Zucchini Coconut Lunchbox Bread

by | Apr 24, 2013 | 38 comments


Let me start today by thanking you all. Yesterday I was absolutely gobsmacked to discover that I was one of the five finalists for the Best Australian Blogs 2013 in the Lifestyle category. For all those of you who took the time out to head on over there and cast me a vote, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. For all those who wrote to me yesterday and today, I am touched by your love. For all those of you who read what I write, I am truly amazed and thankful for your support! You rock people!

Zucchini Coconut Lunchbox Bread - Cook Republic


A few days ago I bought Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar cookbook. Sarah Wilson is an Australian journalist and media personality who decided to take up the 8 weeks sugar free challenge that was later published into a book. I am nowhere close to restricting myself to a set diet, I believe in moderation and sensibility. I also like to think of food as a gift, an adventure that has to be enjoyed. But I like to stay informed and make healthier choices wherever possible based on that knowledge.

Rice Malt Syrup


Bread Batter


The I Quit Sugar cookbook is very interesting, definitely a page turner. If used wisely without delving into drastic tactics that might not be possible for many of us because we don’t have the time, can’t afford it, have kids etc., it can be a great starting point for eating healthier. It talks about good sugar and bad sugar in great length. By steering clear of bad sugars and incorporating more good sugars and consuming less sugars in general, I found after 2 weeks that my skin had cleared up. Score!

Zucchini Coconut Lunchbox Bread


One of the ingredients the book talks about is rice malt syrup. I discovered Pure Harvest Rice Malt Syrup that is made with organic brown rice by culturing rice with enzymes and cooking it down to a syrup. It resembles thick honey in texture and colour but is not as sweet. It is gluten-free and fructose-free (that is the bad sugar I was talking about earlier) whereas honey has 40% fructose, table sugar has 50% fructose and agave syrup has about 90% fructose. In terms of substitution, rice malt syrup can be substituted 1:1 for any kind of sugar/honey but the result will always be much less sweet.

Zucchini Coconut Bread With Rice Malt Syrup


People who know me very well know that I am not a big fan of sweet. So I was very excited to try this syrup in a beautiful bread filled with veggies and nuts that I could slice up and carry in my lunchbox for a delectable not-so-sweet treat. The recipe for this Zucchini Coconut Lunchbox Bread came about slowly, one lingering ingredient at a time. There is zucchini, pecan nuts, coconut, olive oil and rice malt syrup in it. The flavours develop and become beautiful after a day or two. It is the most delightful bread I have baked in recent times.

Healthy Zucchini Coconut Lunchbox Bread

Zucchini Coconut Lunchbox Bread - Healthy Options At Cook Republic



A beautiful healthy autumn bread baked with grated zucchini, pecan nuts, coconut flour, coconut butter and rice malt syrup for a power packed lunchbox treat.
Print Recipe Rate / Comment
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 2 loafs


  • 2 large zucchinis, finely grated
  • 1 cup 250ml rice malt syrup
  • 1 cup 250ml olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons coconut butter/oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups 300g plain flour
  • 1 cup 90g coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 cup toasted pecan nuts, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar, for topping
  • shredded coconut, for topping


  • Pre-heat oven to 180C.
  • Grease and line two loaf tins with baking paper. Squeeze grated zucchini and drain as much liquid as you can before adding to the baking mix.
  • Mix zucchini, syrup, oil, eggs and coconut butter in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl sift the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add the coconut flour.
  • Add flour mixture to the zucchini mixture. Add pecans and mix well using a wooden spoon. Scoop mixture evenly into the prepared loaf tins. Smooth the tops and sprinkle the raw sugar over the batter.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until cooked through when tested with a skewer inserted down the middle of the bread. Remove from oven. Cool in tins for about 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool further.
  • Eat warm with butter.


It keeps well for a week if the weather is really cool (perfect for autumn!) otherwise butter it and freeze it in ziplock bags to carry in your lunchbox for a nutrient-packed treat.
Olive oil can be directly substituted with a nut oil or rice bran oil.
Plain flour can be substituted with gluten-free flour or wholemeal flour.
Adding dried cranberries or raisins can increase sweetness and flavour.
Did you make my recipe?I'd love to hear how you went! Tag me on Instagram @cookrepublic



Find More Recipes By CategoryBaking Bread Breakfast Vegetarian Whole Food



I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. JJ - 84thand3rd

    Congrats on being a finalist! I’ve been using rice syrup for the past few years and am a big convert. Zucchini Bread is such a great treat, yours sounds fabulous! 🙂

  2. Ai-Ling@blueapocalypse

    My friend gave me a jar of rice malt syrup leftover from her pantry when she moved overseas but I haven’t used it yet. This recipe looks like a good way to start. The texture of the bread looks great!

  3. jehanne@thecookingdoctor

    Love the gorgeous picture, mesmerising! I am not sure if I would ever go down no sugar route ( just too difficult with so many pastries around!) but this bread is a must try. I hope mine will turn out as gorgeous as yours:-)

  4. Chetana

    Hi Sneh,
    I love zuchinni bread and this is such a brilliant recipe. I never thought of adding coconut oil to cakes/bread…a bit curious whether it was overpowering. Well I bumped into your fabulous page while blog surfing and I must say, it is absolutely beautiful. Also congrats for being a finalist, your blog speaks loud of your talent. Tagging this recipe.

  5. Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    What a scrumptious bread, love the zucchini and coconut pairing!

  6. Rosa

    A delicious bread! So moist and temüting. I love the addition of pecan nuts.



  7. Vicky

    Looks really good! can’t wail to try this – probably this weekend 🙂
    and your photos are something!

  8. thelittleloaf

    You know I’ve never baked with rice malt syrup? But I’d love to give it a go, especially in a beautiful loaf like this 🙂

  9. gerie


    This is such a brilliant recipe.
    Can’t wail to try this bread.
    Nice combinations , zuchinni and coconut.
    Hope i can get rice malt syrup in to the store in the Netherlands.
    Also congrets being a finalist.
    Your blog speaks from your talent.
    i enjoy read your blog and try the recepi’s.



  10. Knitnell

    oooh yes – this looks very good – I will go and hunt out rice malt syrup, not something I know. I like to cut down on salt and sugar in cooking but not so much that it renders the food boring. I have been using agave syrup on my porridge and thought it would be the healthiest sweetener option – obviously not! So difficult to get food right.

  11. Martyna @ Wholesome Cook

    Love this Sneh, well done for trying the sugar-free route! I’ve been following Sarah for some time – she is the one who inspired me to try other low fructose sugar alternatives (yes, agave is a no-no) and to publish me sugar-free desserts ebook. Oh, and congrats on being a finalist too! Your blog is creative and lovely and I’m sure you’ll do well! 😀 I’m so excited for you on both fronts!

  12. ami@naivecookcooks

    Sneh, congrats for being a finalist!!! Lovely looking bread and so healthy!

  13. Colette @ JFF!

    This is the best way to sneak veggies into your kids’ meals. I love it.
    Congrats, Sneh! xo

  14. sandra

    what is the font you used on the first picture?

  15. Adri {Food-N-Thought}

    I’ve also been thinking about sugar and sugar substitutes a lot lately hoping to bring more control to the kids diet, I will have to see where I can find me some of this syrup… thanks for sharing. This zucchini bread looks amazing!

  16. Petra

    Congratulations!!! You put so much effort into this blog you really deserve to be a finalist.
    Your zucchini coconut lunchtime bread tasted beautiful especially slightly warm … mmmh.

  17. Amelia Wasiliev

    This looks delicious and great blog! So glad to have discovered it.

  18. Jamie

    So bummed. This looks absolutely amazing and I love trying out new flours like coconut. However, I baked the loaves for nearly an hour and a half and both were still raw and mushy throughout, with top and sides perfectly browned. 🙁 Any thoughts as to how to improve it next time? For now, I’m trying to slice it best that I can and rebake the slices like biscotti to try and salvage something. My oven is fine and I followed the recipe, with the addition of raisins. Why do you think it might have been so wet inside?

    • Sneh

      I am sorry the bread didn’t turn out as expected. I have a feeling it might be my fault. I have read through the recipe and notes and I couldn’t see the “Squeeze grated zucchini and drain as much liquid as you can before adding to baking mix.” anywhere. Zucchini releases a lot of water just like cucumber and if used in salads or baking needs to be drained to remove the excess liquid. Is this what might have happened? Kudos to you for trying to salvage it by making biscottis, that is brilliant. I hope you will make it again, it is a lovely bread.

  19. Mary

    I have a massive, 15-inch zucchini I need to use, and quickly; cups-wise, how much are “2 large zucchini”? I get the feeling that 2 of this zucchini (a present from a student!) would make enough zucchini bread to feed the whole school!

    • Sneh

      a 15 inch zucchini would be perfect .. just about the size of two medium ones.

  20. Peta

    Just wondered if these can be made without the pecans so they fit into the “nut free” policies of most schools? Would I need to replace it with something?

    • Sneh

      You could omit the nuts, although they do add a nice textural element without which the bread can tend to become dense. You could maybe try a tablespoon or two of oats to bulk it up and make it less stodgy?

  21. Louise

    I found your blog today, it is NO WONDER you won best blog – what an amazing achievement. I have spent several hours exploring your pages today and will no doubt be a regular! I stumbled across this recipe after having tried a few versions of my own zucchini-coconut combination bread. I followed Sarah’s quit sugar program and have pretty much stuck with it so I use a lot of coconut products and there’s always a zucchini in the fridge! I made your bread today (the only change was I used spelt flour) and it was AMAZING (far superior in taste and texture to any of my attempts!). My two little ones loved it too. I’m looking forward to trying many more of your recipes. Thank you.

  22. Magdalena

    Such a great recipe! Love the combo of zucchini and coconut. Went down a treat.

  23. Karo

    Hi Sneh, I’d love to try this bread! Do you think I could replace the plain flour with some almond one? Thank you!

    • Sneh

      I don’t see why not, but it will also render the already quite moist bread, even more moist. Are you looking for a gf option? Maybe you could substitute half and half .. almond and some other gf flour?

      • Karo

        Exactly 🙂 I need a GF option… I guess I could try it with flax seed flour… I’ll just try 🙂 Thanks for your answer!!

  24. Riley

    This recipe looks amazing – can’t wait to try it.

    Could I use regular rice syrup in place of the rice malt syrup originally called for? Is there a significant difference between the two sweeteners?

    Cheers! 🙂

  25. Kim

    I baked this bread the other day but I found the texture to be very ‘grainy’. I used all purpose gluten free flour along with the coconut flour. It just didn’t have a nice texture. Any idea what the problem might be? I know coconut flour usually requires more liquid added to a recipe but since this has been baked successfully by you with the coconut flour I’m not sure what happened. Maybe I squeezed too much liquid from the zucchini?! Lol!

    • Sneh

      Hi Kim, Sorry it turn out as expected. Coconut flour does need more liquids. If it was grainy, that was probably what the problem was. Was it mixed alright? Did it have lumps? The batter consistency has to be like a fluid cake mix, not stodgy and providing resistance when you mix. Cheers!

      • Kim

        Thanks for your reply. The batter definitely wasn’t fluid; it was very thick and I had to scoop it into the pans. Sounds like I needed more liquid! I shall try it again sometime soon. 🙂

  26. Lucy

    Hi Sneh,

    If I don’t have coconut flour, can I just use all plain flour instead?

    • Sneh

      Hi Lucy, Yes you can, although you might need more flour than coconut flour as coconut flour absorbs more liquids. The batter consistency should be just like cake. Cheers!

  27. Julia

    Sneh, I have just turned out two golden loaves…your recipe is fantastic. I made a few substitutions (just because i had them in the pantry) and it still worked perfectly!

    I used 2 & 3/4 cups Buckwheat flour and added 1/4 cup chia seeds instead of the plain and coconut flour. I didn’t have coconut butter so just left it out. Added a handful of cranberries as you suggested and the result is light, flavoursome and just delicious. Thanks!

  28. Karina

    If I use gluten free flour would I need to adjust the quantity of the other ingredients? Would I also need to adjust the baking time? I avoid gluten but I’ve never baked gluten free recipes before. Thanks for sharing and I really want to give your recipe a try!

  29. Ashleigh

    I made this loaf last night and it it absolutely lovely! Such a great consistency. I subbed half of the oil with full fat milk and both loaves are lovely and moist, but with a lovely crunchy outer layer. Will definitely be making again, but might try adding in a mashed banana to give it a sweeter taste, without too much added fructose. Beautiful with a bit of butter on it! Thank-you Sneh for a lovely low-sugar recipe!


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