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Zucchini Choc Chip Muffins

I'm very excited to share with you this newly developed recipe for these yummy, fiber-packed, fully plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free zucchini muffins. If you happen to find sugar-free chocolate chips or make your own chocolate chunks using a bar of sugar-free (or low-sugar) dark chocolate then this is also a refined sugar-free recipe.

Although it's a fairly new recipe, after making it just a few times I'm actually quite confident it's delicious enough to be shared.


So far I've only made it into muffins, but I'm planning to make a loaf of zucchini bread next time, so I'll make sure to share how that turns out and how you'd need to adjust the baking time if you wanted to make it into a loaf as well.


To those of you who are new to refined sugar-free baking, don't worry, these muffins still taste sweet, I've tested them on people who don't avoid sugar on a regular basis.

In this recipe, I'm using dates and a little bit of maple syrup as the main sweeteners. Additionally, you will make it sweeter if you use chocolate chip cookies that contain a little bit of sugar or another kind of sweetener. If you can't find sugar-free chocolate chips, I recommend using regular vegan dark chocolate chips, minim 50% cacao content. Generally, the higher the cacao content the lower the sugar content. I've also DIY'd chocolate chips (or more like chocolate chunks) before and used them in place of chocolate chips. For that, if I cannot find sugar-free chocolate I use 70%-90% chocolate. This way I know that even though there is some sugar there, it's really not a big amount.

If you have time you can also make your own chocolate/chocolate chunks from scratch. I love doing that, because that way I have full control over the kind and the amount of sweetener I put into it, but that's a topic for a whole different post.


So, without further ado, here's the recipe.


Zucchini Choc Chip Muffins

yields: 16 muffins

prep time: 20-30 minutes of prep and 35 min of baking time


Ingredients:

DRY:

  • 1 cup of oat flour* (use gluten free if avoiding gluten)

  • 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour

  • 1/2 cup of rice flour

  • 2 tbsp of tapioca starch (can substitute for potato or corn starch)

  • 1/3 cup of almond meal**

  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

  • 1 1/2 tsp of gluten-free baking powder

  • 1 tsp of baking soda

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/4 cup (or more) of vegan (dairy-free) dark chocolate chips

  • optional: 1/4 cup of crushed walnuts, pecans or any other nuts

WET:

  • 2 cups of grated zucchini, water squeezed out

  • 2 chia eggs (ground chia seeds and water- see instructions below)

  • 1 cup of pitted dates

  • 1/2 cup of plant-based milk with no added sugars (I used almond milk)

  • 2 tbsp of pure maple syrup

  • 1 tbsp of unrefined coconut oil

  • 2 tbsp of 100% pure peanut butter

  • 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar


Method:

  1. Make the chia eggs by mixing 2 tbsp of ground chia seeds with 6 tbsp of water and setting the mixture aside for about 10 minutes allowing it to become gel-like.

  2. If using very dry dates, you may want to use a small saucepan to warm up the plant milk, add in the dates and soak them for a little bit so they're easier to blend. You can skip this step if your dates are quite moist or if you have a very powerful blender.

  3. Preheat the oven to 185C/365F.

  4. Wash your zucchinis and grate them finely using a grater or a food processor. Once grated, use a clean kitchen cloth, a firm paper towel or ideally a cheesecloth/plant-milk bag, place the grated zucchini inside and squeeze out as much of the water as you can. For this recipe, use 2 cups of that "dry" shredded zucchini.

  5. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

  6. To a blender, add all of the wet ingredients except of the zucchini and blend until they combine into a thick milkshake-like consistency.***

  7. Add the shredded zucchini to the dry ingredients and mix as well as you can before adding in the wet ingredients.

  8. Pour the mixture of the wet ingredients into the bowl with the mix of dry ingredients and zucchini, stir until everything mixes well so that you get a thick, uniform batter.

  9. Distribute the batter evenly into your muffin cups and put in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes. Your muffin cup size may be vary from mine so make sure to test the muffins with a toothpick before you take them out. If after 35 minutes the toothpick comes out clean, the muffins should be ready.

  10. Allow the muffins to cool down for at least 15-20 minutes before you enjoy them.

  11. You can have them right away, but I've noticed that they actually get even better the next day. Once cooled down, I usually place them into an air-tight container and keep them on the counter overnight to enjoy the next day. If you wanted to store them for longer you should put the container in your fridge, this way you should be able to store them for up to a week. You can also freeze them for up to a month.


*You can make you own oat flour by simply blending some oats in a blender. That's how I do it. Also, I make sure my oats are gluten free, because I cannot have gluten. But if you're fine with it, just get regular oats and you'll save yourself a lot of money. If you want to learn more about oats, check out my oat-basics post over here.


**You can also make almond meal by yourself by blending some almonds in a blender or a coffee grinder.


***This mixture should be quite sweet, but keep in mind that it will NOT taste as sweet when the muffins are done. With vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free baking, I've noticed that whatever comes out of the oven is always less sweet than whatever comes in. So I've learned that if you taste your batter/dough before you pour it out into a pan/muffin cups and it's not very sweet you might wanna add a bit of your sweetener of choice, otherwise whatever comes out of the oven will most likely not be sweet enough.


I hope you'll enjoy these muffins as much as I did! Maybe they'll also inspire you to experiment and create your own plant-based muffin recipe.


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