trick allows your healthy morning glory zucchini bread to fully bake through in the center without the top turning overly brown or burnt. Then you’ll quickly and carefully remove the foil for the last 20 minutes of baking time to allow the top to turn a beautiful golden color.
This just might be the best zucchini bread I’ve ever had! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy morning glory zucchini bread!
Healthy Morning Glory Zucchini Bread
- 2 cups (240g) whole wheat or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
- 2 ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tbsp (7g) unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp liquid stevia
- ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp (210mL) nonfat milk
- ¾ cup (68g) freshly grated zucchini, patted dry (see Notes!)
- ¾ cup (80g) freshly grated carrot (about 1 medium, peeled first!)
- ¾ cup (94g) finely diced apple (about 1 small)
- ¼ cup (40g) raisins (see Notes!)
- 2 tbsp (14g) finely diced pecans
- 2 tbsp (10g) shredded unsweetened coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9x5” loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and vanilla stevia. Add in the Greek yogurt, stirring until no large lumps remain. Stir in ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons of milk. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and remaining milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 3 equal parts.) Gently fold in the zucchini, carrots, apple, raisins, pecans, and coconut.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Cover the top of the pan with foil. Bake covered at 350°F for 35 minutes. Quickly and carefully remove the foil, and return the pan to the oven. Continue baking at 350°F for an additional 20-25 minutes (for a total of 55-60 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Healthy Morning Glory Banana Bread
♡ Healthy Morning Glory Gingerbread
♡ Healthy Morning Glory Bran Muffins
♡ Healthy Chai Spice Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
♡ Healthy Zucchini Banana Bread
♡ Healthy Zucchini Oatmeal Snack Cake