With this recipe for nut-free Flourless Cocoa Protein Muffins with Hidden Veggies, all of the ingredients go into a blender and the batter goes right into the muffin tin…so it’s actually possible to make them and not lose half of the day to clean up! (Because it always takes that long when there are little ones underfoot, right?)
Easy Protein Muffins
Muffins are one of those foods that we like to have in the house for easy breakfasts and snacks—and we love them even more when they’re super simple to make. These flourless 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?
And while I don’t necessarily advocate sneaking veggies into everything we serve our kids, this recipe does have both fruit and veggies in the mix. I seem to be on a summer squash kick lately, so I use that here again and also add in some ripe bananas and a handful of kale. But the cocoa powder makes each bite super chocolatey, so my little taste testers just thought they were yummy.
Chocolate Protein Muffins
In addition to the taste, 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. My daughter started eating these when she was about 14 year old, chopped up into small cubes, for the past few months.
Mini Protein Muffins
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.
Nut-Free Protein Muffins
You can use Sunbutter to make them nut-free in the case of allergies (or just to change things up!) though know they work exactly the same with peanut butter too. We tend to freeze half of each batch that we bake so we can pull them out whenever we need an easy snack or packed lunch component. It’s a wonderful thing to have a stash of nutritious muffins ready and waiting.
Protein Muffins Without Protein Powder
I know there are a lot of opinions on whether or not we need to worry about how much protein our kids have, but I fall on the side of not feeling like it’s necessary to use powders and supplements. That said, I do find it to be crucial to incorporate protein into meals and snacks to ensure that our kids have balanced energy (which can help avoid sugar crashes and meltdowns). So I try to offer protein-rich foods throughout the day. Each full size muffin has 7 grams of protein which is a nice dose for a toddler!
These simple blender muffins pack a serious nutrition punch and are dairy-free, with a nut-free option.
- 1 cup peanut butter or Sunbutter
- 1 cup roughly chopped very ripe banana
- 1 cup roughly chopped zucchini (or summer squash)
- 1 handful kale (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
- 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 1/2 full using about 1/4 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.
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.
Dice the muffin for little ones about 16 months old and younger.
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.