We have experimented with LOTS of muffins over the years. When our son was just starting table foods, I made super healthy muffins with no sugar, butter or oil. I added carrots, zucchini, apples, bananas, etc. They were perfect for him since he used to eat everything, but now as a 5 year old, his palate has changed (i.e. he now likes sugar). So now our challenge is making muffins with the right balance of sugar and butter/oil that we still feel good about him eating. I recently made my dad some zucchini bread using my mom’s recipe and it was very difficult for me to bake with a cup of oil and two cups of sugar. I tend to sub applesauce for oil and reduce the amounts of sugar way down. These are great for a sweet treat in the lunchbox, especially since you are sneaking a little zucchini in them.
If you have a garden and have planted zucchini, you probably have them coming out of your ears by the end of summer. We sure do, so we are constantly looking for ways to use it. We typically use the really large zucchini for bread since we prefer the smaller zucchini sautéed or baked as a side dish. If using a large zucchini, cut out the seeds in the middle since they get pretty large in these big zucchini. If you have one of these gigantic zucchini, you will have way more than the 2 cups needed for this recipe. Go ahead and shred the rest of it and freeze it in 2 cup freezer bags to make later. Speaking of the freezer, this recipe makes around 22-24 muffins so pop a few in a freezer bag to defrost at a later time for a lunch box treat or something sweet after dinner (I pop one in the microwave if I’m craving chocolate). I’ve tested these on our son and the two boys next door and they are kid approved!
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- 2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.
- 3. In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs until combined. Add applesauce, oil, and vanilla and beat until well blended.
- 4. Stir in zucchini, then fold in flour mixture and stir just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- 5. Divide into greased muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes. Makes 22-24 muffins. Freeze extra muffins in a freezer bag and defrost in the microwave on on the counter.