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 just made these but replaced the zucchini with banana as had no zucchinis. OMG, they are deliciious. I will try with zuccchini very soon as have growing in my garden atm.
I made these today and found the batter to be extremely thick. I followed your recipe exactly in the book (substituting lemon for apple cider vinegar). They turned out very dense and not quite as I had expected! Has anyone experienced this before?
mine where overly dense too, for me i think it was because my milk didn’t curdle enough, that may be the same reason for you?
Made these the other night as I was craving some chocolate goodness. They turned out perfect and dealt with my chocolate fix :P My family loved them too. Thanks for this recipe-will definitely make them again :)
Good day girls,
I just finish this recepie. It amazing good! But, i want to know if i can freeze thems. Can someone clarify for me please. Because i want to stack up on these babys
I’ve put many of my muffins and bars in the freezer and they all just as amazing when I take them out. I’m sure the same applies to this recipe too.
I love these so much. They really do give an energy boost and they are so light. They never leave me feeling bloated or icky like other dessert recipes. I do not like them with the walnuts though.
Hi Angela – I LOVE these muffins but I find they go moldy very quickly – Do you have any tips for storage so they last a bit longer?
I keep mine loosely covered on the counter for the first day, in an airtight container the day after, and in the freezer any time after that. They thaw in minutes and are a great easy treat!
This recipe looks fantastic and I am eager to make it this weekend. Actually I am eager to make most of these recipes in your cookbook. That being said, have you ever tried making these gluten free with gluten free flour in place of the whole wheat flour? Do you think I can do that with a cup for cup replace?
I made it with GF flour and used the Namaste brand. I also subbed 1/2 cup of the flour for protein powder and it was AMAZING!
I had too many zucchinis, a four year old hankering for a “project,” a two year old who no longer wants to eat vegetables, half a lemon with no purpose and some walnuts that I’m worried will go rancid soon. This fit the bill oh-so-perfectly! Thank you!
I subbed 1/2 cup of the flour for some protein powder! SOOO good! It made the muffins bigger and taste less GF, new favorite! : )
Just made these, delicious! Even without chocolate chips – because I had none :(
Although, I feel like they need a spice of some sort, perhaps nutmeg?
We love these and my husband still doesn’t believe me when I say there is no oil. Thanks for sharing!
HI! If we wanted to make these gluten free, what kind of flour would you suggest?
Thanks for sharing this recipe. Just baked it this morning and it turned out great. Prepped the ingredients the night before and they were ready just in time for breakfast. Shredded zucchini night before and put them in fridge. Had to add about 5 more minutes to baking time and they were awesome!
What a great recipe! I don’t make non-gluten-free recipes too often, but I’m glad I gave this one a try. These muffins have the perfect texture and are not too sweet, so I can still enjoy them with a pat of Earth Balance and jam without going overboard with sweetness. :)
just made them and they were delicious! I used oat milk instead of almond milk, so the milk didn’t curdle well, and I used spelt flour instead of whole wheat. They were a little more dense than they should have been since I messed up the recipe a little, but the flavor itself was great!
I just made a batch of these muffins and they are amazing! The zucchini makes them so moist. I substituted cane sugar with coconut sugar and used all-purpose wheat free flour. They turned out perfectly! Definitely a recipe I’ll be reusing, thanks for the great work, Angela :)
Hi there! this is one of my favorite baking recipes i make it all the time :) i would like to make it for the holidays but my friend is gluten free- any way i could make this gluten free? Thank you so much!
Made these from the book, using Sukrin Gold instead of sugar (type 2 diabetes), and omitting the walnuts, absolutely delicious, went down a treat with the family, and only 136 cals!
I will be making these this week as I made them awhile ago and remember loving them so much! However I had all purpose whole wheat flour and wanted to make sure they would turn out just as good if I use that instead of whole wheat pastry flour? – Thank you!
I’ve had a wonderful time the last couple of months exploring your cookbook! I tried these for the first time yesterday, and unfortunately, even after baking for more than double the recommended time, the centre’s were still doughy/wet. I’m sure I made a mistake somewhere! The only substitution I made was regular granulated sugar for the cane sugar. I’m hoping someone else made a similar mistake to me at some point and figured out what it was! I am a bit suspicious after reading the comments about whether I may have inadvertently added 1 tsp of baking powder rather than 1 tbsp – maybe that is the culprit!
Hi there, I’m so happy to hear you’ve been enjoying the cookbook so far! It’s too bad, though, that the muffins didn’t quite turn out. My guess is that you’re right, and it’s the 1 tsp versus 1 tbsp of baking powder that’s the culprit (2 teaspoons less than called for can have a huge effect in vegan baking), assuming oven temperature was where it should be. If you give the recipe another shot, please let me know how it goes!
It’s zucchini-glut season here in NZ and I made these to use up a couple! I substituted gluten-free baking mix for the flour, left out the salt and cut down the baking powder. They are DIVINE!
Thanks so much for the recipe Angela – it’s definitely a keeper. Going to share with my tribe!
Love them! Since changing our diet for health reasons (which has meant WFPB style) I have tried quite a few recipes that would suffice for giving kids when we feel like a baked treat. Sadly many recipes to date have not been successful (or they contain too much oil for our liking) until we found your blog and bought your cook book. In this recipe I used 85% chocolate and also supplemented some cacao powder with some carob powder, but followed everything else to the letter. They were so much lighter than other cake style recipes (even with whole wheat flour), and just the perfect amount of sweetness. Thank you for spending the time coming up with these yummy recipes. We’re eating your empowered two way noodle bowl tonight, and just finished making your almond milk recipe.
Hi Helen, I’m so happy you’ve been enjoying the blog and cookbook. Thank you for taking the time to let me know! It’s always wonderful to hear my recipes are helping someone enjoy a satisfying transition to a more plant-based diet.
This recipe calls for 2 Tbls baking powder but your cookbook only calls for 1-1/2 teaspoons. I went with the smaller amount. Eating one hot out of the oven and I think they are going to be dense. Will have to make a note in my cookbook.
This enticing recipe in your “Oh She Glow’s” printed cookbook calls for 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda. Here / online, you call for 1 tbsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda. What works best? I look forward to making it soon… Thank you!
Please, oh please reply! Thank you, Angela!
I make these muffins all the time but would like to make it in loaf form. Would this work? Would I need to make any adjustments? Thank you
I just found this recipe and I LOVE them. I’ve made them three batches in the past couple of weeks.
Made these for a luncheon at work and they were accepted and loved by all!
Keeping in mind 90% are not vegan ,vegetarian and certainly not oil free.
Thank you for all your great recipes,
Glad to hear the muffins were a hit, Christine! :)
Do you know if this could be made into a cake ?
Hi there- love these muffins! How are they for freezing?
So happy you enjoy the recipe, Jen! They freeze well in an airtight container, and thaw beautifully.
How would you recommend that leftovers be stored? I’m not sure if I should leave them at room temperature of refrigerate them (or if refrigerating them would dry them out…)
Hey Hannah, So sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this! I’d recommend storing the muffins in your fridge in a sealed, airtight container (that’ll help keep them from drying out). Hope this helps for next time. :)
I just made these from your book and they are DELICIOUS!!! My husband likes them too and we especially like that they are not too sweet.
Hi! Any idea if these would work with a gluten free flour? I see lots of questions about gluten free but I’m not sure I see any responses!
Hi there Nicky, I’m sorry, I haven’t tried it myself! But I think a number of readers tested the muffins with an all-purpose gluten-free flour and had success with it. If you decide to give the swap a try, I’d love to hear how it goes for you, too!
Thank you for sharing this recipe! My family, more importantly my kids, love it! I made a couple of minor adjustments for my little ones.
I added a link to your book and this recipe on my site.
Do you use plain cocoa powder or the “Dutch processed” kind?
Hey Kimberly, I use Cusine Camino “Dutch-Processed” Cocoa Powder most often. Hope this helps!
Almond allergies any alternatives
Can I use Apple sauce instead of cane sugar?
Can flour be switched to Teff and how much?
We LOVE these. I omit the nuts in case I have people over with nut allergies, and add mashed bananas. Bake a few minutes more, and they are a hit, every time. I sneak in more chocolate too :) This recipe has never failed me – I make these 2 times a week, and I double the recipe. My kids take these to school for their daily snack. Great for freezing as well. Wait, they do not last that long!
Another excellent recipe! I had my friend Marisa over for coffee and she was delighted when I served the muffins. They were sooooo delicious!!! I did not see where I could give it a FIVE STAR rating!
That’s so great to hear Teri, thank you! :)
Could I make these wheat free?
Hey cali, Good question! I haven’t tested it with another flour yet. I would like to try light spelt flour at some point. :)
I made these yesterday with PC All Purpose Gluten Free flour and they’re so good!
I have made these muffins many times and they always turn out fantastic -love them!
My only issue is that I have made 2 batches tonight and for whatever reason they will not cook completely (very sticky, still running inside) on the inside and look like they are oozing (but not in a good way)! I have followed the recipe 100% and ended up having to put them in for 28 min @350F and they still would not cook (instead they burned) :(
Do you have any ideas of what the problem could be?
These are soooo good! Made them for breakfast. My kids couldn’t stop eating them!