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?
I baked these muffins this morning. Yum. Delicious and very light, I am working my way through your recipes and so far success and a feast to my taste buds. So far have made kitchen sink nut better, lentil bake, oatmeal peanut butter smoothy to name a few. It is pleasure to follow your blog, to enjoy coking and sharing in an abundance of healthy dishes. Thank you for all the work that you put into trying your recipes before blogging and also for sharing. Congrats on meeting your challenges this month. You inspired me to meet mine. One was to book a shamanic healing session, which I have been putting off. It will make me move forward in life and put aside self imposed excuses for not having the courage to take that leap of faith in myself that I need to take.
I wish you happiness and success . Happy blogging ..
They’re in the oven now! Can’t wait. I love zucchini anything so this was right up my alley! Thanks Ang!
They puffed up A LOT and look kinda funny but they are delicious! My sister and I agreed they are the perfect breakfast muffin. Thanks again!
Another great post! Thanks Angela!
Perfect timing!! I have zucchinis coming out of my ears right now–they’re everywhere! These muffins will be a great way to get my step-son to eat some veggies, too :) thanks for the recipe!
Chocolate… and healthy… yum, this one got me! Hopefully I can make them this weekend.
I made these last night and they turned out great! I used Ghiradelli cocoa powder and used Bob’s Egg Replacer instead of a flax egg (no flax on hand!). I found I had enough batter to fill most of the muffin tins completely full and a few of them 90% full. The muffins still turned out beautifully and I enjoyed one for breakfast this morning. Thanks for another home run recipe!
I’m new to your blog, but I’ve found that sprouted wheat flour makes absolutely lovely muffins and the like! It is light and fluffy and still whole grain. Have you tried that? I haven’t tried it with this recipe, but have been making a similar blueberry muffin with it and they are really terrific! Hope this is helpful info!
These muffins are fabulous!! I didn’t have cocoa powder so I used organic carob powder instead – that was the only substitution – I didn’t even have to loosen them from the muffin pan, they popped right out! Delicious, moist and sweet with the mini chips! Thanks.
My daughter and I made these a few days ago. Delicious! Thanks so much.
Just wanted to say I’ve already made these muffins five times. My husband loves them and keeps grabbing more zucchini from our CSA so I’ll make more of them. They are a perfect breakfast/snack/dessert!
These look great but I am not a big fan of cocoa powder. Do you think it would really change the muffins if it was left out?
Hey Sarah, I wouldnt recommend leaving it out – the cocoa powder interacts with the baking soda and ACV in this recipe.
These muffins are AMAZING.
Angela – Just took these out of the oven. Can’t wait to try! Do you think that you could sub the zucchini with mashed banana?
Just made these! They came together really easily and are really delicious… Plus the hubs loves them too! Two excited to find a good oil-free muffin recipe. Oh and btw, I halved the sugar (used 1/4 cup) and didn’t miss the rest at all. Cheers!
Just made these! Soooo good. Cured my chocolate craving! Love how moist they are!
These are my all time favorite muffin now! I make these and share and everyone always loves them and asks for the recipe! Just wanted to share, I’ve made these with carrots and zucchini before and they turned out great. I’ve also use reg wholewheat flour and they turn out awesome. Thanks for all your great recipes, I always share your website with people.
Thank you Misty I appreciate it!
Do you think these would work using a gluten-free all-purpose flour (specifically the Bob’s Red Mill brand)? These look delicious and I love that they are oil free!
I just tried these with gluten-free all-purpose flour and they turned out great! I’m glad to have found an awesome muffin recipe! Thank you Angela!
Love your recipes. I came upon someone on twitter making muffins with this veggie and was interested to investigate. Im trying to slowly add more veggies I don’t eat into my diet and am thinking of trying these out on the weekend. I think I have an oat or hemp milk at home instead of almond. Hopefully that’s fine. Any advice for using any leftover zucchini for someone new to the veggie?
Lauren, you can’t go wrong with zucchini fritters. You can find lots of recipes on the web, Just be aware there is no need to fry them in a lot of oil. A very light spray on a non-stick pan is all you need. Eat those veggies, young lady!
I just took a batch of these muffins out of the oven. I made them once before the holidays and gave them all away. I’ve been wanting to make some to keep ever since, so with a bonus snow-day here in Chicagoland and one lone zucchini on hand I was ready!
Im so excited about my muffins! So easy to make and they look so good. I just took them out of the oven and cant wait to eat one. Your website has completely inspired me in the kitchen. I have recently become vegan for various reason so these will be perfect for breakfast! THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Thank you Laurie! Congrats on going vegan, I hope you enjoy the muffins :)
I made these yesterday – didn’t have whole wheat pastry flour so I used 1 cup reg whole wheat and 1 cup reg white flour – They turned out great! I also ground the walnuts in the food processor (to hide them a bit) so my daughter would eat them – she’s 4 and she loves them! Thanks for the yummy recipe!
Thank you so so much for this awesome recipe! These are so wonderful – they’re healthy tasting enough for breakfast but the chocolate makes them a great dessert too!! I subbed Bob’s Red Mill GF all purpose flour and they turned out great – super light and fluffy :)
I used a gluten-free pancake/waffle mix instead of the flour, baking powder and baking soda, and these turned out fantastic! I also subbed coconut milk for the almond milk and again, it worked beautifully. Thanks!
I made these today and they turned out great. I had no maple syrup and they were still sweet enough. made 12 large muffins!
What flour would we use if we desired them to be wheat-free? They sound SO good, but the wheat flour throws me off :(
I tried these last week and am enjoying them (they freeze well). I have been looking for a chocolate muffin recipe and this one did the trick. My full review is here: http://adlinsadventures.blogspot.com/2013/08/recipe-review-chocolate-zucchini-muffins.html
So glad you enjoyed the muffins – thanks for blogging about them!
So – it’s a year later since you posted this recipe – but I finally got around to making these yesterday. I’m in love! The whole wheat pastry flour was worth it (which was added to my growing collection of flours in my pantry)! I really love all the recipes you post and I want you to know that I appreciate all the help that Oh She Glows! has been in the past year since I transitioned to being plant-based. Thanks!
I made these muffins for our Vegan Food & Wellness Fair.
I made them sugar free. I substituted the came sugar with dates.
I soaked 1/2 cup pitted dates with 3-4 Tbsp hot water to make a smooth paste
It gives the muffins some added fibre and makes them moist.
They were awesome !!!
So tasty, great muffin. I made few changes. I measured less sugar, only 1 cup almond milk, used chocolate almond milk and added 1/4 of unsweetened apple sauce and used 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup coconut flour.
These are fantastic! Had a little trouble getting them to cook on the inside but just kept them in longer and turned up to 375. I did have a little extra zucchini so maybe that was what did it. Really great with my morning coffee and veggie juice. I have been trying your recipes over the past few weeks and I am blown away at how great they are! I’m a big fan! ;)
These are AWESOME! I left out the nuts and made mini muffins instead. I got 52, making them just 25 calories per mini muffin! Thanks, Angela!
woops, left the flour out of my nutrition calc. 40 calories/mini muffin.
I love your website! I’m new to the whole vegan and gluten-free style of baking, but everything on your site is so easy to follow and always ends up turning out like your pictures! Quick question – what would you recommend to do for saving these muffins? Are they able to be refrigerated? I could seriously eat all of them now, they turned out so well…just trying to prevent myself from doing just that!!! :) Thanks!
My partner and I have been making a batch of these muffins every week for the last month and a half… They are absolutely amazing. I’ve been sending the recipe to everyone I know!
Fantastic recipe as always! Looking forward to receiving your cookbook in March :).
Would I be able to use Almond or oat flour? I am starting to realize I have a sensitivity to gluten.
Sooo delicious! I just made these and i tried to eat only one but i couldn`t resist :) These are so moist and perfect! Angela, you are incredible !
Could I sub coconut palm sugar for cane sugar?
Just made these and they were de-lish! We are avoiding processed sugar, so I used a 1/2 cup maple syrup instead of the 1/2 cup sugar and they turned out great. My 3 yr old son is gobbling them up. Perfect amount of sweetness, such a healthy, but yummy treat.
These were delicious, and oh so healthy! I substituted the white flour with brown rice flour, protein powder, flaxseed and sorghum. I didn’t add nuts but did sub cocoa nibs instead of chocolate chips.
I just made these and they are deleesh! What else can I use as an egg replacer besides the flax? I don’t enjoy the flavor of flax so would chia seeds work as we’ll?
I made these a few days ago and they rocked my world! Quick , easy and delicious. They are all gone.
great recipe! i’m allergic to walnuts so i subbed chopped medjool dates and made chocolate zucchini date muffins instead :-)
also used gf all-purpose flour to make them gluten free and they turned out well.
Hi I tried making these..nay be it was the type of flour I used (white whole wheat) but they came out very dense and weren’t very chocolatey. I even increased the apple cider vinegar to encourage the bubbling reaction with baking soda (i usually use 2 tbs for sweet bread and cupcakes and it always works well. ) I’ll try again maybe with half white flour, more cocoa and just use baking soda and no baking powder. Great idea and lovely photography though!
I made two batches this afternoon! They are moist and tender and the chocolate smell is wonderful!
I set out to make a double batch this morning to take to a meeting, and ended up with 24 muffins plus so much leftover batter that I made a small loaf of bread as well. These are some very tasty muffins, thanks so much! Mine looked just like the ones in your picture. I am puzzled as to why I had so much extra batter, but will be happy to have more to eat!
I also had a lot of leftover batter! I just added more to each muffin but regretted it – they took at least ten minutes longer to cook.
I just made this recipe and the results were fantastic. So good and so easy. I only needed to add extra time in the oven. Also, my kids ate them, of course I didn’t tell them there was zucchini in the muffins.
Loved this recipe – used less sugar, and made a batch of mini muffins, and a “loaf” – totally cannot stop eating them!
Yum. Thanks for the delicious, no oil, vegan recipe!
These sound perfect for my ‘what to do with all this zucchini’ plan.
Do you think I could sub in oat flour for ww?
I just wanted to let you know that everyone in my household (me, husband, and 3 elementary school aged boys) all love these muffins. I’ve made this recipe more times than I can count. Thank you so much for a delicious low-fat vegetarian recipe that makes everyone happy!
how can i make these gluten free? what flour would you recommend using?
Hey!! Just made these and the are AMAZING!
Just curious how you store yours after?? I like keeping them out to stay moist but I wasnt sure becuase of certain ingredients.
Delicious! For an extra nutritional boost I doubled the quantity of zucchini and threw in some chia seeds to absorb the moisture. Also tried it as a brownie because I’m too lazy to clean muffin pans – worked a treat!