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chocolate zucchini bread with pistachios

by Jackie Newgent  |  July 13, 2014  |  1 Comment

chocolate zucchini bread

I don’t do much baking in the summertime. But there’s always one thing that finds its way into my oven in July; that’s zucchini bread. This season I changed up tradition to create a chocolaty concoction. The result: it’s a keeper!

Calories saved: 70

Why it’s better for you? Whole grains and cocoa!

Disclosure Note: I’m on the Pistachio Health consumer advisory board. I’m not paid for this posting. All recipe choices and opinions are my own.

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chocolate zucchini bread with pistachios

  • Yield: 18 1x


  • 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 1/4 cups + 1 tablespoon whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • 1 small fully-ripened banana, mashed
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest, or to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 1 large; do not drain)
  • 1/3 cup chopped (60 to 65% cacao) dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup roasted salted pistachios, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly brush a 9- x 5- inch loaf pan with 1 teaspoon of the grapeseed oil. Dust with 1 tablespoon of the flour.
  2. Whisk together the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/3 cup of the cocoa powder, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  3. Beat the eggs, the remaining 1/4 cup oil, 3/4 cup of the sugar, the mashed banana, extracts, and orange zest with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Stir in the zucchini, chocolate chips, and pistachios until evenly combined.
  4. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan. Dust the top with the remaining 1 teaspoon cocoa powder and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
  5. Bake until springy to the touch, about 55 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and completely cool. Cut into 18 slices and serve at room temperature.


Per serving: 140 calories, 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 20mg cholesterol, 130mg sodium, 22g total carbohydrate, 2g dietary fiber, 13g sugars, 3g protein


  • Serving Size: 1 slice


The “Before” Recipe

Inspired by: zucchini bread

Per serving (16 slices per loaf): 210 calories, 10g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 25mg cholesterol, 200mg sodium, 30g total carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 19g sugars, 3g protein


Tasteover Tips

  • Go whole grain when possible; it actually makes zucchini bread seem nuttier
  • Play up flavor by way of pure extracts or zest
  • Enhance sweetness naturally, such as incorporating mashed banana
  • Don’t rely on oil or butter for lusciousness, consider going chocolaty

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