March 7, 2014

Skinny Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Good morning!

Muffins, again! I know, I know, I just posted a muffin recipe a couple of days ago, but I couldn't resist. We had a couple of zucchinis that needed to be used up and I have never actually made any type of zucchini bread or muffin. I was curious to try since I'm all for incorporating veggies into all meals! Traditional zucchini bread is actually not good for you at all... even with the veggies. It contains white flour, oil, and loads of sugar. All of that negates the benefits of the zucchini. So, I decided to try out a recipe that was low calorie and provided more nutritional benefits. And I think these turned out pretty darn good! They are not extremely sweet, which I enjoy, especially for breakfast. With only 1/3 cup brown sugar in the entire dozen, the sweetness mostly comes from the banana and dark chocolate chips (only 1/2 cup of those!)

Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with paper liners. Then you have to shred the zucchini. I thought this would be the hardest part, but in reality, the zucchini shreds like nobody's business. Just use a cheese grater. I think the original recipe I based this off of used the big shredder holes, but I opted for the small ones on the cheese grater since I figured it's best for the zucchini to be small and unnoticeable in the muffins. It worked great! I used one medium sized zucchini, which means I still have another zucchini to use up! More muffins?! ;-)

After I shredded the zucchini, I put the pulp between a couple of paper towels and squeezed out some (but not all) of the water. It's very watery, and will start to pool beneath the grater. But you don't want to squeeze it dry as the water helps to make these muffins super moist and delicious. I also had to create a banana mash, which I always do by placing my banana(s) in a plastic bag and squeezing until there are no more lumps.

Whisk your whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl or electric mixer stand, beat the egg and brown sugar together until combined. Add the melted butter, milk, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the zucchini and banana and stir. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.

Here come the chocolate chips!

The batter will be a little thick, but that makes it easy to plop into the lined muffin tin.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. You always want to be careful when you use whole wheat flour as it's drier than white flour and therefore your end result can be dry if you cook it for too long. You want to take it out of the oven JUST as the middle is beginning to cook through, because they will keep cooking a bit when you take them out.

Ta-da! Look at those cute little green specks in there!

And with only 160 calories per muffin, you don't have to feel guilty snacking on a couple of these.



Skinny Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from How Sweet It is

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large egg
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup low-fat milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/3 cups freshly grated zucchini
1/3 cup mashed banana (1 small-medium banana)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Shred zucchini with the small side of a cheese grater. Squeeze out some of the moisture between a few paper towels. Mash banana in a plastic bag. Melt butter, and set aside to cool.

Whisk dry ingredients in a small bowl, set aside. Add sugar and egg to an electric mixing stand and beat until combined. Add milk, vanilla, and melted butter and mix. Add zucchini and banana and mix. Slowly add in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula.

Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until middle just begins to set. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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