I never considered myself a big zucchini fan until this summer. Farmer’s market zucchini is what really sold me; before then, I could take it or leave it. I was used to buying small, shriveled up zucchini from the grocery store, so when I tried freshly picked zucchini it was a game changer. My favourite way to prepare it is to sauté green and yellow zucchini with patty pan squash in a bit of olive oil, Herbamare, and pepper. It’s so simple and incredibly tasty.
This morning I took advantage of our holiday Monday and made zucchini muffins for breakfast. I’ve had great luck in the past with oil-free zucchini bread and I hoped these muffins would follow suit. They are fairly low in sugar, completely oil-free, and have a nice dose of crunchy walnuts for healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These aren’t your typical heavy and dense muffins; they are light as a feather and almost cupcake-like in texture. I enjoy them with a pat of soy-free Earth Balance to add a bit of moisture and buttery flavour.
From start to finish, they were ready in 30 minutes flat. Not too shabby!
Oil-Free Chocolate Zucchini Walnut Muffins
Lightly sweet, whole wheat, and oil-free, these muffins make a special breakfast or take along snack. I love them with a pat of soy-free Earth balance to add a bit of moisture. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour works well in this recipe to create light muffins that are still 100% whole grain. You can also use all-purpose flour if that’s all you have on hand. I don’t recommend subbing the pastry flour for regular whole wheat flour as the muffins will likely turn out too dry and dense.
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Adapted from: Oil-Free Zucchini Bread.
Yield: 1 dozen muffins
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)
- 1 & 1/4 cup lightly packed shredded zucchini, skin left on
- 1 & 1/4 cup almond milk
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life mini chips)
- 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray muffin with oil or grease with Earth Balance.
2. Mix flax egg in a small bowl and set aside. Grate zucchini using a grater box (regular grate size). Set aside.
3. Mix almond milk and apple cider vinegar (or sub fresh lemon juice) in a small bowl and set aside. It will curdle, but this is the point as we’re making vegan buttermilk.
4. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar).
5. Mix together the wet ingredients (flax egg, almond milk mixture, maple syrup, and vanilla) and then pour over dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts, and shredded zucchini.
6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin filling each tin 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 15-17 minutes at 350F, or until muffins slowly spring back when touched. A toothpick should come out mostly clean. Cool in tin for 5 minutes. With a knife, loosen around the muffin edge and transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool.
Have a great Civic Day to those of you celebrating the long weekend! I’m off to enjoy the last couple hours of the afternoon by the water. Why does three days of weekend always seem to fly by just as fast?
Oh wow, I’ve been looking for a good breakfast muffin and this looks like it’ll do the trick just fine! YUM!
Mmmm Angela those look delish! I have also taken a recent liking to zucchini, especially in patty form. I also couldn’t help but notice the red teapot in the background of your pictures! It’s so cute :)
Do you know how many calories this has?
Hey Ash, I’m sorry I don’t have the nutrition info.
Angela, made these yesterday. They are delicious. Thanks for another great recipe:)
Ash- I plugged recipe into Calorie Count recipe analyzer (http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php) and came up with these figures (you can do the same with any recipe, just takes a few minutes to edit so Calorie Count understands): Calories 194, Fat 6.2 g, Sat. Fat, 1 g Sodium 223 Carb 32, Fiber 3.6g, Sugars 13.4g, Protein 4.7, Calcium 9%
Zucchini has been particularly good this season. I’ve been eating it raw dipped in nut butter, or making zucchini bread protein shakes a lot. Love the looks of these muffins! One question – that’s a ton of baking powder. Do you think it would work with a little less, or would it be too dense?
Hey Laura, you could probably get away with 2 tsp but I wouldnt use any less.
In your printed book, “Oh She Glows,” you call for 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Here, those two ingreds are doubled! Yet, the recipe is not doubled. Please advise, Thank you! Dee
Hi Dee, The recipe in my cookbook reflects an updated version of these muffins. It underwent further testing which is why the ingredients differ slightly from the original. I would recommend using the book version (and I may consider updating this one here, too!) Happy baking!
Oh, WOW! You totally had me at “oil-free” !!
Yum….and I just so happen to have some zucchini on hand! These sound perfect!
Those sound awesome. I just might have to make those tonight if I don’t have to work. 30 minutes? Too awesome!
These look SO delicious Ange! I love zucchini now and am probably known at the grocery store amongst the workers as “that girl that hoards all of the zucchini”. (LOL, well actually, zucchini AND carrots…. and watermelon.) Whole wheat pastry flour is what I use in pretty much all of my baked goods. You’re right.. regular whole wheat is dense… I’ve had rock muffins many times! Enjoy the rest of the holiday!
I haven’t used Zucchini yet in baking but I’m seeing recipes pop up everywhere! I guess it’s a sign I need to quit being lazy and pick one up from the store next time I go :)
I love chocolate zucchini muffins! I will give these a try as soon as it’s cool enough to turn on the oven :)
Great job on the muffins and on the graphics on the opening picture. Glad that worked for ya :) These little chocolate muffins look so…chomp-able :)
These looked so good I had to make them right away. Except I didn’t have any zucchinis but I did have some bananas that were over ripe so I substituted them. Just reduced the sugar a bit and they are super yummy too!
You are fast!! Glad you enjoyed them and good to know they work with banana. How many banana did you use?
They look delicious! I actually love zucchini, and I love to use it whenever I am baking, so I am definetely going to try these muffins :) And I love that they only take 30 minutes to make, so that you actuallt have time to make them for breakfast :)
Hi Angela! Do you suppose I could sub in soy milk and carob powder? I can’t have chocolate these days. I loved your blog before nursing my second gave me dietary restrictions, now it’s an invaluable resource.
Hey Julia, For sure you can swap the almond milk for soy milk. As for the carob – it has quite a unique flavour, but if you like the taste, I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. Maybe try using a bit less and adding it to taste?
I do love the taste of carob – I grew up eating it.b
These sound amazing! one of my sons like chocolate zucchini bread that we occasionally get as a treat at a local bakery. I made it once and he was not so crazy about mine : (. Hopefullly this will do the trick! (do you think it would work without walnuts ? Unfortunately my boyz do not usually like nuts in things )
Yes for sure, you can omit the nuts, it just won’t have a crunch to it.
Wow, these look amazing! I love it when there is chocolate involved and it is so healthy, will have to make these on the weekend if I can wait that long.
If you figure out what happens to that extra day of weekend, be sure to let me know! Jeez. It’s nuts! Although, now that I’m working 100% on the blog and my nutrition practice, I seem to be losing track of time and days. Everything just kind of meshes together.
I’m not big on zucchini either, I go through phases… but zucchini and chocolate? I think I could most definitely get into the hang of that! Enjoy your time by the water, Angela :)
I am very jealous of your long weekend, you are so productive on a day off! Do you think you could bake this is a traditional loaf form? Either way they look great!
I would suggest checking out the zucchini loaf that I linked to. That one is great!
great breakfast muffin!!
will try with sucanat or coconut sugar
I love zucchini muffins! I usually enjoy them with walnuts, carrots, cinnamon, and raisins, but these look fantastic! I’ll definitely have to try them.
Wow–those look awesome! And with zucchinis around everywhere right now, it’s the perfect time to try out the recipe. :) I will also look at the loaf recipe!
Aw man! I’ve never tried zucchini bread before! I definitely need to get on it! These look amazing! :)
They look amazing! Yumm… do you think subbing white whole wheat flour would work?
Oh my gosh — those sound AMAZING! :D I’ve heard of putting zucchini in chocolate muffins — what a great way to sneak in your veggies! ;)
Those look delicious! I’ve always wondered what the point of whole wheat pastry flour was – thanks for clearing that up!
Zucchini notoriously take over everyone’s garden this time of year – luckily it’s perfect for throwing in just about anything and everything! :) I’ll have to try a gluten free version of these chocolate muffins!
Oh goodness…these look so good! I like how you made it oil-free, especially because store-bought zucchini muffins or carrot cake muffins are always SO oily!
those look just magnificent!! wow yum!!
I loooove zucchini nut bread but have never made anything with chocolate and zucchini! I will have to try these!! Thanks for the great recipe!
Oh wow, these look so good. Perfect timing too, just as I was on the look out for zucchini recipes :)
Great idea to add cocoa powder! I always have lots of zucchinis to use up in the summer – so much better from the market!
Another good way to eat them – sauteed zucchini and mushrooms with kale. Add some lemon juice and 1/4 cup water to help steam kale. Toss with walnuts and tamari! So good.
I think this is now at the top of my “recipes to try” list – I have a produce drawer full of zucchini and am quickly running out of ideas for them. Thanks so much for the great idea!
Can’t wait to give these a try. I have been making little mini muffins a little healthier for my 5 year old that likes to have a couple as a snack. I love the veggies in it since he is one of those kids that turn their nose up at any and all veggies unless it’s hidden in his food.
Hi Angela, I am not vegan but I do eat dairy-free. So I was just wondering, can you sub in a regular egg for the flax egg? Or will this give the recipe too much of a different texture? They look delicious!
Made this today. Turned out great and I even reduced the sugar and used Coconut Palm Sugar instead. Thanks for the great idea and recipe. I’m spending the day making breakfasts for the kids for the next week as tomorrow starts school here in Florida. Making a bunch of grab and go stuff and I know they’ll LOVE these muffins!!
WOW! These look incredible!!
definitely need to try these… such incredible ingredients! I’ll have to sub the cane sugar with coconut sugar (what I have on hand) and use oat/buckwheat/brown rice flour to make them gluten free, I think it will work perfectly!
I have kind of a dumb question about flour. I mostly always use whole wheat, sometimes white wheat and on occasion white flour. I just noticed at the store the other day, Walmart had Organic white flour. (We don’t have a large selection of grocery stores & the ones we do have don’t have many organic items). Anyway, I guess I never thought about buying organic flour before. I like to buy as much organic as I can afford, but flour never crossed my mind. Is it hard to find organic whole wheat flours? And is there an advantage to buying that? I have never seen it before. thanks
and I will be making these muffins real soon. Yummy!!
I have a ton of zucchini thanks to my garden. I made these last night and they are great! I even added a scoop of protein powder and handful of blueberries to pump up the health factor. Love the chocolate kick for breakfast! :)
These muffins look delicious! They’ll be a great way for me to sneak a vegetable into my brother ;)
Can’t believe I just tried them out but are they ever good :) This totally satisfied my cake batter craving ( dont even want to think about how much I inhaled in a very short time) :)
Haha I have just made a batch of chocolate zucchini walnut muffins myself….oh…they are so tasty!!!! :)
Glad you like them Edith!
I’m hooked on chocolate zucchini bread and would love a batch of these muffins. Great recipe!
Angela, i just made these and followed your directions to a t. SO GOOD! i used to bake all the time before becoming vegan, and these have inspired me to revisit that love. your blog is a huge inspiration, thank you so much!!
I don’t have any zucchinis…do you think I could use carrots instead???
Hi Jess, the zucchini adds quite a bit of moisture I think and I’d be worried the carrots might dry it out, so im not sure on this one. if you do try it, let me know how it goes.
I can’t wait to try your version! I have a similar recipe to this but not exactly so it will be great to try this! I am locked and loaded with zucchini this week too. ;) Thanks Ang.
I made these the other night and they turned out amazing! I am new to vegan baking and I never imagined a muffin could taste so good without any dairy, eggs or oil!
Im so happy to hear that Aimee!
Hi Angela! I want to try these muffins for my kids. I have to sneak veggies into their diet. I’ve been trying to be low sugar for awhile and was using agave. I’ve been reading that this is not a great choice. Can you tell me where I can buy cane sugar?
Hey Michele, I buy organic cane sugar since it’s vegan (while regular sugar is often processed with bone char) and I buy it in the natural food section of most grocery stores. You can find the specific brand and other products on my pantry page: http://ohsheglows.com/2012/04/09/my-vegan-pantry/ hope this helps! Angela
these turned out sooo yummy and chocolatey! threw in some extra zucchini too just to use up what i had, and couldn’t even taste the vegetables ;) instead of walnuts used a mix of almonds, pecans, and pumpkin seeds. thanks for the great recipe!
My parents grow ridiculous amounts of zucchini so I always have some in the fridge during the summer. My favorite way to prepare it is to grate it (small zukes work best because they’re less seedy) and saute it with onions and garlic. It has an almost creamy texture when it’s done. My boyfriend and I have made this at least five times already this summer! Yummy :)
Made these muffins yesterday and love them! I’m going to try a gluten free version next! Thanks for the recipe!