Bread is the gift that keeps on giving. If you allow yourself to go down the metaphorical rabbit hole that is bread, you will find many wonderful varieties of bread to suit every taste palate in the world. One such creation is zucchini bread which is a sweet beard made with flour, eggs, sugar, vegetable oil and of course zucchini among other ingredients. The vegetable oil makes zucchini moist and rich so what can you do if you don’t want to use vegetable oil in your zucchini bread? A lot will depend on the reason you are avoiding vegetable oil.
What Is Zucchini Bread?
Zucchini bread is a sweet bread recipe that has zucchini or baby marrow as one of its main ingredients. Similar to the presence of bananas in banana bread. Zucchini bread is made with plain flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, eggs, vegetable oil, white sugar, vanilla extract, walnuts and zucchini. The zucchini is grated or shredded to ensure easy mixing into the recipe and even distribution. Zucchini bread is also a quick bread. You can put together the entire recipe in an hour and a half including baking time. A single loaf of zucchini bread includes 1 cup of vegetable oil in the recipe. The appropriate substitute for vegetable oil in your zucchini bread will depend on why you want to substitute vegetable oil. So let’s look at our list of substitutes.
Since we are replacing oil it was more than likely we would have oils on the list. Canola oil is one of the oils that is found in mixed vegetable oil so it makes sense to use it as a substitute, Canola oil is made from rapeseed and boasts higher levels of unsaturated fats as well as lower levels of saturated fats than vegetable oil. So canola oil will bring all the same qualities to your zucchini bread without compromising the taste or texture of your zucchini bread. Simply replace the one cup of vegetable oil with one cup of canola oil and follow the rest of the directions as normal.
Another major ingredient in mixed vegetable oil is sunflower oil. You can happily use sunflower oil as a substitute for mixed vegetable oil in zucchini bread recipes. Sunflower oil has the added advantage of being a source of large amounts of vitamin E. If you have problems with inflammation in the body it may be best to avoid sunflower oil as it is high in omega-6 fatty acids which have been linked to inflammation. Again you can simply substitute one cup sunflower oil for one cup vegetable oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
If you have problems with cholesterol and you are avoiding vegetable oil for that reason you can look to extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is probably the healthiest oil out there. It’s full of good fats and antioxidants. Great a substitute as it is from a texture perspective, the distinct and robust flavour may affect your recipe from a taste perspective. Just use one cup of extra virgin olive oil in place of the one cup of vegetable in the recipe. The one downside of extra virgin olive oil compared to other substitutes you will find on this list is that it is expensive as far as oils go.
Coconut oil is a great substitute for vegetable oil in zucchini bread that brings a bit of a different flavour. If you love the flavour of coconut added to your zucchini bread to blend with the walnuts and vanilla extract this will work for you. There is still much debate about coconut oil from a health perspective though. There are arguments to say it helps in the reduction of cholesterol levels while there are also arguments to say it is detrimental to health. Once again you can easily swap out your cup of vegetable oil for a cup of coconut oil.
We are baking and any time you are baking using butter is always a good idea. So you can easily substitute melted butter (or margarine) for vegetable oil in your zucchini bread. The butter will bring a rich flavour and a bit of crispness to the outer crust of your zucchini bread. If you’re avoiding vegetable oil for health reasons it may be a good idea to skip the butter. You can substitute one cup of vegetable oil with one cup of melted butter.
Another oil on the list avocado oil is one of the healthier oils available as a substitute for vegetable oil in your zucchini bread. Avocado oil is unrefined so it is healthier. You will also be pleased to find it is high in healthy fats and vitamin E. usually a good bet for frying avocado oil does not possess a strong flavour so it will not affect the taste or texture of your zucchini bread. Simply substitute the one cup of vegetable oil in your recipe for one cup of avocado oil. On the downside, avocado oil, like extra virgin olive oil is a bit pricey compared to other substitutes.
If you want to avoid oil altogether you can always look to applesauce. This product of boiled and reduced apple puree will bring sufficient moisture to your recipe to make up for vegetable oil. Applesauce will bring a little sweetness to the recipe so you should reduce the amount of sugar you use in your recipe. Use three-quarters of a cup of applesauce in place of the one cup of vegetable oil. Applesauce will not greatly alter the flavour of your zucchini bread.
If you desperately need to avoid oil altogether then applesauce is your best substitute for vegetable oil in your zucchini bread. If you still want to use oil, extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil make great substitutes health-wise but are expensive. Canola and sunflower oil make it easy to find substitutes with some health benefits over vegetable oil.