Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (bonus – no sugar added)

 

Gluten free, sugar free, almost vegan and chocolate…. what else could you ask for? How about yummy? I have been on a gluten free journey for going on two years, and I still struggle to find muffins that are some semblance of muffins from the past. I have begun to lose my cravings for bread since there really isn’t a gluten free option that comes close, but muffins are often close enough to bring back memories of days gone by.

I was gifted two HUGE zucchini squash on Friday. Since they were beyond the size of being tender, I decided that I was going to try out a zucchini muffin recipe. I checked around on the internet for a recipe that I could tweak and this is what I ended up experimenting with:

  • 1/2 cup (128 g) almond or cashew butter ( I used almond)
  • 1 ripe medium-sized banana or 1/2 cup applesauce (we used an overripe frozen banana saved for just such an occasion)
  • 1 large egg (you could use a vegan egg substitute, but we used farm fresh eggs)
  • 1/4 cup (80 g) honey or maple syrup (we used 2 tbl of each)
  • 1/4 cup (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup (100 g) zucchini (if you aren’t using a Vitamix you’ll need to grate it)
  • chocolate chips for sprinkling on top
  • 1 Tbsp of molasses
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp of shelled hemp seeds
  • 1-2 drops of Ameo Cinnamon Essential Oil

First we turned the oven to 375 to preheat while we mixed up the ingredients.  Basically I just dumped everything in the blender, starting with the liquids. We blended  in the Vitamix and poured into a greased Pampered Chef muffin stone, and sprinkled chocolate chips on top. I never make a single recipe (remember I have 14 kids). Today I made a double batch for testing. There were 8 ‘testers’.  I wanted to try a flour free version, and one more conventional so to the rest of the batter (roughly half) I added 1/2 cup One to One Gluten Free flour and 1 heaping tsp of baking powder. I was able to use what was left to almost fill up another muffin pan.

I then cooked for about 25 mins at 375. The flourless ones looked prettier before I took them out of the pan, but it became clear quickly that they weren’t coming out in one piece. The ones I added flour to were definitely more like a “normal” muffin in texture, and they all came out without leaving a crumb behind. IMG_20170606_132030_240_LI

I served up all the testers a plate that looked like this, and then had everyone vote. The flourless muffin had more of the texture of a souffle or a really gooey brownie. It had to be eaten with a fork. Melt in your mouth yumminess! The GF flour muffin tasted *almost like it had been made with regular wheat flour. It was really good and much more in line with what you would expect from a muffin. We voted unanimously that they would be best with a big glass of raw milk, and thanks to our goat, Elenor, and Victoria the primary goat milker, I was able to oblige. We tallied up the votes, and this is the final verdict: IMG_20170606_132030_240_LI (2)

I personally chose ooey gooey, because I prefer brownies over muffins any day. If you are wanting something that comes out of the pans easily and is more like a muffin go for the flour added version. Either way, you don’t taste the zucchini at all. I think the cinnamon oil would stand out more in a more traditional zuchinni recipe which I’ll try later, but I was trying to tackle my chocolate craving in a way that didn’t compromise my commitment to healthy. I think I achieved my goal.  Both versions are winners in my book. I’d love for you to try the recipes and let me know your verdict!

Apparently, both versions were winners with the kids too. There weren’t any left to taste test later when they had cooled! But, that is par for the course at my house!

IMG_20170606_140255_261

As always, please forgive my less than professional photographs. I have no intention of becoming a food blogger! 🙂

 

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