Zucchini Bread Taste Off – #1

Here is the week you’ve been waiting for (or not) revealing the Zucchini Bread Taste Off with three very different bread recipes. This first one, a healthy version, is from Betty Crocker. It uses applesauce in place of a lot of oil and makes a really moist bread. If you don’t have applesauce on hand, here’s a quick and easy recipe to make your own. Homemade applesauce.

All my life (child to adult) we had a lot of zucchini in the garden. I thought everyone did too, you know, like most people grow tomatoes and cucumbers. I just found out by talking to friends from different areas of the United States that zucchini was not a common vegetable for everyone and that for some, back in the day, it was considered an Italian vegetable. I really was surprised that some people in New York didn’t know about or eat zucchini. I must have been living in a “Southern-California-raised-in-an-Italian/American-family” bubble.

I found this info on Wikipedia:

“Zucchini, like all squash, has its ancestry in the Americas.  However, the varieties of squash typically called “zucchini” were developed in northern Italy in the second half of the 19th century…”

There is another type of zucchini called tromboncino. This squash is what I thought an “Italian” zucchini really was. If you are unfamiliar with this variety, they are a long squash that when fully grown resembles a trombone. You see them all over Italy in the late spring/early summer at the markets. My friend Paola gave me some of these seeds from Italy and they are growing in our garden today. I walk by the two plants that made it from seedlings and encourage them to grow every day. They are progressing slowly – maybe I should talk to them in Italian instead – no wait – that might wither their foliage with my crude attempts to speak anything intelligible, even to a squash. 

Here’s the first zucchini bread recipe in this 3-part series.  

Zucchini from the garden. Yay!

Shredded and squeezed dry in a paper towel.

Mixing wet and dry ingredients together.

Ingredients poured into a bread pan ready to bake.

Over all, I think Betty Crocker did a good job with this recipe, but since I prefer zucchini bread with a spicier flavor I thought it lacked the “spice” factor since it only uses one spice, cinnamon. However, it was still a delicious and moist loaf of bread. 

Betty Crocker says this bread has 50% less fat • 21% fewer calories • 2g more fiber than their original recipe. 

Skinny Zucchini Bread

2 loafs, 12 slices each

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  • 2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup fat-free egg product or 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Gold Medal™ whole wheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I used walnuts)


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottoms only of 2 (8x4-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, mix zucchini, applesauce, oil, egg product, vanilla and sugar until well blended.
  3. Stir in all remaining ingredients except walnuts until well blended.
  4. Stir in walnuts. Spoon batter evenly into pans.
  5. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans to cooling racks.
  6. Cool completely, about 1 hour.


*I always add a little more cinnamon than listed in a recipe just because I like it so much. I added a generous tablespoon. Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: 1 Slice (12 in each loaf) Calories 180, Calories from Fat 60, Total Fat 6g, Saturated Fat 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 170mg, Potassium 100mg, Total Carbohydrate 26g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 14g, Protein 3g


Calories: 4099 cal
Carbohydrates: 641 g
Fat: 147 g
Sodium: 4016 g
Protein: 69 g
Fiber: 23 g
Fun factoid from Wiki:

“The longest zucchini was 2.52 m (8 ft 3 in) long and was grown by Giovanni Batista Scozzafava (Italy) in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, as measured on 28 August 2014.”

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