Recipe: Chocolate-Almond Zucchini Muffins (vegan)

chocolate-almond zucchini muffin (vegan)
Chocolate-almond zucchini muffins dusted with powdered sweetener and cocoa.

As long as zucchini keeps fruiting, I’ll keep making zucchini muffins. This week I decided to make a not-gluten-free version of chocolate zucchini muffins. It has whole wheat, plus a little almond flour for richness.

Notes:

  • If you love almonds, you can increase the almond flour to ½ cup if you like, in which case you should reduce the whole wheat flour or cocoa powder by ¼ cup. If you don’t love almonds, use 1½ cups wheat flour and no almond flour.
  • The recipe calls for a bit of coffee powder to boost the chocolate flavor. If you don’t do coffee, you can use a grain-based coffee substitute like Pero, Postum, Roma or Cafix instead. Roasted chicory or dandelion powder is good, too, and many claim they’re better for you in coffee. (I should do a post someday about making your own coffee substitutes at home. It can be a fun adventure, and is way cheaper than buying the stuff.)
  • These muffins have just a touch of sweetener to balance the zucchini. If you want something more indulgent, dust them with powdered sugar, powdered xylitol, and/or mixed hot cocoa mix. I brought dusted and undusted versions to a party and both were popular with the tasters, and described as “dark chocolatey without being too sweet.”

If we get more zucchini next week, I’m thinking I’ll make a citrusy muffin. I’ve made zucchini-orange marmalade and it’s heavenly. Maybe I should make both to go together!

Haven’t decided yet whether to do wheat or make it gluten-free. Thoughts?

Supplies

  • measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • blender
  • muffin tin with 12 2½-inch cups
  • cooling rack

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or Kahlua
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee, instant roasted barley or powdered chicory
  • 3¼ cups grated zucchini, or other summer squash or marrow (do not peel before grating)
  • 1¼ cups white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup blanched almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (I used Green & Black’s fair trade cocoa, but Equal Exchange is often cheaper)
  • ¼ cup xylitol or sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (I use chips with 80-90% cocoa content)
  • hot chocolate mix (optional, I used Equal Exchange)
  • powdered xylitol* or powdered sugar (optional)

*You can make your own powdered xylitol or powdered erythritol by running the granulated version in a blender or coffee grinder until it’s the right consistency.

Instructions

  1. In a blender, puree about half of the zucchini, the flax seed, the vanilla, the oil and coffee or chicory until smooth.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder, spice, and xylitol or sugar.
  3. Add the remainder of the grated zucchini (that you didn’t put in the bender) to the flour mixture and mix until well blended.
  4. Mix the chocolate chips into the flour mixture.
  5. Pour the blender mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just blended.
  6. Use a spoon to drop the batter into a greased or lined muffin pan, filling each cup at least ¾ full.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes in a 375°F oven. Muffins are ready when inserted toothpick comes out mostly clean.
  8. Set on a rack and cool completely.
  9. Sprinkle with powdered sugar/xylitol and/or powdered hot cocoa mix if desired. Serve immediately if you want the powdered stuff to be visible. After 30 minutes or so it absorbs into the muffin and is not longer visible.
chocolate-almond zucchini muffin (vegan)
Chocolate-almond zucchini muffin without powdered topping.

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