Let’s start with a funny story: Y’all know Blake does not eat vegetables. Unless it’s sweet potatoes in the form of french fries. And if you didn’t know, now you do. It’s ironic given my profession and passions, I know.
Well, the other day, I was standing in the kitchen munching on this delicious bread because it’s too good to stop. I asked Blake if he wanted to try a bite of this “chocolate loaf,” while being careful to not give away the fact that it has zucchini in it. Reluctantly he agreed to try it. To his surprise and mine, he liked it. And, kept eating it- Score! Then, I let the secret out: he had just eaten a vegetable and didn’t even know it. I’d call that a wife win, for sure!
How do you make Paleo Chocolate Zucchini Bread?
The combination of baking soda with the apple cider vinegar is what allows this loaf to rise properly, so don’t skip out on either ingredient.
Similar to other baked goods, you want to start by combining all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then, combine all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. When adding the wet ingredients to the dry, gently fold the two together using a spatula. Combine until no clumps are visible, but don’t over-mix.
Once the delicious batter is poured into the loaf pan, top with extra chocolate chips because we all want to live our best lives.
What is Cassava flour?
The short answer: It’s my new favorite baking flour and the key ingredient for this recipe.
The long answer: Cassava is made from the cassava plant, which is technically a starchy root (think potato). It’s gluten free and grain free, which makes it a great option for Paleo baking. It’s texture is most similar to whole wheat flour and it’s taste is mild. I use Cassava flour as a 1:1 replacement for Paleo baking!
What are the health benefits of cacao?
In my opinion, cacao is an amazing superfood that should be a part of every diet. Case and point: raw cacao has 4 times the amount of antioxidants than dark chocolate and 20 times more than blueberries! The high amounts of antioxidants and free radicals have been associated with lowered LDL cholesterol, improved heart function, reduced cancer risk, and higher serotonin levels. Phytochemicals, like resveratrol, are typically found in red wine and dark chocolate. But, the phytochemical content in cacao once again exceeds these common sources.
For these reasons, I use cacao in this chocolate recipe. You can peak at substitution options below, but I encourage you to stick with the nutritious cacao powder.
Are there any recipe substitutions?
I haven’t tried making this recipe with alternate ingredients. However, you can try the ingredients substitutions below:
- Cacao powder: cocoa powder (1:1 replacement)
- Coconut sugar: brown sugar or honey (1:1 replacement)
- Coconut oil: ghee (1:1 replacement)
- Apple cider vinegar: lemon juice (1:1 replacement)
I would not recommend replacing the Cassava flour because it’s characteristics are unique, making it the perfect Paleo-approved baking flour.
Is Cassava the same thing as Tapioca?
Nope, not really. Tapioca is derived from cassava, but it’s more processed. As a result, tapioca flour has less fiber and is harder to digest. I don’t recommend using the two flours interchangeably.
How to Serve Paleo Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Breakfast, snack, dessert- you name it!
- 1 cup cassava flour
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tbs grass-fed collagen
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup finely shredded zucchini, squeeze out excess water*
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup nut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Optional: dairy free dark chocolate chips!
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add the vanilla, coconut oil, and milk. Mix well, then add the shredded zucchini.
- Add all the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Use a spatulta to gently combine. Add dark chocolate chips.
- Pour your batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool before slicing. Serve!
*Finely shred the zucchini into a bowl lined with a paper towel. In small batches, squeeze out the excess water into the sink. Repeat until all zucchini is shredded.