Healthy Chocolate & Zucchini Muffins
I hope you all have liked having my husband around here on the blog! He really been enjoying the Vegan 101 series and will have a lot more to share with you soon. In the meantime, I have a great little recipe from one of my favorite vegan chefs The Happy Herbivore.
I had mentioned in a previous post that my husband and I are trying to eat less fat in our diet. Fat in a vegan diet? Yes, it’s true. As vegans we do not consume meat which full of saturated fat and cholesterol, but there can still be plenty of fat in a vegan diet. The largest sources of fat in a vegan diet are oils. You can also include margarine in this conversation (yes, even Earth Balance!). Oil is a high-calorie and high-fat food that provide little to no nutrition. Oil is basically empty calories. What about olive oil, you ask? You can read more about that here and here from Dr. McDougall. As full-grown adults, our bodies need very little fat to function properly. The key is to consume foods rich in unprocessed fats (nuts, seeds, coconuts, avocados) sparingly, no need to over do it! Make those foods a treat and not an everyday staple in your diet.The Happy Herbivore is a wonderful resource of vegan recipes that are made without oil and added fats. Lindsay Nixon now has three cookbooks, you should check them out! If you are looking for even more yummy low-fat vegan recipes, I highly suggest the Forks Over Knives cookbook as well as Dr. McDougall’s cookbook!
These chocolate zucchini muffins really hit the spot! Plus, they’re healthy and vegan, almost completely fat-free, and full of good things for you. You may be thinking that zucchini and chocolate make an odd pair, but after baking you can hardly notice the zucchini at all! These are perfect for any picker eaters you may have around the house! These are a great way to sneak in some vegetables into your kid’s diet. And they are great for lunch boxes!
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa or unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 whole ripe banana, mashed
1/2 to 1 cup raw sugar*
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce**
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/4 vegan chocolate chips (optional)
*Use 1/2 cup of sugar for a less sweet muffin and 1 cup of sugar for a more dessert-like muffin!
**It’s nearly impossible to find applesauce here in Penang. If you are out of applesauce or can’t buy any like me, simply chop up an apple and add a teaspoon or two of water to a blender and blend until it’s like the consistency of applesauce. Presto, instant applesauce!
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a muffin pan and set aside. If using paper liners, lightly spray inside of liners with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a medium size bowl. In a large mixing bowl, cream mashed banana with applesauce and sugar. Add in non-dairy milk, vanilla, zucchini and chocolate chips, if using. Stir until evenly combined. Add flour mix to wet mix in 3-4 batches and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan and bake 18-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Once cooled, enjoy! These keep well in both the fridge and freezer.