These healthy chocolate zucchini muffins are packed with great ingredients, but have a soft texture verging on brownies. They're vegan, with no refined sugar but my kids still consider them a treat. Win!
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Sometimes the hardest part about making something new is deciding what to call it. Sure, the ingredients help a bit, but there can be other problems like I had here. I've called these muffins but they are a little hard to define. They are a little cakey like a cupcake, but have that rich moist chocolate taste a little like brownies. Then otherwise they are a bit like muffins.
Call them whatever you like in my mind, they are really tasty and you'll no doubt be back for more whether you call them chocolate zucchini muffins or not.
I have been thinking about making zucchini bread or zucchini muffins for a little while, for some reason. It's not something I had ever even heard of when I lived in the UK - despite carrot cake being so common, for whatever reason the zucchini/courgette close relative is much more American only.
In the end, I was inspired to make zucchini muffins that were vegan so that a vegan friend could enjoy them as well when I brought them along for a group of us who were meeting up. In my mind, using zucchini, which keeps things nice and moist, seemed the perfect pairing for vegan baking.
I decided to add chocolate as well for a slightly more decadent feel, since we were celebrating a birthday, but otherwise keeping them relatively healthy - both for the kids and sort of for us. Needless to say, they went down well with everyone. They're also great for taking with you, whether on a trip as a snack or whenever else.
How to make chocolate zucchini muffins
These are really easy to make, as with most muffins, although I appreciate there might be a few more steps than some in blending the dates and melting the coconut butter and chocolate, but they are both so totally worth the teeny bit extra effort, between the flavor and healthiness they add. There's a little bit of spice in there as well to compliment all the other flavors and add to the general richness going on.
I made these into mini muffins as there's something nice about enjoying these little bites, and they are perfect for small hands too (and my toddler son was a big fan). Plus I was worried they might crumble if bigger. I've still to test, since we like them as small bites.
These are easily adaptable to be gluten-free as well - I'd suggest maybe rice flour or a gluten-free blend instead of the all-purpose/plain flour, but the rest stays the same.
These chocolate zucchini muffins are delicious and pretty healthy, so you don't need to worry about coming back for more. Which I think is pretty inevitable, but so worth it.
Try these other healthier baking treats:
- Sweet potato brownies
- Spiced maple cookies
- Healthy apple oatmeal cookies - all of these are vegan too.
- And for a broad range of snack ideas both sweet and savory, healthier and not so much, see the snack recipes archives.
I use this mini muffin pan for these which works well (affiliate link).
See more of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Healthy chocolate zucchini muffins (vegan)
- 2 oz Medjool dates 55g
- ¼ cup water 60ml
- ½ cup all purpose flour 75g plain flour
- ¾ cup almond flour 80g ground almonds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups zucchini 175g courgette, grated - about 1 zucchini
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 ⅕ oz unsweetened chocolate 40g, 100% cacao
- 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 3 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
- Soak dates in water while preparing the rest.
- Mix together flour, almond flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the zucchini.
- Melt the coconut oil in a small pan and add the chocolate, stir until melted. Allow to cool slightly.
- Blend the dates and water together so smooth. Add the flaxseed meal and mix.
- Add the coconut oil/chocolate mix to the dates along with the honey and mix well. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and zucchini and mix so combined without overmixing.
- Put into muffin or mini muffin tray and bake approx 12 min for mini muffin size, around 20 min for larger until a skewer tested in the middle comes out clean.
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