Eat your vegetables…for dessert
My family loves baked goods. Seeing how appreciative they are whenever I make desserts, I’m tempted to make them all the time. If it weren’t for my pesky nutrition based conscience, I’m certain that I would! Fortunately, I’ve started to collect some healthier dessert recipes that I can feel good about making (and EATing!) regularly. The most adventurous of these healthy desserts? Chocolate….wait for it….zucchini muffins!
I can’t take all of the credit for this recipe. I was inspired by, and modified, a recipe I discovered on the Spark People forums here: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1170609
Zucchini Chocolate Muffins
- 2 c shredded zucchini
- 1.5 c whole wheat flour
- 1/2 c cocoa
- 3/4 c Splenda baking sugar substitute
- 1.25 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
- 1/2 c fat free vanilla yogurt
- 4 egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla + a splash more (I love vanilla so I always add a tad more than called for)
- 2/3 c mini chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While it’s warming up, you can grate your Zucchini. Two medium sized squash will yield the 2 cups that you need for this recipe.
Combine all of your dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, Splenda baking, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg (if you like it, like I do. You could also try a pinch of allspice if you prefer).
Combine your wet ingredients: yogurt, egg whites, vanilla
Add your grated zucchini to your wet ingredients. This is where you’ll really start to wonder if any of this will amount to anything. Hang in there!
Add the zucchini mix into your dry ingredients. Stir until the all the dry ingredients have incorporated into a moist, but stiff, batter.
Add 1/3 cup of chocolate chips to your batter. You’ll start to feel hopeful again, because anything with chocolate chips is good. Even zucchini!
Spoon your batter into your lined muffin tin. Sprinkle the rest of your chocolate chips on top of each little muffin in the making.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick placed into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.
This is the most important step of all. Do NOT eat them right away. Seriously! Why? When these muffins first come out of the oven, they taste a little, well, green. Like zucchini. But if you have patience, as the dough cools, something really unexplainable happens. Every bit of zucchini essence disappears and you’re left with a delightfully chocolatey, spicy, sweet muffin. Serve with a little cool whip and you’ll be quite pleased with yourself. I know I was 🙂
I think this recipe allows itself a lot of variations. I’m sure with a little effort, I can figure out a way to make it vegan (banana as an egg substitute, perhaps?) and possibly gluten free (oat flour should work just fine). If you happen to try a variation on the theme before I do, I’d love to hear about it.