I really wasn’t trying to come up with a new zucchini bread recipe the first time I made this bread. I already have one zucchini bread recipe posted here, and I really like that one a lot. But I am trying to to use more honey in recipes, given that for us it is truly a locally produced sweetener. So I thought it would be nice to make zucchini bread with some of our own honey. Also, I just happened to have some spelt flour ground up. Whole grain spelt is great for quick breads, so I thought I could use it too. And, of course, this time of year I certainly have zucchini. Add a little cocoa to the mix and you come up with Spelt Chocolate Zucchini Bread!
A Google search turned up several recipes using honey in zucchini bread, including one that caught my eye from King Arthur: Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread. That recipe sounded yummy, and called for honey, but it used unbleached flour instead of a whole grain flour. I know that King Arthur thoroughly tests their recipes, so I was initially leery to make a substitution like using whole grain spelt flour instead of unbleached wheat. Would it be too dense? Would it be dry? In the end I decided to give it a try, thinking at worst the loaf would wind up on the compost heap. As it turned out, my wife and I ate every morsel of that first loaf.
So I had to make it again, and share it with others. I baked one loaf to take in to the kitchen where I volunteer, and another loaf for my wife and I to eat. And lucky me – I got to sample them both. Ok, I admit I more than just sampled them. But how much I ate is between me and my bathroom scales!
I love baking with spelt. It’s higher in protein and fiber than whole wheat, and it has a mild and sweet taste. It can be used in many quick bread recipes to replace white or unbleached flour. No need to squeeze the moisture out of the shredded zucchini for this recipe, because the spelt flour seems to soak it up nicely. This bread is not overly sweet, but plenty sweet for my tastes. You can always add a little more sugar if it isn’t sweet enough for you. Or follow the original King Arthur recipe and add some chocolate chips. For me it had plenty of chocolatey goodness with the cocoa alone.
UPDATE: For muffins, prepare as directed and fill standard size muffin pans almost full, then bake for 30-35 minutes. The muffins and bread both freeze well after baking.
2 large eggs
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use organic canola oil)
1/2 cup brown, raw or coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup natural, baking or Dutch-process cocoa
2 cups whole grain Spelt flour (7 oz)
2 cups shredded zucchini, unpeeled, grated into medium shreds
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F; lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, honey, oil, sugar, and vanilla by hand until smooth.
3. Add the salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cocoa, and flour, mixing until just well combined.
4. Stir in the zucchini. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
5. Bake the bread for 65 to 75 minutes, until the loaf tests done with a toothpick or cake tester.
6. Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool for 15 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack.
7. Cool completely before slicing; store well-wrapped, at room temperature.
Nutrition (per serving): 260 calories, 101 calories from fat, 11.2g total fat, 35.3mg cholesterol, 284.6mg sodium, 103.6mg potassium, 35.2g carbohydrates, 3.9g fiber, 17g sugar, 4.4g protein, 29.7mg calcium, 2.1g saturated fat.