Gluten Free, Vegan Zucchini Date Bread
September 15, 2015

 Gluten Free, Vegan Zucchini Date Bread

First of all, thank you all so much for the super feedback on yesterday’s menu planning post!

In that post, I mentioned that I’d whipped up a batch of zucchini date bread over the weekend. There’s still plenty of time to savor both zucchinis and tomatoes in New York state; they won’t disappear from the market until October, or even a touch later. But I’m hoarding zucchini like it’s my job anyway. It’s one of my favorite vegetables for a lot of reasons, but I especially love its versatility. It’s delicious raw, cooked, spiralized, sauteed, or roasted; you can use it in gratins, pastas, salads, and, apparently, even relish.

Gluten Free, Vegan Zucchini Date Bread

Of course, zucchini can also be given a sweet treatment. It’s a great addition to baked goods, adding moisture and texture as well as a healthy dose of phytonutrients. Zucchini bread is a famously easy way to squeeze a few more veggies into kids’ diets…and it’s plenty appealing for us grown ups, too.

Gluten Free, Vegan Zucchini Date Bread

This wonderful, gluten free loaf marries grated zucchini and soaked medjool dates for a ton of moisture and natural sweetness. It’s a spin on the date nut bread I posted on Food52 last year. I tweaked the recipe by reducing the dates slightly to make room for the zucchini. Because the zucchini adds natural moisture in the bread, I reduced the oil from 1/2 to 1/3 cup, and I reduced the maple syrup, too. Fans of sweeter baked goods may want to use 1/2 cup maple syrup in place of 1/3, but I promise that the dates add a lot of sweetness to the bread–without any refined sugar.

Gluten Free, Vegan Zucchini Date Bread

This is a perfect fall quickbread, equally nice for breakfast or snacking. I’ve been eating it plain most of the time, but a schmear of nut butter is a pretty great addition.

Gluten Free, Vegan Zucchini Date Bread

Gluten Free, Vegan Zucchini Date Bread

Author -
Yields: 8 -10 slices

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped and pitted medjool dates about 5 ounces
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax meal
  • 2 cups Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour or whole wheat pastry flour (you can substitute another GF all-purpose flour of choice--just be aware that they all absorb liquid differently, so your texture results may vary a bit from mine)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt scant
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed or melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups grated or shredded zucchini squeezed through cheese cloth or between paper towels to absorb excess moisture after grating

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly oil and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
  • Bring two cups of water to boil. Remove the water from the stove and pour it over the chopped dates. Allow the to soak for 15-30 minutes. Drain them and set them aside.
  • Mix the ground flax meal with 3 tablespoons of warm water and set it aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the vinegar to the almond milk in a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk them together vigorously, until the mixture is frothy. Stir in the prepared flax mixture, syrup and oil. Add these wet ingredients to the flour mixture, along with the dates and the zucchini. Fold all of the ingredients together until they're just evenly mixed (a few lumps is fine).
  • Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan, and bake for 35-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean. (Mine baked up in 35, as my oven runs hot, but I've heard feedback that it can take quite a bit longer, so just keep checking it and use your intuition.) Cut into slices and serve. Bread will keep, wrapped up tightly, for up to four days, and it can be frozen for up to one month.

Gluten Free, Vegan Zucchini Date Bread

As I said, it’s hard not to love this bread. I’m particularly happy that I added the ginger to it: cinnamon is sort of ubiquitous in baked goods, and ginger often gets added along with it, but I wanted to feature ginger on its own here. It adds subtle spice here, as well as a wonderfully autumnal fragrance! I also love the way the chopped dates almost seem to melt into the bread, working their caramel-like magic along the way.

Gluten Free, Vegan Zucchini Date Bread

Hopefully you’ll give it a try this fall, and let me know what you think! I’m guessing that chopped figs would also be terrific, if you prefer them to dates, and raisins are also fine. I almost always soak dried fruit before adding it to baked goods, as it prevents you from ending up with tough, chewy pieces in the finished bread (and makes the slices easier to cut).

And with that, I’m signing off for this evening. Hope your weeks are going well!

xo

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    47 Comments
  1. Sorry, didn’t work for me. Baked seventy five minutes and still doughy as others have said.

  2. Currently having this for breakfast, I baked it last night it looks, smells and tastes wonderful!! I added a bit of dried rosemary and cinnamon instead of ginger since I’m not really a ginger gal and it is beautiful! I baked it for around 65/70 minutes
    Thank you Gena for this lovely recipe 🙂

  3. I LOVE that this is a GF, sugar free and vegan recipe!! Brave to that. Unfortunately, I’ve made this bread a few times, and each time I have cooked for close to TWO hours and the inside still will not cook. I squeezed out the extra water in the zucchini and used the Bob’s Red Mill GF flour mix as well. Not sure what I’m doing wrong, The taste is DELICIOUS but the texture is uncooked bread 🙁 I’ll take any advice to get it to come out like your pictures!

    Thanks!

    • Hey Emily,

      I’ve gotten some mixed feedback on cooking time, so I do plan to re-test the recipe and possibly tweak my measurements soon. I’ll definitely let you know when I have a more reliable formula — I’m sorry it didn’t turn out right!

      G

  4. Hi! I’m really looking forward to trying this recipe. I don’t have GF flour…could I use regular flour instead? Would anything else need to shift? Also do you have any thoughts on using banana instead of maple syrup? I’m out of maple and do not have any other sweetners on hand..thanks for any thoughts!

    • Hi Lisa,

      Regular flour is totally fine!

      Regarding the banana, I’m not entirely sure how it’ll work out. I think you’d need at least 1/2 cup mashed, which will change the liquid ratio in the recipe. You can try that, and then reduce almond milk to 1/2 cup. I haven’t tried this so I can’t vouch for it, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’ll turn out for you 🙂

      Gena

  5. This is really delicious, but the texture is gummy. I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF flour. Reading the comments, I wonder if I should bake it some more. I did bake for about 60 minutes. Altho the toothpick was clean, the bread was not as brown as your photos. And I now see that since I downloaded the recipe, you’ve added direction to remove moisture from the zucchini. Maybe that would have made the difference. It really does taste good, so I will try again.

    • Heather, thanks for the comment! Because the cooking time seems slippery, this is a recipe that I may test again myself for precision (I’ve gotten an oven thermometer since I made it, which is helping me to manage what can be an unevenly heated oven). I’ll comment to let you know if I do!

  6. This loaf is currently cooling on my counter…. minus two slices already! Courtesy of yours truly 🙂 Really delicious! Sadly, I was out of Bob’s GF flour so I made my own mix of
    1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
    1/2 cup white rice flour
    1/2 cup tapioca flour
    1 pinch xantham gum
    and it worked perfectly! Obviously I didn’t use the whole batch for the loaf, I have some left over for my next one, lol.
    The consistency was fabulous, and it was moist, dense, and filling. Everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a GF vegan bread! The dates literally melted in my mouth like caramel, so perfect. I made sure to squeeze out the zucchini extra well with my nut milk bag, as a note. Other than that everything was the same! Oh, but it did take over an hour to cook. Even now it might be a little under cooked (but I love it all the same. Not raw or anything, just not super cooked!).
    Thank you so much! Your blog is awesome <3

    • This is super awesome feedback! And thanks for noting the cooking time, Amberley, that’s helpful. Also helpful to know the flour blend you used. I hope that you can enjoy the delicious loaf all through the weekend 🙂

  7. I really wanted this to turn out!! Sadly, like Lindsey, my batter started out extremely doughy, and the end result was super slimy and gummy after over an hour of baking. 🙁 Such a shame!!

    Did anyone have any success with this recipe so far? I’m going to buy some Bob’s GF (I used Pamela’s), and try again. I really want to succeed with it!

    • Logan, me again: I added a note to call for squeezing out excess moisture out of the zucchini prior to cooking. I think this will help with the gumminess, in addition to trying Bob’s GF flour. If you have a chance to test before I do, let me know how it goes!

      • Gena, round 2 came out GREAT!! I used Bob’s GF, and I think that really made a difference; even before I added the zucchini I knew it would end up totally different from the last one. This was my first attempt at vegan baking, so I’m so happy it turned out in the end! Thanks so much, Gena!

        • Logan, I am THRILLED to hear this! I think I will edit the recipe to explicitly call for Bob’s GF, so that everyone has consistent results. Really grateful for your feedback!

    • Really sorry to hear it, Logan. Mine turned out really well, but gluten free baking is tricky. If I get any more feedback like this, I’ll try re-testing it and see what kinds of results I get (so that I can adjust quantities if need be).

  8. I had a real disaster with this – came out like a brick (kept having to put it back in as it didn’t seem to be cooked – was probably baking for an hour) and the texture in the end was a combination of slimy and grainy – barf! Any suggestions as to where I might have gone wrong?

    • Lindsay, I’m so sorry to hear that. It could have been the GF blend you used (I use Bob’s Red Mill, if that’s helpful), or it could have been oven running hot or cool. It might also have been really watery zucchini. In any case, I hope you have more success with other recipes and am sorry that this one was a flop.

  9. This was delicious! I found that I had to bake it for much longer however, 75 minutes. Maybe my zucchini had a lot of water?? Anyway, I will be enjoying it all week!

    • Could definitely be moisture in the vegetable, Lucy! I also have a very hot oven. I’m glad you mentioned it — I’ll add that the recipe may need longer in the oven.

  10. We have a TON of zucchini from the garden and are constantly looking for new recipes to use them in. This is next on the list!

  11. I just made the bread, it’s in the oven now…can’t wait to taste it! I assume that the flax meal/water mixture went in with the wet ingredients, you didn’t say where to add it. Sorry for being a hyper-proof-reader, comes from editing recipes for many years!

  12. Wow – it looks so good for gluten-free bread. Mine never looks like that haha ;p Maybe I’ll have to try this recipe. I love the date & zucchini combo. I am also a zucchini fiend. We buy several a week and I love putting them in anything and everything (even smoothies!).

    • I actually didn’t, but perhaps my zucchini wasn’t very moist. If yours seems watery, then feel free to give it a squeeze through cheesecloth or paper towels!

  13. Wow, this looks fabulous! Do you think I could use date paste instead of maple syrup? I prefer fruit-based sweeteners. Or could I just use more zucchini?

    • Hey Dana!

      Zucchini are not sweet enough to compensate for the maple syrup, so unless you want a really savory bread, I wouldn’t use extra zucchini here. Date paste will work wonderfully, though 🙂

      G

  14. Gena you are on a roll this week! what a flow of great posts! do you also experience the weird fact that how busier you are how easier it is to get things done? may sound weird but I really do! oh and on topic: i love zucchini as well 🙂

    • Hanne, I am 100% more productive when I’m busier! It’s so true, and having more blog productivity is proof. Glad you’re enjoying the posts.

  15. Looks great, Gena–love the addition of the dates and ginger instead of cinnamon. The photos are spectacular by the way. 🙂 xo

    • Actually glad you mentioned that — I should add to the recipe that AP flour or WWPF will work perfectly! I hope you enjoy it.