I miss a lot of things about my hometown, but one of the things that stands out most is my mother's garden. Especially in the summer, it's bursting with sweet peas, blueberries, powerfully sweet cherry tomatoes and always, and abundance of GIANT zucchini. Therefore, I'd like to think I'm somewhat of an expert at baking with zucchini, since I started helping my mom pick and make zucchini pancakes, breads and cakes from a young age.
If you like the idea of amazing zucchini treats, you'll want to check out my Top 5 Zucchini Recipes, my Healthy Zucchini Brownies, or these Zucchini Breakfast Cookies. Can you tell I like zucchini?? I do. These are great easy chocolate zucchini muffins to make, and they are grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free and optionally vegan!
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Yields 10-11 muffins or 6-8 donuts
1 cup zucchini, grated and pressed into paper towels to remove excess moisture
4 eggs or flax "eggs"
1/2 cup pure maple syrup, scant
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup coconut flour
3 TBSP tapioca or arrowroot powder
3 TBSP cacao powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
dash of sea salt
1/3 cup mini nondairy chocolate chips
1. Grease donut pans or line muffin tins with paper liners and preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl and add in the dry. Fold in the zucchini followed by the chocolate chips last,
3. Divide into muffin tins and bake 26-30 min or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 10 min on a wire rack then optionally dust with a little organic powdered sugar for a dessert muffin!
Tip: use a hand sifter to sift both the coconut flour, and the powdered sugar if using.
While you're gathering ingredients or waiting for these tasty muffins to make, I recommend you take a moment to take stock of your recent moods and emotional balance. I like to do little calm resets whenever life is going crazy and with a tons of changes coming soon, I thought I'd refocus on "resetting" and share my tips with you. This is what I commit to doing every single day for a week––try it will me!
1. Think of 3 attributes/things to focus on each day. It can be "I am strong", "My body is healing", "I can do anything", or "I am proud of myself." It can be affirmations, goals for the day, favorite parts of your body, anything! Say it aloud several times and remind yourself of your own mini mantras throughout each day.
2. Do 3-5 slow, simple yoga poses and repeat until your body feels looser and more relaxed. Cat/Cow, Down Dog, Forward Fold; anything your body needs or craves. Play relaxing yoga/meditation music to really focus and get in the yoga headspace (my trick).
3. Do 1-3 actions every day for someone else. Write a snail mail letter, send a little gift to a friend, babysit a friend's toddler, anything that helps others–it will make you happy, too.
4. Focus on what you can do, not what you can't. Maybe I can't run if I don't have time or are injured, but I can write the alphabet in the air with my feet, keeping my ankles flexible and strong. I can find a few minutes to lay on my back before bed and work on flexibility and core strength, no matter how tired I am.
5. EVERY DAY eat nutritious and nourishing foods and maybe not every day but often give your body a little (healthy) treat. Roasted veggies are a great way to get tons of flavorful nutrients and the roasting lends a sweetness to satisfy a sweet craving. But be sure to treat yourself every now and then though, to vegan chocolate, paleo cake with chocolate mousse, or a chia cookie to keep you healthy and HAPPY.
6. Do just something for you, like an organic lavender bubble bath, candlelit reading in bed, anti-wrinkle face mask (this is my newest obsession btw); these little things make you extra relaxed and happy; or do whatever it is that speaks to you!
What do these tips have to do with zucchini muffins? Not much really. But they are an enjoyable treat much healthier than a bakery-purchased item or traditional chocolate muffin. Make this and tag me in any photos online! I want to see your creations!