Zucchini bread is already a pretty healthy snack, but you can take it up a notch by going oil-free.
Looking for how to make zucchini bread without oil? You’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ve got a guide on how to make low-fat zucchini bread and some of the oil substitutes you can use to make it.
Oil-Free Zucchini Bread Guide
Fortunately, making zucchini bread is as simple as substituting the oil in the recipe. You can follow any zucchini bread recipe you’d like for this, just omit the oil and use an alternative, fat-free option, like applesauce.
For example, after combining all the dry ingredients, you’d usually mix in the wet ingredients. For an oil-free zucchini bread, combine your alternative, applesauce, for instance, with your eggs and vanilla, and then mix it with your dry flour mixture.
Most oil substitutes work similarly to fat: moistening your bread while slowing gluten formation. This essentially results in soft bread, not a tough and dense one.
Why Should You Make Zucchini Bread Without Oil?
One of the main reasons why people opt to make zucchini bread without oil is to simply make it more healthy. Making it this way creates a low-fat pastry that’s still tender and moist.
In addition, removing oil ingredients, like butter, and substituting them can make the recipe vegan. Butter is often used as oil in baking pastries, but it isn’t traditionally a vegan option.
We’re looking at all the substitutes and alternatives you can use in the next section.
What Are Some Oil Substitutes for Zucchini Bread?
You’ll be surprised to know that the oil substitutes for zucchini bread don’t have the usual characteristics of your typical vegetable oil—apart from the last item on this list. However, these alternatives still do the job quite well!
These oil substitutes make your zucchini bread healthier without sacrificing the taste. Below are three of the most common ones used in baking zucchini bread.
This is the go-to substitute for most pastries, including zucchini bread, when you don’t want to use oil or melted butter. Applesauce does an excellent job of keeping any type of pastry, from bread to cakes, moist.
The ratio of oil to applesauce is usually 1:1, so you’re just replacing the oil without having to tinker with the measurements.
In addition, it’s packed with natural sweeteners, even if you opt for unsweetened applesauce. This means you can add less sugar to your batter.
Omitting oil significantly decreases the zucchini bread’s moisture. Yogurt is another substitute that helps eliminate this problem.
Most recipes suggest plain yogurt, but you can also use Greek or lightly flavored ones, like vanilla. The ratio of yogurt to oil is usually 1:1. Some pastry recipes recommend reducing some of your liquid ingredients when using this substitute.
It’s also worth noting that some baking directions only call for using yogurt with a little oil. You can completely substitute one with the other, but the former does leave a slight tanginess.
Avocado oil is perhaps the most similar to the usual vegetable oil in this list. However, they have significant differences when it comes to health benefits.
This alternative is healthier than vegetable oil by a long shot. That’s mainly because avocado oil is made up of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat.
It’s often referred to as a heart-healthy oil because of its benefits to our cardiovascular system. In addition to that, it has a smooth, creamy, and nutty taste.
The only caveat of this oil alternative is that it can be a bit hard to find in local grocery stores compared to the other options listed above.
How Do They Alter the Flavor and Texture of Zucchini Bread?
Generally, the effect will vary from pastry to pastry. For zucchini bread, the main alteration of substituting oil for something like applesauce or yogurt, for example, is the texture and taste.
If you’re on the fence about using these alternatives because of the texture changes, you can try and add half of your chosen alternative and half of regular oil to test the waters.
Some substitutes, like yogurt and avocado oil, can also alter the taste quite significantly as you increase their amount in the batter. Yogurt would add tanginess, while avocado oil would add a nutty, grassy flavor.
Substituting oil in pastries makes them healthier without sacrificing their taste and softness! Fortunately, there are several oil alternatives, including the most common, applesauce.
It’s as simple as following your usual recipe and using your chosen alternative instead of oil. It’s easy, delicious, healthy, and even vegan—if you choose to.
With this handy guide, you never have to wonder why and how to make zucchini bread without oil again!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.