Today I found myself with a sick child on the couch, a gentle rain outside, and 4 enormous zucchinis that my husband had brought in from the garden. Naturally, I migrated to the kitchen. I could have made soup, salad, or any number of nutritious meals. But instead I used the ridiculous size of these squash as an excuse to just make treats!
The first recipe I credit to Chef Lynda at the Nutrition Therapy Institute. NTI has a Natural Food Chef training program for which I teach the classroom nutrients course. Because I can never follow a recipe, I of course modified it. While the original recipe called for chopped nuts and dried fruit, I opted instead for shredded coconut.
These gluten-free muffins are absolutely delicious and packed with nutrition!
Coconut Zucchini Muffins
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 4 large egs
- ½ cup agave nectar
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- ¼ cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 350°. Line mini muffin tins with baking cups. Combine the wet and dry ingredients separately. Combine the wet and dry and finally add the shredded coconut last. Bake in mini muffin tins for about 15 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Makes 32 mini muffins.
Nutrition Facts: 4 mini muffins = 150 calories; 5.6g fat; 21g carbohydrate; 2g fiber; 17g sugar; 5g protein.
The second recipe I chose to use up some garden zucchinis was one that was circulating on Facebook. It was a very low fat recipe that used only applesauce and bananas in place of oil and eggs. But it also used all-purpose white flour, which I intended to replace with a gluten-free flour blend. Based on past baking experience, and lacking a fear of fat, I decided to add an egg and some oil to the recipe.
These brownies come out moist, springy, and flavorful. They feel more like a light treat rather than a guilty indulgence. Although they do pack a dose of sugar, you can feel good that you are also getting a mouthful of veg!
- ½ cup applesauce
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups organic cane sugar
- 1 ½ cups finely shredded zucchini (I shredded it in the Vitamix with water and then drained thoroughly)
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I used Pamela’s brand Artisan Flour)
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish. Mix first 6 ingredients (applesauce, banana, egg, oil, vanilla, and sugar) in a medium bowl. Once thoroughly mixed, add the zucchini. In a separate bowl combine the cocoa, flour, baking soda, and salt. Finally combine the wet and dry ingredients. Bake 25 minutes.
Nutrition Facts: (24 servings) 1 brownie = 120 calories; 1.5g fat; 25.5g carbohydrate; 1g fiber; 14g sugar; 2g protein.