I love a good quick bread, like this Paleo Chocolate Chip Zucchini Almond Bread, especially during cold weather or really any time that I need some comfort. Although it seems that I need such comfort more often during the cold months of the year and I’m happy to turn on the oven and get baking at those times. A slice of quick bread with a cup of tea for me is one of my most enjoyable food moments.While any recipe that features zucchini is a great way to take advantage of the vegetable’s prolific nature during the growing season, I do love that I can get zucchini year round at my grocery store. That means that neither I nor you have to wait to make this Chocolate Chip Zucchini Almond Bread. I’m not very good at waiting, especially when such a delicious quick bread is what I’m waiting for. Seeing a recipe that gets you excited and then having to wait several months to make it would be brutal, right? Thankfully, you can go right out and pick up some zucchini to make this recipe. Then later when your zucchini or any local zucchini is available, you can make this bread again!
This gluten-free and Paleo Chocolate Chip Zucchini Almond Bread recipe comes from Nourishing Meals: 365 Whole Foods, Allergy-Free Recipes for Healing Your Family One Meal at a Time. It’s a terrific option for taking a snack break, eating for breakfast, or even enjoying as a healthier dessert.
Quick breads are breads that can be made immediately after mixing the ingredients as opposed to yeast breads which require rising time before baking. Interestingly enough, even cakes and cookies are considered quick breads per the definition. I find that both interesting and a bit amusing as I’ve sometimes speculated on whether a delicious quick bread was actually bread or cake.
As I stated, this recipe comes from the Nourishing Meals cookbook by Ali Segersten and Tom Malterre. Specifically, it comes from the brand new version of their Nourishing Meals cookbook. You probably know Ali from her Nourishing Meals site and Ali and Tom both from Whole Life Nutrition and their previous books (including the earlier version of this book).
If you happen to have the original version of Nourishing Meals, I’m sure you’re wondering how the new version differs. It actually has 30 new recipes and much of the content has been updated, while additional information has been added. New photos of recipes—over 50 of them—are also featured in this version.
This cookbook features 365 gluten-free whole food recipes which are intended to nourish children and families. Ali’s and Tom’s books have always done much more than simply share recipes and this one is no different in that regard. There are functional medicine basics plus information on protecting your child’s microbiome (think gut health), tips for quick and nutritious breakfasts, tips for getting your kids to eat more veggies, tips for creating balanced family meals, and much more.
Nourishing Meals is divided into three main sections: Foundations of Health, Raising Healthy Children, The Recipes, and Preserving the Harvest. Within the first two sections, you’ll find additional explanations and thoughts from Ali and Tom: Why Whole Foods?, Why Gluten Free?, Why the Rise in Food Allergies and Sensitivities?, Nourishing Your Growing Child, and Packing a Healthy Lunchbox. Recipe sections include Smoothies; Breakfast; Breads and Muffins; Soups and Stews; Salads and Vegetables; Whole Grains and Noodles; Main Meals; Dressings, Dips, and Sauces; Wraps and Rolls; Snacks and Treats; Desserts; and Beverages.
Be sure to use Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature to check out more of the content in Nourishing Meals, especially the recipes. Those are the true delight in any good cookbook, of course. Be sure to page through all the way to the end of the excerpted content on Amazon because it’s there you’ll find Ali’s gorgeous photos of her recipes!
Flipping through Ali’s cookbook, I was drawn to so many recipes: Orange Creamsicle Smoothie, Buckwheat Cinnamon Rolls, Coconut Flour Biscuits, Hazelnut Banana Muffins, Everyday Sandwich Bread, Baby Arugula Salad with Zucchini-Lime Dressing, Apricot-Glazed Chicken, and Warm Chocolate Cake. Goodness! Those are just some of the ones that caught my eye.
With over 500 pages of content and 365 recipes, there’s really so much to choose from! But I quickly decided to make the Chocolate Chip Zucchini Almond Bread as my first recipe from Nourishing Meals. I chose it because of my love of quick bread, zucchini bread, and chocolate chips, and also because it was grain free and contained no refined sugar (or little refined sugar depending upon the chocolate chips used in the recipe).
I’ll confess that when I tried a slice soon after I pulled this bread out of the oven, I initially thought that it wasn’t quite sweet enough. However, after letting the bread sit for a while until it cooled completely (as directed) and sampling another slice the next day I decided that my first impression had been wrong. The sweetness factor in this bread is absolutely perfect. It’s just sweet enough after sitting, which allows the flavors to come together so nicely.
I made this recipe as a dessert for a gathering of gluten-free friends and they all agreed that the sweetness was just right. Eating fewer overly sweet foods and less refined sugar is always one of my aspirations and the recipes in this cookbook will definitely help anyone in that regard.
Because this recipe is gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and refined sugar free, I’ve labeled it “paleo.” Ali’s cookbook is not a paleo cookbook, but because the recipes are all gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and refined sugar free, many also fit the paleo category.
If you’re not one for labels or have no other dietary restrictions than gluten, don’t be put off by what I call “more free” recipes. In the end, even though we’re talking about healthier recipes that work for more people, we’re still simply talking about recipes for good food. That’s what brings everyone to the table. Start with this Paleo Chocolate Chip Zucchini Almond Bread!
Paleo Chocolate Chip Zucchini Almond Bread Recipe
Paleo Chocolate Chip Zucchini Almond Bread
Yield 1 regular-sized loaf
- 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
- ¾ cup arrowroot powder or tapioca flour/starch
- 2 tbsp coconut flour, sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp nutmeg (optional; I prefer recipe without)
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, liquefied
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8 ½ x 4 ½ glass loaf pan or four mini loaf pans.
- In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
- Add in eggs, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Whisk until combined.
- Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes (or 30 to 40 minutes if using mini loaf pans), or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for about 20 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to completely cool.
Other Favorite Gluten-Free Quick Bread Recipes