I. Love. Quick breads. I mean, let’s be real. How could you not love something whose synonym is “fast carbs?” That’s what I thought. While this cinnamon swirl Greek yogurt zucchini bread would be perfect as a light breakfast or quick snack, I actually developed this recipe as a healthy dessert alternative. Let me explain…
This past New Year’s Day, I took the leap and pledged to stop eating dessert every night (well, every weeknight.) Yes, you heard me correctly. With some basic logical reasoning, you can deduce that this means that I was eating dessert every night in 2016 (and the years before that…) Don’t judge me! I swear, I have some sort of physiologically condition that causes my body not only to crave, but REQUIRE sugar each night. At approximately 8:30pm, I turn into the Hulk as I rip through my kitchen on the search for chocolate. My medical student husband’s official diagnosis for this condition is, “I don’t know…maybe some lady cycle thing.” Glad to see how much he’s learned in the past three and a half years of medical school.
After what was surely the longest week of my life, I realized that my plan to go cold turkey was simply too much. I needed something to quell my perpetual Hulk-like cravings. Therefore, I restricted my definition of the term “dessert” to chocolate and all other processed sweets. This way, I can satiate my sweet tooth with healthy sweets and avoid breaking the health bank.
With these new rules in mind, I came up with this cinnamon swirl Greek yogurt zucchini bread. While quick breads are easy, satisfying and delicious, they are often loaded with fat and sugar. This version substitutes some healthy ingredients for the typical culprits of sugar, canola oil and white flour. For example, I use Greek yogurt to add moisture and structure without the fat and calories in canola oil. Plus, it adds protein, too! I used plain in my recipe, but feel free to experiment with other flavors like vanilla or coconut for a tasty twist!
Additionally, a combination of oat flour and white-whole wheat flour replaces the traditional white all-purpose flour, adding some additional nutrients from the whole grains. If you have not made oat flour before, your world is about to change. Simply put oats in a food processor (or coffee grinder if that is more accessible) and pulse away! In seconds you will have a mixture that resembles and can be used as flour. I love to use oat flour in cookies, breads and other treats to give them a more wholesome spin.
Last to note, the only added sweeteners in this bread are banana and agave. That’s why I felt justified in adding a swirl of cinnamon and white sugar to the bread! You could totally make this bread without the cinnamon swirl, but I strongly encourage it as it is both beautiful and delicious.
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- ½ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons agave (or honey)
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup oat flour
- 1 cup white-whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease one loaf pan.
- To make the oat flour, put old-fashioned or quick oats in a food processor (or coffee grinder if that's easier!) Pulse until oats are ground and have a flour-like texture. (NOTE: Measure ¾ cup after it has been ground.)
- Grate the zucchini on a box grater. Place in a paper towel and squeeze excess moisture out before adding to bread mixture.
- Mash the banana in a medium bowl. Add in the Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, egg, coconut oil and agave and mix until well incorporated. Mix in the brown sugar.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the oat flour, white-whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in grated zucchini.
- Mix together the cinnamon and sugar to make the cinnamon mixture.
- Pour ⅓ of the zucchini mixture into the loaf pan. Top with half of the cinnamon sugar. Pour in another ⅓ of the batter, and repeat with remaining cinnamon sugar. Add the rest of the zucchini batter on top.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the top of the bread is golden brown and a toothpick when inserted into the center comes out clean. The center of mine took a while to cook through, so you may need to add a few extra minutes.