Nela’s whole wheat zucchini bread recipe, with molasses

Whole wheat zucchini bread recipe with molasses. A hearty loaf with a delicate texture.

I have a friend who is a fabulous cook and is now venturing into the baking world. She’s expecting her first child this fall and early on in her pregnancy was craving baked beans, which got us talking about molasses as a natural, healthy sweetener.

Now she’s experimenting with molasses in baking and a couple of weeks ago gave me a slice if this delicious bread.

It’s an extreme makeover of a recipe she found online. (Making any recipe healthy is a great skill of Nela’s and it’s always a good idea to arrive hungry to her place.)

I have to tell you, as much as I like regular zucchini bread, molasses elevates it to a whole new level. It adds flavour and substance to the bread.

Paired with whole wheat flour, this is a hearty loaf with a delicate texture. The recipe makes two loaves, which is even better.

Nela’s whole wheat zucchini bread recipe, with molasses

Makes two loaves

  • 3 1/4 cups flour (half and half whole wheat and white)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (only peeled if the skin is tough)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped nuts and/or seeds (walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, coconut)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, combine oil and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add molasses and water then stir in zucchini and lemon juice or vanilla.

Pour wet ingredients into dry, mixing gently. Gently fold in nuts and /or seeds.

Pour batter into two standard loaf pans that have been well greased. (I also line the bottoms of my pans with parchment paper so the loaves come out more easily after baking). Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Alternately, bake in 5 mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes.

Whole wheat zucchini bread recipe with molasses. Flavourful with a delicate texture.

Zucchini brownies with molasses and flax

Too many zucchini in your garden?

I WISH I had that problem but so far I only have zucchini blossoms. Our local markets are teeming with them though and already I have more in my fridge than I can reasonably use in a week so I went looking for new ways to eat them up.

I call this a healthy brownie

After all, something that includes zucchini and flax seeds is bound to be good for you.  Molasses and unsweetened cocoa powder have nutritional value too. So I had one at breakfast this morning.

A couple of tips: I grate my zucchini on the coarse side of a box grater and then squeeze the water out a handful at a time. (It’s a good hand-strengthening exercise.)  Also, the batter is dense so I used my hands to incorporate the zucchini.

Healthy tip: Feel free to reduce the sugar to 1 cup, reduce the salt to 1/2 tsp. and reduce the chocolate chips to 1/2 cup. Increase the cocoa by 2 Tbsp. (This is how I make them for my kids’ lunches).

Zucchini brownies

  • ½ cup oil or melted butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ cup ground flax
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups shredded, drained zucchini
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Line a 9”x9” pan with parchment paper or grease it well.
  2. Combine oil, sugar, vanilla and molasses. Add egg and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, flax, cinnamon, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add this mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well.
  5. Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips (if using).
  6. Spread in prepared pan.
  7. Bake at 350 F for 35 to 40 minutes

This recipe is loosely based on a recipe I found on the lovely baking blog,