Susan from Real Kids Eat Spinach has been participating in the Healthy Lunchbox Series since it began, back in 2011. I am thrilled to be working with her once again. Susan is always filled with great advice and delicious recipes, and her Paleo Zucchini-Banana Bread looks to be no exception. Enjoy!
My kids “get” it when it comes to healthy food choices. While I’d like to credit their intelligence or innate knack for nutrition, their knowledge really stems from constantly being beaten over the head about it by me! When school starts up again every fall, I always hear about the foods their friends bring into school.
My two know better than to request Oreos or Cheetos, and their healthier packed lunches have actually inspired a few of their friends to try new things. I don’t pack all carrot sticks and sliced turkey, however, as I appreciate every kid wants to open their lunch box and discovered something a little “fun.”
Fun and healthy don’t have to be mutually exclusive, though, and even better than a healthier packaged snack is something tasty made from scratch.
I personally follow a paleo lifestyle, so most of my baking and treats are grain-free. Both of my kids’ schools have nut-free policies, which limits the options slightly. This bread is healthy enough for breakfast, sweet enough for a special treat, and meets the nut-free requirement. It also is a fantastic way to make use of the huge zucchini we got to harvest from our backyard garden!
I usually make this bread without the chocolate chips, but since the focus is on healthy lunches I caved into my offspring’s request for a few Enjoy Life dairy-free chips. The addition of the chocolate also kicked up the sweetness, so I was able to add less honey. If you don’t include chips you might want to add a smudge more. For sweetness maple syrup works great too.
Make sure you really wring out your zucchini, and choose a very ripe banana to make it easy to combine. Coconut flour-based baked goods always do best if you let the batter rest for a few minutes before baking; this allow the coconut flour to absorb the moisture and the batter to thicken up.
This bread has a firm texture that slices very easily for packing, but bakes up just as well as muffins. It also freezes well, so you can wrap individual slices or muffins and then have them ready to pop into your kids’ lunches any time.
Paleo Zucchini-Banana Bread
1 cup grated or shredded zucchini, excess water wrung out
1 ripe mashed banana
2 tbs. raw honey or pure maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbs. cinnamon
small handful of dairy-free Enjoy Life chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all wet ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
Pour batter into a greased loaf pan or greased or lined muffin tins. Bake for 45-50 minutes for bread, and 35-40 minutes for muffins (or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean).