This Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread recipe features an unusual ingredient that makes it incredibly moist – quinoa! It’s easy to make, packed with dark chocolate, and is a healthy spin on chocolate chip zucchini bread.
Back in 2010, in the early days of this food blog, I posted a recipe for double chocolate zucchini bread with quinoa. Then it sat waaaaaaay back in the archives, sitting in a sad, dusty corner of the internet where old recipes go to die. This summer I decided to give the loaf a little love, and when I made the recipe you know what happened?
It didn’t turn out.
And not only did the loaf not turn out, but when I took out my camera do take some process shots, I discovered that my 50mm lens (that is, the lens I use to take 99.9% of all food photos) had cracked in half in transit from Stockholm to Vancouver. So there I was with sad, crappy zucchini loaf and a broken lens, with nothing to do but go back to the drawing board.
Not to worry.
I bought a new lens, and I re-made and re-tested the zucchini bread recipe approximately one million* times until I got it juuuuust right. So here we are today and I hope you’re all ready to make a killer healthy chocolate zucchini bread recipe!
*Actual number is more like three.
Errr, why is there quinoa in this chocolate zucchini bread recipe?
Great question. There’s quinoa up in here because I’m wild and crazy and like to do insane things like bake with quinoa.
Also because it adds moisture, protein, and a little je ne sais quoi to the recipe without making it taste weird and hippyish, if you know what I mean.
And because there was quinoa in the original recipe, and I felt compelled to leave it in. But, I mean, why not? We add oats to recipes all the time and that’s totally normal, so let’s expand our cooking with grains* horizons, shall we?
*Yes, I’m aware that quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain.
What do I need to make this chocolate chip zucchini bread?
- Yer gonna need zucchini!
- Flour – we’re going all-purpose this time
- Cocoa – because chocolate
- Chocolate chunks – because double chocolate
- Quinoa – yep, we’re going there!
- Eggs – to bind this loaf together
- Olive oil – I like the grassy flavour of olive oil with zucchini
- Brown sugar – but not too much
Sounds doable, right?
How do you make double chocolate zucchini bread?
Friends, here’s something important you should know about me: I’m an incredibly lazy baker. Don’t get me wrong, I like to bake, and I respect the science of baking, but I don’t like fussy and un-necessary extra steps. Who has time for that kind of nonsense?
With that in mind, I’ve master-minded a one-bowl technique for making this chocolate zucchini bread recipe.
I mix all of the wet stuff together in the bowl, then I sift the dry ingredients over top. I’m not really prone to sifting stuff most of the time (see: lazy baker) but when cocoa is in the mix I really must insist you do. That stuff is lump city.
Once you’ve mixed the sifted dry ingredients into the wet, then you can fold in the chunky stuff. we’re talking zucchini, quinoa, and chocolate chunks. But reserve some of the chocolate to sprinkle over the top of the loaf; it’ll make you look fancy!
Tips for making double chocolate zucchini bread
- Ok folks, this is super important: we’re starting with cooked and cooled quinoa. Not raw, crunchy quinoa. Leftover cooked quinoa is great!
- Do yourselves and your loaf a favour, and line the tin with parchment paper. Everyone will be happier this way.
- Can I use chocolate chips instead of chunks? You may. I live in a sad, chipless land, so I am forced to chop up a bar of chocolate when I want to bake with it. But if you’ve got chocolate chips on the ready, get ’em in there!
- Can I make vegan chocolate zucchini bread? Surely you can. I haven’t tested this recipe without using eggs, but that’s the only non-vegan ingredient that would need replacing. If anyone tests it out using an egg replacer, please let us know in the comments below!
- Can I make this chocolate chip zucchini bread gluten-free? Again, I’m sure you can, but I haven’t tested it that way so I can’t answer with any kind of authority. Useless, I know!
- How do I know when my zucchini bread is finished baking? I like the good old knife-inserted-in-the-middle-of-the-loaf technique to check for doneness. You may hit a chocolate chunk and get a smear of chocolate on your knife, and that’s ok. What we’re looking for is only a few crumbs of actual loaf clinging to the knife.
Hey Nutrition Lady, is this healthy chocolate zucchini bread?
Every time this Nutrition Lady turns up anywhere with a baked good, that’s the inevitable question. Is this healthy?! C’mon Nutrition Lady, you made me a healthy cake, right?
Usually not. I have too much respect for cake.
So when it comes to this particular recipe, are we gonna tag it with a big ol’ H for healthy? Well, kinda? I mean, it’s got a crap-ton of zucchini stuffed in there, plus quinoa (just ask the internet hippies, that shit is mega healthy), olive oil, not that much sugar, and everyone knows that dark chocolate is super healthy, right? Right.
It’s also definitely calorie dense, packed full of carbs, and has a good amount of chocolate mixed in. So, is it or isn’t it?!
While I’d hesitate to refer to something called Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread as a health food, I also don’t believe in bogus food labels like “health food” or “clean” or whatever the kids are going with these days. I tend to consider anything that’s homemade, made with love, and made with real food ingredients to be healthy.
So you can tell the people who ask that the Nutrition Lady says this is a very fine chocolate zucchini loaf indeed, and leave it at that. It’s definitely better than your average zucchini loaf, and the specifics are down in the nutrition label if you really want to know.
Other tasty loaves and muffins you might enjoy:
Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread with Quinoa
This Double Chocolate Zucchini Loaf features an unusual ingredient: quinoa! Deeply chocolately, super moist and delicious, and tipping over to the healthy side of things, I know you'll love this loaf as much as I do.
- 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup olive oil or other vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips divided
Preheat oven to 350° F / 180°C. Prepare a loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Stir to combine.
Place a sifter over the wet ingredients, and add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sift over the wet ingredients, careful to eliminate any lumps from the cocoa powder.
Stir to combine the wet and dry ingredients, careful to not over mix.
Stir in the zucchini, quinoa, and 3/4 of the chocolate chips, reserving some for topping.
Distribute the batter into the prepared loaf tin, and scatter the remaining chocolate chips on top.
Bake for 50 - 60 min, rotating the pan half way though. A cake tester (toothpick, sharp knife) should come out mostly clean when the loaf is done, and the top should be firm.
Remove the zucchini bread from the oven, and cool on a wire rack before slicing.
- Leftover zucchini loaf can be stored at room temperature in an air-tight container for 3-5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only.
This recipe was originally published September 2, 2010. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated on August 24, 2018.