These muffins were born out of necessity: We were out of eggs (because L accidentally dropped the carton onto the floor while helping to make breakfast) and we had a pile of zucchini. But I'd promised L that we were having muffins for dinner, so it seemed like I should just make the best of it. I'm so glad I did! These Egg-Free Zucchini Flax Muffins are delicate and moist, and are so easy to whip up.
A slight digression. I have been thinking a lot about how there's this urge to pack everything our kids eat with produce. And I get it: If we're unsure of what our kids will eat because they are refusing fruits and veggies at meals, but we know they are getting some good stuff without realizing it, we feel like they'll be okay. That they won't be malnourished. That we're doing a good job as parents. But I'm just not sure that it does any good to put kale into chocolate chips cookies. Or that we need to be so obsessed with wanting every single bite to the world's healthiest morsel. In fact, it's even possible that your toddler is getting enough produce each day since the serving sizes may be smaller than you realize.
I'm not saying that we should stop trying to get our little ones to eat fruits and veggies. But for me, there's a fine line between making more wholesome versions of favorite foods and sneaking healthy foods to kids. I make my fair share of veggie-packed baked goods—I mean, clearly, since this is a post about Zucchini Muffins—but I do it because the vegetables often lend beneficial flavor and texture. And I like having easy meal components that deliver veggies in a form that my kids are likely to enjoy. But I don't ever do it in secrecy because I want my kids to know what they're eating. I don't want them to feel like I'm trying to trick them at the dinner table. And I don't want them to be scared of vegetables.
It's virtually impossible to force a toddler to eat the exact foods that you want them too. (I mean, have you tried it? It's terrible!) But there is something to be said for honestly sharing information about what's on their plate. It might not transform their outlook on certain vegetables or result in them eating more veggies, but I do like to think that it will help them learn to be healthy eaters in the long run.
And now to these Zucchini Muffins.
The entire recipe is made in a food processor, so there's no separate grating of the zucchini. You don't even need to squeeze it! And the ingredient list is straight forward, which makes these a perfect snack to make without much planning. There are little flecks of green, so it's easy to tell what these are made from, but the pieces sort of melt into the muffins for an overall lovely texture.
We topped ours with butter and honey, and then cream cheese the second time we had them, and liked them both ways. We like them best warmed slightly, though I wouldn't turn one down if it was cold. And you can freeze a few if you don't think you'll be able to get through the whole batch. Just place into a zip top freezer bag once totally cooled, remove as much air as possible, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Nutrition: These muffins have fiber from the flax and zucchini, a little protein and calcium from the milk and yogurt, and complex carbohydrates from the flours.
The red placemat at the top is the JJ Rabbit Silimat, which we just got and adore. It's super easy to clean and doesn't stick to food as much as some other silicone placemats we've tried. And such cute designs!
Egg-Free Zucchini Flax Muffins
I make these with a homemade gluten-free flour blend, but if you'd prefer to use regular flour, see the Variations at the bottom. To make these dairy-free, you could try using neutral oil instead of the yogurt and plain non-dairy milk.
2 cups roughly chopped zucchini
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
2 cups gluten-free flour blend
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt (or melted butter)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
1/2 cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a standard muffin tin. Add the zucchini to the bowl of a food processor and process until well grated, about 30 seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients, and pulse to combine just 4-5 times, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Fill 10 cups 3/4 full and bake for 24-25 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly on a wire rack (or as shown in the tin above) and serve warm.
To use regular flour: Use half whole-wheat and half all purpose flour instead of gluten-free. You may need to add an additional 1/4 cup milk if the batter seems a little dry. Be sure not to over-mix.
To make 24 mini muffins: Fill each cup full to the edge and bake for 16-18 minutes.
To make Lemon Zucchini Muffins: Omit the cinnamon and add the zest of 1 lemon.
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Zucchini Muffin Fritters / Broccoli Yogurt Pesto / Sweet Potato Tomato Soup/ Cheesy Zucchini Egg Muffins