I know I’ve hit on a real winner of a recipe when my husband asks for me to make it again. He’s my gold standard. Not that my other recipes aren’t equally tasty, but rather, they might not be equally tasty to people who still love to eat meat, dairy and sugar. Like my husband.
So I’m going to guess that these chocolate zucchini muffins will be safe to label as crowd-pleasers …for vegans and non-vegans, sugar addicts and sugar abstainers alike.
I honestly wasn’t sure how these would turn out and it’s been awhile since I’ve attempted baked goods because most of my past efforts weren’t good enough to try baking again. You see, when you remove the dairy and the eggs and the added sugar, the science of baking a simple muffin suddenly becomes more complicated.
That challenge makes this victory all the no-added-sugar sweeter. If you’re curious why I work to eliminate added sugar in my diet and what the heck do I mean by added sugar anyway, click here to receive a free video which explains all that.
I love these chocolate zucchini muffins because…
- they are chocolate (hello!)
- are sweetened only with fruit
- contain a ‘veggie which my children normally don’t like
- have an added plant-protein boost from the almond butter and ground flax seed
- and just look at these delightful air bubbles when you split them open (which reminds me of the Aero bars I used to eat as a child – it’s a Canadian thing)
When I’ve made these, I used fresh shredded zucchini. If you’re using frozen, make sure you stir it in while it’s still frozen and get them into the oven ASAP. That way, the water naturally occurring in the zucchini won’t create a soggy mess for you.
Confession: I did add a few dairy-free chocolate chips to some of the batter which helps “bridge the gap” between traditional added sugar muffins and fruit-sweetened ones. However, I don’t think my family was any wiser when they ate the chip-free muffins, so I might leave them out altogether next time.
These chocolate zucchini muffins are sweetened entirely with fruit which makes them perfect for breakfast, but they are sweet enough for snacking or as a dessert too!
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 scoops 100% pure stevia*
- 1 small ripe/slightly underripe banana
- 1 cup unsweetened almond coconut milk
- 1 flax egg (1 T ground flax seed + 3 T water)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup date paste*
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease your muffin tin well (coconut oil is recommended). Mix up your flax egg and set aside.
In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix to thoroughly combine.
In a food processor or high speed blender, add all wet ingredients EXCEPT the zucchini and apple cider vinegar. Blend until well-combined and very smooth then add to the dry ingredients. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet until combined.
- Gently stir in the zucchini and then add the apple cider vinegar and gently mix again. Spoon into prepared muffin tins and bake for 27-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
When finished baking, leave in the muffin tins for 10-15 minutes and then loosen with a knife and remove from the tin and place on a cooling rack. Store muffins in a covered container for 1-2 days refrigerated or 3-4 days refrigerated.
- Be sure to use 100% pure stevia
- If you can't find date paste, you can make your own by soaking 3/4 cup of Medjool dates in warm water for 1-2 hours and then blending until smooth. In this case, it's best to buy Medjool dates with the pits still in them and simply remove the pits just before using.
- I recommend using spelt flour and unsweetened almond coconut milk as it's why I used and results may vary with other flours or dairy-free milks although feel free to experiment
- Unless you don't mind a slight banana flavor to these muffins, I recommend using a small perfectly ripe or just under-ripe banana.
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- Click here for my favorite food processor
- I got my organic spelt flour (GMO free!) from the bulk section at Whole Foods, or you can find it here.
- Target and many other grocery stores carry the unsweetened almond coconut milk, but you also can get it here.
- Pure stevia: It’s critical to use 100% pure stevia with no additives or fillers. I get mine at Trader Joe’s, but try the NOW BetterStevia™ Organic Zero Calorie Powdered Sweetener — 1 oz brand here. Even though it appears pricey, a little goes a looong way, and my container lasted me for several years! This link will save you $5 on your order…comment or message me if you want to know which products I stock up on to get the free shipping
- I usually buy my almond butter from Trader Joe’s, but click here for another option.
- Date paste: I usually buy mine at a local Mediterranean/middle eastern store. If you don’t have one near by, you can make your own using Medjool dates (see Recipe Notes) Happily, Aldi has been carrying Medjool dates lately, but you can also find them here.
- I get my chocolate chips at Trader Joe’s, but here is another kind of dairy-free chocolate chip if you aren’t near a Trader Joe’s