Lemon Poppy Zucchini Bread

Hey everyone!  It’s Christine checking in for Sweet-Tooth Friday.  I have the perfect recipe for your over-brimming summer garden: Lemon Poppy Zucchini Bread!  This vegan treat is delightfully easy to make.

My brother was just talking about how his Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats really got him started in cooking.  For me, it was totally my “Big Red” Betty Crocker cookbook.  To be more accurate, it was actually my mom’s copy that inspired me.

[betty crocker big red photo]

Growing up, I remember her tattered cookbook being waterlogged to twice its original size from years of spills.  The crepe recipe was smudged with real crepe batter and the pie section was covered in pumpkin fingerprints.  In the margins there were doodles and notes.  And there were magazine tear-outs stashed between the pages.  For any dish, this book held all the answers and it was well loved.

Soon after I got my first apartment my mom gave me my own Betty Crocker cookbook.  I was clueless, but this book taught me the very basics of cooking from simple steamed broccoli to mashed potatoes to homemade salad dressing.  My first instinct for any cooking question I have is to “ask Betty.”  It’s one of the few books I still consult before checking the internet.

[zucchini bread photo]So when I decided to make zucchini bread, I headed straight to “ask Betty.”  It’s not an avant-garde publication, but the newer editions are a lot more health conscious and vegetarian friendly.  In the recipe for zucchini bread,whole wheat flour is even listed as a Betty-approved option!

I obviously went for the whole grains and supplemented it with flax seeds.  Then I cut back on the oil and sugar.  To make up for the lost sweetness, I went out on a limb and swapped out the 4 eggs for an equal amount of crushed pineapple!  I added extra leavener to give it the rising action that the missing eggs would have.  And to really make this zucchini bread stand on its own, I ditched the traditional spices and threw in fresh lemon and poppy seeds.

[vegan zucchini bread pan photo]Poppy seeds are actually chock full of calcium.  They also contain two essential fatty acids.  But wait!  Don’t waste your money on that tiny overpriced spice jar in the baking aisle!  Swing by the actual bakery section of your grocery store and see if they have any of their bulk ingredients packaged for sale.  My local Giant packs up sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sprinkles, croutons, and more at a fraction of the spice company’s cost.  My local natural store also has a bulk section for spices that is significantly cheaper.

The pineapple, lemon, and poppy accents in the moist zucchini bread result in a quietly elegant taste of summer.  Here’s my version:

Vegan Lemon-Poppy Zucchini Bread

[vegan zucchini bread ingredients]2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
4 tbs flax seed, ground
1 tbs baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

3 cups shredded zucchini (about 2-3 medium- I didn’t bother to peel mine but you can if you want a more uniform color)|
1 cup drained crushed pineapple, 1/4 cup juice reserved
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup raw sugar
2 lemons, zested and juiced (about 6-8 tbs of juice)
1/2 cup poppy seeds

1 tsp powdered sugar, for optional garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the dry ingredients, set aside.  Pour the pineapple, pineapple  juice, oil, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice over the shredded zucchini and stir together.  Mix the dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture, then stir in poppy seeds.

Spray a tube or Bundt pan with Pam and toss with flour to coat.  (Instead of a Bundt pan, Betty says use two 8×4 loaf pans or one 9×5 loaf pan).  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.  I didn’t make it in the loaves, but Betty recommends 50-60 minutes for the smaller sizes and 70 to 80 minutes for the larger size.  The loaf times may vary for my version since it doesn’t have the eggs, so if you do it in a loaf pan start checking after 30 minutes.  When it’s done the top should be domed and cracking in the center while the edges pull away from the sides.  Check to see if a knife comes out clean.  If the top is browning too much before the center is done, cover loosely with aluminum foil.

When the cake is cool, invert to unmold.  Put the teaspoon of powdered sugar in a fine mesh strainer and gently tap over the bread to garnish.

[vegan zucchini bread photo]

I hope you enjoy this simple and wholesome zucchini bread.  It’s such a nice versatile snack—perfect for breakfast on the go, tucking into a lunch bag, or presenting whole as a sweet hostess gift.

That’s it for this week, see you next STF!
xoxo, Christine



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  1. this looks soooo good – love the zucchini and lemon together! such a good combo!
    .-= holly the healthy everythingtarian´s last blog ..My New Boyfriend =-.

  2. Yum, that looks amazing! I love using in-season produce in baked goods. My first memories of cooking also involved my Mom’s cookbook. She had the red and white checkered Better Homes & Gardens version 🙂
    .-= Megan (The Runner;s Kitchen)´s last blog ..Gus & Gabriel Gastropub =-.

    • Thanks Megan! I can picture that checkered cookbook exactly in my mind! They are really similar. What’s cool about these older cookbooks is that the recipes have been tested and tested and tested. They really are tried and true. The ratios of ingredients are exactly where they need to be, which makes them a safer bet for all my crazy substitutions.

  3. this looks amazing! I love the idea of adding the pineapple.
    .-= brandi´s last blog ..Bagel Friday =-.

    • Thanks Brandi! At first I was thinking about using beans or applesauce, but then I remembered how yummy pineapple is in carrot cake. It adds a faint tropical sweetness to the bread.

  4. I love this feature of no meat athlete! It makes me look even MORE towards Friday. Great recipe. Def book marking. So many fruits in veggies in this bread! Delicious. Great work 😉
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..ProBar Giveaway, Random Din Dins =-.

  5. Perfect! Seriously, this is awesome. It kills two birds with one stone for me: gives me a recipe for my vegan month in September, AND it includes zucchini which I am trying to convince myself to like.

    You’re a mind reader 🙂
    .-= Sagan´s last blog ..Product Review and Giveaway: Musselman’s Healthy Picks Applesauce =-.

  6. That looks fabulous, love the addition of the pineapple. It’s always great to have another way to use up some of that zucchini supply!
    I have the 1983 edition of Betty Crocker, it’s red, worn and well-loved! It was a wedding gift and has been my favorite resource through the years. Sometimes the old things really are the best because they are tried and true.
    I always look forward to your Friday posts, and seeing what new yummy treat you’ve come up with, Thanks!
    .-= meatlessmama´s last blog ..Zucchini Chips and Heirloom Tomato Salsa =-.

    • Thanks, I’m glad you are enjoying Sweet-Tooth Fridays! Your raw zucchini chips look awesome too! That’s cool that you have your original copy of Betty Crocker. I really like the timetables at the back of the vegetable section- like how long to steam fresh corn or at what temperature to roast beets. I always count on it!

  7. YUM! Christine! That looks so delicious. I LOVE zucchini bread!
    .-= Cait (Cait’s Plate)´s last blog ..Salads, Sunshine and Snapple! =-.

  8. Great idea about checking the grocery store’s bulk-packaged supplies for great prices. My store has their’s in the produce area. This lemon poppy zucchini bread sounds delicious- can’t wait to try it! Your bean brownies were wonderful. Great tasting and without that heavy, way-too-much-sugar feeling in your stomach after eating them.

  9. Yeah for sweet tooth friday!! I love zucchini bread and what a fun new way to try it!
    .-= Jennifer Z´s last blog ..PT – also known as legal torture =-.

  10. I seriously look forward to Sweet Tooth Friday every week. 😀 Your recipes are always so creative, fun, and delicious sounding. I think you read my mind this week too, because I’ve been searching everywhere for a lower oil version of zucchini bread that wouldn’t come out dry and stale (pineapple is a genius idea!)

    Love it! 😀
    .-= Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)´s last blog ..Martha’s in the kitchen… =-.

  11. I didn’t know that about poppy seeds. Thanks for the recipe. Looks good!!!
    .-= kara´s last blog ..I Will Keep On Stretching =-.

  12. I made this recipe, and it was WONDERFUL! I used succanat for the sweetener, and it worked just fine. Thanks Christine!

  13. Thanks Clare! I love when people actually make the desserts! I’m so happy you liked it- I snacked on this zucchini bread all week long! I’ve heard for succanat but don’t know much about it. Is it just another unrefined sugar or something more like stevia, which I also don’t know much about?

  14. Sucanat is another unrefined sugar. It’s dehydrated cane juice in a granule form. Only the water has been removed, so it’s very minimally processed, retaining more nutrients. The sugar cane’s molasses is preserved, giving it a rich taste. It’s great for baking, sauces and topping cereals. The package I have says that ‘sucanat’ stands for Sugar Cane Natural, and it’s organic and fair trade certified.

  15. i made the zucchini bread yesterday and had it for breakfast today (i was really excited because it felt like eating cake for breakfast) :).
    anyways, i just wanted to let you know that this recipe is phenomenal. i absolutely loved the bread and all the healthy ingredients. great job christine!

  16. So I made this today and it came out delicious (: Thank you so much for posting it! The only problem I had was that I cooked it in a 9×5 baking pan and by 70 minutes it te inside wasn’t ready so I left it in about an extra 20 minutes and ended up taking it out but the inside was still a little mushy. Still sooo good though! Thanks again

  17. grassmaster says:

    AMMMMAAAZZZIIINNGGG!!! (well – the batter at least!)

    Just made this with a few slight modifications. Instead of 1/2 cup canola oil, I used 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup mashed banana. In place of 3/4 cup raw sugar, 1 used 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 half cup Splenda. This was extremely difficult to get in the oven – because it meant no more “taste-testing” the batter. I baked it at 350 (approx) for 40 minutes using the convection bake function on my somewhat temperamental oven. It came out perfect! I haven’t sliced into it to try it baked since I’m bringing it to my brothers tonight, but if it tastes half as good as the batter did it will be fantastic.

    One other note: i attempted to shred the zucchini in my Vitamix which always seems to puree it. It was much more mushy than a shred, but it seems to have worked just fine that way. 3 cups of this came out to about 670 grams of zucchini, which might have been more than 3 cups had it been properly shredded.

    Thanks so much for such a ridiculously delicious recipe!

  18. This looks awesome! But I’m wondering about all the soda in the recipe. Can this be done without the soda? Also . . . I use Ener-G baking powder, so I don’t mind using a lot. If I used only the Ener-G without the soda, do you have any idea how much I should put in?

    This may not have been something you’ve tried, but thanks for any help you can give 🙂

  19. Seems like you copied this recipe from here:


  20. Laughing at myself…
    I woke up early today and made this. I totally forgot to add the oil 😮
    I realized my mistake halfway through baking, so I kept my eye on it, testing for done-ness in case it dried out early. It finished 10 min early.
    It tastes wonderful! Moist and sweet and tart.
    Probably more dense than the intended recipe, but one little slice is going to sustain me for quite some time…
    Thank you!

  21. Ah, I just learned an oven with circulating heat is called a “fan oven”. Sorry, English is not my first language. Well, my oven has both ways of using it, so which do you use?

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