If you’ve been blueberry picking, then this Healthy Blueberry Lemon Quick Bread is an absolute must-bake recipe! It is sweet and lemony and bursting with blueberries.

A close-up side view of a stack of slices of blueberry bread

Every summer when we go blueberry picking I love collecting ideas for what to cook with the berries we bring home. Of course we freeze the vast majority for our blueberry smoothies all winter, but there are so many yummy things to do with the fresh berries. Like making Blueberry Maple Jam, or blueberry pie or even adding them to savory recipes like in this Kale Salad with Blueberries or the Blueberry Tabbouleh I love to make. 

a loaf of blueberry bread from the side

But my kids always want to bake blueberry bread. That’s when I realized I didn’t have a blueberry bread recipe here on Healthy Seasonal Recipes! Gasp! I decided to quickly remedy the situation.

I now can (almost) laugh at my ignorance thinking it would be a quick process! 

You guys, this Blueberry Bread brought me to my knees. Developing this recipe was a feat! I am so glad I stuck with it though. 

Blueberry Lemon Bread Loaf from the side with one slice laying down beside it

The science of baking never fails to humble me. I struggle to not take it personally when a recipe takes a bit longer to get to publish-worthy-status. I guess I am just an optimist.

When I slide that baking pan into the oven with the expectation that the resulting quick bread will be nothing short of blue ribbon material, I am surely setting myself up for disappointment. Yet, I do it. Nine times in a row.

And when the bread gets worse before it gets better, it is hard to not be down on one’s self.

slices of blueberry bread

That was me while working on this bread! To think that I could have solved the problem(s) by adding more sugar or fat to make the bread moister and sweeter! Or I could have solved the fact that the bread wasn’t rising correctly by eliminating some of the blueberries. Or taking out the whole-grain flour. But that’s not okay with me.

Tips For This Healthy Blueberry Lemon Bread

Less Fat and Sugar

In order to keep this Blueberry Lemon Bread on the healthy side, I made sure that I didn’t just pour in the fat and sugar. Instead I made some other adjustments to the bread, and kept the total added sugar to under a cup, and the fat as well.

Sweeten with Turbinado Sugar

  • Why Not Honey or Maple: Originally I tested this with honey as the main sweetener. But even baking it at 325 degrees, the bread was getting way too dark. Honey (and maple syrup) cause baked goods to darken, so even though the flavor is delicious with the blueberries and lemon, the honey had to go. I switched to turbinado sugar, also sold as sugar in the raw, and the darkening problem was resolved.
  • Substitutions: You can use evaporated cane juice instead of turbinado sugar, which as far as I can tell is just slightly finer granules than turbinado. I like Sugar in the Raw brand of turbinado because, while not organic, it is GMO-free and lighter in color, and keeps the bread nice and yellow. If you like the flavor of coconut sugar, you could use that instead but it may overpower the other flavors.

Light Texture

  • Beating the egg whites was one of the keys to the texture and rise of this bread. When beating egg whites, make sure there are no traces of yolk or oil in the bowl. Any fat will inhibit the foaming process.
  • The beaten whites get blended into the batter at the very end, just to lighten it.
  • Fold in Whites: Use a silicone spatula and take gentle swipes through the batter (also known as folding) only until the whites are incorporated. The goal is to keep as much air as possible in the whites, as this lifts the bread and keeps it from becoming too dense.

Whole Wheat Flour

  • The bread is made with a blend of white and whole-wheat flour. I like to use King Arthur Flour White Whole-Wheat flour because it is milder in flavor and lighter in color than regular whole-wheat flour. They act almost the same in baking recipes.
  • I also had some problems with the center of the bread collapsing. Ultimately, after many tests, I deduced that was due to the fact that there was not enough gluten formation to hold up the center of the bread to allow it to set and bake all the way through. I added a couple tablespoons of flour to the blend, and the problem resolved itself.

Fresh Blueberries

I used fresh blueberries in this recipe. In a couple tests, I tried using frozen berries, but they did not set up in the center. In one of the tests, I used frozen berries that were thawed and drained, and they worked fine, but I preferred the texture and juiciness of the fresh berries, so I prefer them while they are in season locally.

Lemon Zest and Juice

When zesting and juicing the lemon, zest first then cut in half and juice the lemon. I like to use a microplane zester to get the zest. It makes lovely fluffy zest that blends into the recipe well. It looks like a lot of zest, but it actually really doesn’t taste overly lemony when mixed into the batter.

Almond Flavor

I love lemon, almond and blueberry together so I added in a touch of almond extract and almonds on top. If you don’t do nuts, just skip them. The bread will work fine without them/the almond extract.

Baking Tips

Though it may be tempting, try not to check on the bread too many times before the cooking time gets into the range. If you start checking it early you can end up collapsing the bread in the center if it is still liquid inside. Also you’ll let the hot air out of the oven, which will make it take longer and the rise won’t be as good. This would happen because the structure isn’t set inside. So my suggestion is to set the timer for 55 minutes and then check it. If a toothpick comes out with batter on it, keep baking for another five minutes. Then check again.

A stack of slices of blueberry bread next to a loaf and a bowl of blueberries

Ingredients for this Healthy Blueberry Bread

The full ingredient list and method is at the bottom of this post. 

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour, preferably white whole-wheat
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 egg yolk
  • zest from 1 lemon plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¾ cup turbinado sugar
  • 2/3 cup avocado oil or organic canola oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
 

How To Make Blueberry Lemon Bread Step By Step 

 

More Healthy Bread Recipes

 

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Healthy Blueberry Lemon Bread

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Healthy Blueberry Lemon Bread is sweet and lemony and bursting with blueberries. It is made with whole-wheat flour and is lower in sugar and fat.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour, preferably white whole-wheat
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 egg yolk
  • zest from 1 lemon plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¾ cup turbinado sugar
  • 2/3 cup avocado oil or organic canola oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 1.5 quart loaf pan (8.5 by 4.5 by 2.5 inches) with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add the blueberries to the flour mixture and toss to coat.
  3. Whisk egg yolk, zest, lemon juice, sugar, oil, orange juice, vanilla and almond extract in a large bowl until smooth. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir to combine. Beat egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form. Fold the whites into the batter
  4. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with almonds. Transfer to the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool in the pan 25 minutes before running a knife along the edges and turning out, cool right-side-up on wire rack.

Notes

To prevent the bread from collapsing, set the timer for 55 minutes and then check it. If a toothpick comes out with batter on it, keep baking for another five minutes. Then check again. Checking too often will allow the temperature in the oven to fall and the center of the loaf will collapse.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/12 loaf
  • Calories: 256
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 3 g

slices of blueberry bread with text overlay

healthy blueberry lemon bread