These flourless Chocolate Protein Muffins pack in the nutrients, but taste like a brownie. They are quickly mixed up in a blender and have so many nutrients tucked inside. Plus: They store so well in the fridge!

healthy chocolate muffins cooling on wire rack

Chocolate Protein Muffins

Muffins are one of those foods that we like to have in the house for easy breakfasts and snacks since they store so well in the fridge and are so easy to eat. These protein muffins taste like a moist brownie, but have a load of nutrition inside…including veggies!

Honestly, you’d never know they were in there, but it’s nice to get in a little extra nutrition, right?

Healthy Chocolate Muffins

I don’t advocate sneaking veggies into everything we serve our kids—we want (and need!) our kids to trust us with the food we feed them—so I love making these with my kids and having them help me add the ingredients.

The zucchini, kale, and ripe banana adds moisture and flavor. The cocoa powder makes each bite super chocolatey, which my little taste testers think they is super yummy.

I love these muffins since they are packed with protein and healthy fats, which means that they provide nicely balanced and long lasting energy for our busy little people. Plus, the texture is super soft and moist, which makes them easy for younger toddlers to chew and swallow.

TIP: Dice the muffin for little ones about 16 months old and younger so it’s easier for them to chew—and to avoid them from stuffing large pieces into their mouths.

ingredients-in-chocolate-protein-muffins

Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe you’ll need:

TIP: Use a very ripe banana with brown spots for the best natural sweetness.

how-to-make-chocolate-protein-muffins-step-by-step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the process involved in making this recipe. Scroll to the bottom for all of the info.

  1. Start by gathering your ingredients. Your banana should be super ripe for optimal sweetness.
  2. Add all ingredients to a blender.
  3. Blend, stopping to scrape down the sides or move the mixture around with the stick that came with it (if one did).
  4. Divide batter in a greased muffin tin. Top with chocolate chips if using.
  5. Bake and test for doneness with toothpick or cake tester. Let cool.

TIP: Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to get them out of the pan.

chocolate protein muffins in pan

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need protein powder for these?

Our kids are usually getting plenty of protein without us worrying too much about it, but it is an essential nutrient for balanced energy. Each regularly sized muffin has 7 grams of protein which is a nice dose!

Can I make this recipe without a blender?

You can use a food processor though definitely let it process for at least a minute to try to get the greens fully blended. A blender usually makes a more uniform texture, which is why I use it here.

Can I make these muffins mini?

You can bake these as full size muffins or minis, depending on your preference. And this batter also works in a donut pan should you want to go that route. It’s nice that it’s so versatile so you can adjust for the appetites in your household.

What’s the texture like in chocolate muffins?

I’m always amazed at the texture of these muffins, which is light and moist. I tend to like the flavor better when these are served chilled, but taste them both ways and see what you think.

how to clean a blender step by step

What’s the best way to clean a blender?

This batter is a little sticky due to the volume of nut butter, so here’s the best way to clean your blender.

  1. Fill the blender 1/2-¾ full of warm to hot water. Add a squirt of dish soap.
  2. Put the top on securely and blend, starting on low and working up to high. Keep going until the sides of the blender are clean. (Any stuck on batter will come off from the friction of the water!)
  3. Rinse out.
chocolate-protein-muffins-on-napkin

Best Tips for Success

  • Use a very ripe banana with brown spots for the best natural sweetness.
  • If your peanut butter has been in the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for an hour before using OR warm for 15 seconds in the microwave.
  • Spray your measuring cup with nonstick spray before measuring the honey to make it easier to pour out.
  • Stir a handful of chocolate chips into the batter to make it slightly sweeter.
  • Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to get them out of the pan.
  • I find that these taste best with greens that have been frozen and once the muffins have been fully cooled (and even chilled in the fridge for a bit!)
  • Dice the muffin for little ones as needed.
  • Store for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge or in a sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • You may also like my Banana Oatmeal Muffins, Protein Shakes, and Black Bean Brownies.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe, so please comment below to share!

This post was originally published June 2019.

healthy chocolate muffins cooling on wire rack

Chocolate Protein Muffins (With Veggies!)

These simple blender muffins pack a serious nutrition punch and are dairy-free, with a nut-free option. I prefer the flavor of these once they are fully cooled and chilled in the fridge.
4.92 from 72 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Cuisine Muffins
Course Breakfast
Calories 190kcal
Servings 12 regular muffins or about 24 mini

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter or Sunbutter
  • 1 cup roughly chopped very ripe banana
  • 1 cup roughly chopped raw zucchini (or summer squash)
  • 1 cup kale leaves, lightly packed (or spinach)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a mini or standard size muffin tin with nonstick spray.
  • Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender and/or using the stick that came with it to move the ingredients around if needed.
  • Fill muffin cups about ½ full using about ¼ cup batter in each. Top with chocolate chips, if using.
  • For regular muffins: Bake 22-24 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  • For mini muffins (or a donut pan): Bake 14-16 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  • Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, run a knife around the edges, and carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Notes

  • Store for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge or in a sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • Use a very ripe banana with brown spots for the best natural sweetness.
  • I use natural unsweetened peanut butter in this recipe. 
  • Nut-free: Use Sunbutter instead of peanut butter.
  • If your peanut butter has been in the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for an hour before using OR warm for 15 seconds in the microwave.
  • Spray your measuring cup with nonstick spray before measuring the honey to make it easier to pour out.
  • Stir a handful of chocolate chips into the batter to make it slightly sweeter.
  • Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to get them out of the pan.
  • I find that these taste best with greens that have been frozen and once the muffins have been fully cooled (and even chilled in the fridge for a bit!)

Nutrition

Calories: 190kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 153mg, Potassium: 291mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 563IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 50mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!
healthy chocolate muffins cooling on wire rack

Chocolate Protein Muffins (With Veggies!)

These simple blender muffins pack a serious nutrition punch and are dairy-free, with a nut-free option. I prefer the flavor of these once they are fully cooled and chilled in the fridge.
4.92 from 72 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Cuisine Muffins
Course Breakfast
Calories 190kcal
Servings 12 regular muffins or about 24 mini

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter or Sunbutter
  • 1 cup roughly chopped very ripe banana
  • 1 cup roughly chopped raw zucchini (or summer squash)
  • 1 cup kale leaves, lightly packed (or spinach)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a mini or standard size muffin tin with nonstick spray.
  • Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender and/or using the stick that came with it to move the ingredients around if needed.
  • Fill muffin cups about ½ full using about ¼ cup batter in each. Top with chocolate chips, if using.
  • For regular muffins: Bake 22-24 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  • For mini muffins (or a donut pan): Bake 14-16 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  • Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, run a knife around the edges, and carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Notes

  • Store for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge or in a sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • Use a very ripe banana with brown spots for the best natural sweetness.
  • I use natural unsweetened peanut butter in this recipe. 
  • Nut-free: Use Sunbutter instead of peanut butter.
  • If your peanut butter has been in the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for an hour before using OR warm for 15 seconds in the microwave.
  • Spray your measuring cup with nonstick spray before measuring the honey to make it easier to pour out.
  • Stir a handful of chocolate chips into the batter to make it slightly sweeter.
  • Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to get them out of the pan.
  • I find that these taste best with greens that have been frozen and once the muffins have been fully cooled (and even chilled in the fridge for a bit!)

Nutrition

Calories: 190kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 153mg, Potassium: 291mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 563IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 50mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Loved this!! My daughter asked for another then noticed a tiny small spec of zucchini and didn’t want more tho! :(( they also looked lighter than in the pic…should I add more cocoa? My son had 3 though! Love that it has no oil or sugar

  2. I only have cacao powder, would this be overpowering in this recipe? I find it has much stronger flavour than cocoa powder.

      1. 5 stars
        I used half the amount listed for cocoa powder and they turned out amazing! My 18mo daughter loves them – they’re so soft and moist, we can’t stop eating them. Will definitely be making on a regular basis!

  3. 5 stars
    Forgot to give stars on my last comment! One more thing – these really stuck to my muffin pan and to paper cups. I used butter. Any suggestions?

    1. I would coat the liners with nonstick spray and be sure to use it to grease the muffin tin well. I use classic Pam and have good success with it.

  4. 5 stars
    My son and husband love these and so do I! Is the nutrition based on a single mini muffin or single regular muffin? I’m waiting for results from my glucose test and looking for easy snacks if I need to track my blood sugar.

    1. I added coconut, turned out great! Love all the stuff packed in to these- puts the parent of a very picky eater at ease! The single recipe made way more than 24 minis for me, almost double. Also it was a little taxing on my vitamix, which added some time. But they’re really good!

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you! These muffins are just as delicious as the store-bought chocolate veggie muffins and are so much healthier!

  6. I tried this recipe and they look delicious apart from the taste of peanut butter being overpowering. Can you advise could I substitute other ingredients or reduce the quantity of peanut butter?

    1. I haven’t made them any other way so I’m not sure I have one without playing around with the recipe more.

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this amazing Recipe! I have shared it with my sisters who also have picky eaters. This has been such a success with my 3 year old who does NOT eat any vegetables other than tomatoes. He keeps asking for those muffins everyday.

  8. I didn’t see the flax seeds listed at the top with the ingredients, so I didn’t add them to my grocery list. I see them now listed at the bottom in the recipe. Can the flaxseeds be omitted? Thank you.

    1. Hi- I think you could try an egg replacer like the one from Just Eggs, but otherwise, I am not sure you can make this with another type of egg replacer.

  9. 5 stars
    My son and I LOVE these muffins. We enjoy them cold right out of the fridge. We usually have them with some cream cheese or ricotta on top. They are such a great way to get veggies in!

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