As you know I sent my little girl off to Pre-Kindergarten on Monday– and she is absolutely loving it. I sometimes like to bake treats for their lunch boxes, or for an after-school sweet when they get home. I distinctly recall getting off the school bus as a kid and walking into the house to the smell of something wonderful that my mom had made during the day. She’d have batches of cookies ready, or even racks (yes, racks) of pies on the counter. And she always timed it out so they were ready when my brother and I walked through the door. However… I’m a little hesitant to bake such delights using all of that sugar on a daily– or even weekly– basis. Don’t get me wrong, my kids get their share of sugar, but it’s nice to be able to put something a little healthier, something more substantial, into their little growing bodies.
I was able to create a healthy muffin recipe that was made with whole grains, healthy coconut oil, and no processed sugar (alright, there are chocolate chips, but they’re optional…kind of. You’ll want them in there). These muffins are also loaded with vegetables, and your kids will be none the wiser! What more could one want? They are perfectly chocolate-y, but not overly sweet. They stay very moist– quite like a small cake. I really have no guilt about giving this treat to my kids, or eating it myself for that matter. I hope you like them as much as we do!
The Recipe: Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
1 cup white whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry flour works, too)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil (warmed to the liquid state, but not hot)
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 1 medium)
3/4 cup chocolate chips (Ghirardelli 60 % Cacao Bittersweet are the best, in my opinion)
Note: The coarsely grated zucchini is definitely visible in these muffins, which is how I prefer them. If you don’t fancy that, simply grate the zucchini finer.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray or butter a 12-cup muffin tin. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift, then whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa. Toss the chocolate chips into the mixture. Set aside.
In another large bowl, thoroughly mix the honey, coconut oil, vanilla, and eggs together until uniform. Add the zucchini and mix until evenly coated.
Combine the two bowls together, mix until everything is wet. Do not over mix. Evenly distribute the batter–1/4 cup per muffin is about right. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a tester inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for about 3 – 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Keeps well for days in an airtight container. Enjoy!
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