Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread (Low Carb and Gluten Free)

TGRTWEEP7DNC
Our garden was not a huge success this year. I wouldn’t quite go so far to say it was a failure, but it was definitely very far from being successful. We have a little garden plot tucked back in a corner of our yard, and I know it’s a little too shady back there. It was dug in early spring a few years ago, when the leaves were off the trees and we didn’t quite realize how much shade it would get. However, I thought that with all the intense sunny heat this summer, we’d still get a bounty of fresh produce. I was wrong. The lettuce did well, but the pea plants shriveled without producing much of anything. The tomato plants have grown like gangbusters, but most of the tomatoes have remained green and unripe. The ones that do ripen are almost invariably split up the middle, from the extremes of hot and dry to cool and wet.

All of the other things I planted (radishes, carrots and cucumbers) didn’t flourish at all. The little cuke seedlings got munched by some bugs the minute they popped above ground. The carrots seemed to just disappear into thin air (or thin soil?) so I suspect that they got eaten by some critter as well. The tops of the radishes grew, but the root was just a thin little red bit, not a nice round spicy radish. So I am declaring defeat, to a degree. Next year, I am sticking with lettuce and tomatoes. If we get ambitious, we may move the plot out from under the trees, but I am still going to save myself some heartache, and grow only lettuce and tomatoes.

One thing I haven’t even attempted, and don’t plan to now that I am going minimalist on the garden, is zucchini. From all accounts, squash takes up a fair bit of room in a garden, and judging by the various blog posts on the subject, it all seems to ripen at once and you end up with a glut of zucchini. Very well, then. I will do my part and continue to buy my zucchini from the farmer’s market, if only to help them with their glut of large green squash!

I wanted this bread to be really moist and chocolatey, so I added chocolate chips (my own homemade ones), as well as cocoa powder. I also wanted to play around more with various gluten free flours, so I used a combination of almond flour, buckwheat flour and flax meal. I drained the zucchini beforehand, so that it wouldn’t add too much moisture and keep the bread from baking properly.

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The Results: I will be honest and say that although this bread is quite good, it isn’t perfect. The texture is exactly what I wanted it to be, rich and dense and studded with melty, gooey chocolate. It’s almost like a moist, fudgey brownie, which is never a bad thing. But I felt that the buckwheat was out of place here. Although I loved the combination of buckwheat and dark chocolate in my cookies, I think it muddied the flavour of the cocoa in this bread. Next time I’d forego the buckwheat in favour of more almond flour and flax meal, and in fact that is how I am going to write up the recipe. This would also reduce the carbs, in case you’re counting.

The buckwheat might be great in a traditional zucchini bread that wasn’t chocolate. I have a sense that it would play off the spices like cinnamon and allspice very well. Hmmm, I might have to try that sometime!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tbsp granulated erythritol
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
24 drops stevia extract
3/4 cups chocolate chips (sugar free or high % cacao, or your own homemade!)

Lightly salt the zucchini and let it drain in a sieve for at least an hour. Place in a tea towel and squeeze to remove as much moisture as possible. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F and line the bottom and long sides of a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Grease paper and sides of pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients – almond meal, flax meal, cocoa powder, erythritol, baking powder, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together butter, eggs, almond milk, vanilla and stevia. Add to dry ingredients and stir vigorously until completely combined.

Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until top is set and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.

Serves 16. 7g of total carbs per serving, 2.9g of fiber. 3.5g of carbs if you subtract erythritol.

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Comments

  1. Low carb and gluten free! YES!

  2. Torviewtoronto says:

    looks delicious I have never used some of these ingredients

  3. thelonelyradish.com says:

    Mmm. I can see this fried in some butter the next day. Sorry about your radishes :(

  4. The Cilantropist says:

    Sounds like a great experiment with this zucchini bread and although it didnt turn out perfect it still sounds awesome! And boo for not so many great vegetables from the garden, but it sounds like that happened for many people this growing season. I know it happened to me too so I understand!

  5. ravienomnoms says:

    I just made a loaf myself of chocolate zucchini bread and it was delicious! Yours looks fantastic!

  6. A SPICY PERSPECTIVE says:

    I just love your title. :)

    This doesn't look like it could possibly be a healthy recipe–brilliant!

  7. Jelly Shot Test Kitchen says:

    Now that is a zucchini bread I can get excited about! Chocolate!! Yum! Cheers, Michelle

  8. Megan@foodalution.com says:

    Can't believe you made home made chocolate chips…. I am on to that post…! Whee!

  9. I really must try zucchini in a sweet! This looks yummy, and the only way I'll ever get my children to come anywhere near zucchini! Thanks for the inspiration! I can get over those chocolate chips. They looks scrumptious in the bread. Cheers!

  10. Oooh, an egg free, dairy free, soy and gluten free version of CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD. I'm in heaven and I'm a huge fan of buckwheat flour as well. I'm sorry about your garden, it does sound like more sun would help. You might also try growing some peppers if your tomatoes did so well. It were me it'd be hot peppers, the hotter the better but bell peppers or poblanos might work depending on where you live. Good luck with that. I had one but got tired of fighting fire ants for the product.LOL.

  11. Hey Carolyn, I've heard a lot of people say that they had garden troubles this year. Hmm!?? Ours did pretty well in Atlanta. The only thing we had trouble with was eggplants, but we planted a different variety than the year before. Last year our white eggplants were growing out of control!
    Oh, and your bread looks great. I can see where buckwheat might make it taste like a big chocolate pancake though (smile)…
    p.s. Have you tried using organic Neem on your garden every 10 days? It's amazing how it protects cukes, squashes, lettuces and the soil in general from fungus and pests!

  12. The Mom Chef says:

    I think it looks gorgeous and I can tell that it's rich and dense. I'm not a big buckwheat fan so would have left that out anyhow.

    I'm sorry about your garden too. We also have too many trees and are unable to grow anything (not even grass in the back). It's good for a cooler yard in 95 degree heat, but I do miss the home-grown vegetables!

  13. Thanks for your vote on PFB and your sweet comment! I have a chocolate zucchini bread recipe too but lately have been making it with pumpkin instead (shall post it around Halloween time). I like the flavour with the pumpkin but the zucchini version is much more moist. Yours looks great and filled with good stuff too!

  14. laurelvb…I'm afraid this recipe isn't egg or dairy free. But I hope you find the recipe useful anyway.

  15. Hi Carolyn- You've got quite a community going here! That's great! I think this recipe is the only way I would eat Zucchini and actually like it.

    Please send your gardening friends to check out my new site http://www.mistersmartyplants.com it's a 'crowd sourced' plant and flower ID.

    John

  16. Hi Carolyn,
    I just made this and it tastes really great! However, it gave me a bit of anxiety. At 50 minutes, I checked the oven, and the loaf was still liquid in the center. It was very dark, and I was concerned about burning. I lowered the temp to 300, put it in for another 30 minutes, and a knife came out, almost clean, in the center.

    Yes, I let zucchini drain; in fact, they were so watery, I squeezed them inside some paper towels to remove as much water as I could.

    You would never know there is zucchini in it! It's a great way to get more veggies into kids. It's moist and chocolaty goooood!

  17. Hi Luana, sorry the recipe gave you some anxiety. I wonder what kind of pan you were using and if that's the difference. Silicone pans can take a lot longer to bake. But glad it still worked out for you!

  18. Carolyn, it was a non-stick pan, but not silicone; the extra time in the oven worked fine.

    My problem may have been too much zucchini, as I did not measure the amount and assumed it was about two-and-a-half cups.

    I'm going to make it again this weekend. I really enjoyed eating a slice with some peanut butter on it. Chocolate flavor and the moistness are really great.

    I think this recipe, baked in round pans, would also make a *wonderful* layer cake with some sugar-free chocolate or buttercream frosting.

  19. This is fantastic and has become a breakfast staple for my 16 yr old son (can you say major chocoholic) who’s low carbing with me. I also use your recipe for homemade choc chips to save $ in this cake. They’re great too…as are you and all your recipes! Thanks so much!!!!

  20. I just came across your recipe. It looks fantastic. So fantastic that went right to the kitchen and made some. Now I realize there isn’t a serving size and I am counting every carb I put into my mouth at the moment. How many servings for this recipe?

    Thanks!!

    • Hi, if you look right at the bottom of the post, it says it serves 16. My quickbreads usually serve about 16. Thanks!

  21. Britany White says:

    I have this in the oven right now and it smells AMAZING!!!!!!! Thank you thank you! I NNNNNNEEEEEEEDDDDD chocolate today and this seems like the most perfect fix!

  22. Hi Carolyn!!! Made this recipe twice now.. I however let the zucchini sit ocer night the second time I made it in the fridge and salted (, I had to get to bed) and I must say I should have rinsed it. All I can taste is the salt In this batch. But I did however make some really yummy cream cheese low carb frosting to top it with, which seemed to help. Either way.. thank you VERY much for the recipe I will be using this as a staple in my low carb ventures !! :)

  23. excuse all the questions but I’m new to this. Why would you have to salt the zucchini? Could you omit all the stevia and use a granular sweetener? splenda. If I did how much do you think I could use? Thanks. can’t wait to make this!

    • You can sub Splenda if you wish, I just don’t like it. 1/4 tsp stevia is about 1/4 cup sugar so use the equivalent of that for Splenda.

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