Monday, September 28, 2015

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

I missed the part where it was September. Yes, I've had my pumpkin spice latte. Yes, I've pulled out the sweaters. Yes, I noticed it's getting darker way earlier which makes me sad. But somehow, I woke up and realized it's almost October--OCTOBER?!?! I've got a stockpile of apple and pumpkin all ready to go but I can't quite commit to October treats just yet. Maybe next week.

To bridge the gap, I brought back Muffin Monday at work. Zucchini is still the love my summer life and I've made oodles of zoodles (mostly so I can say "oodles of zoodles" more often). When I was in Maine a couple weeks ago, my mom and I made a double batch of zucchini bread (so much zucchini bread). My mom usually makes it chocolate zucchini bread but this time, we did a nice half and half of regular and chocolate loaves.

Inspired by this epic baking session, I created these chocolate zucchini muffins as a way to have a healthy breakfast on the go. Instead of oil, we're using Greek yogurt. I also solidly believe the yogurt gives a better texture to breads and muffins. For good measure, we're also adding pecans--because we [pe]can! You know you love the puns.

A large zucchini is shredded onto a double layer of paper towels. You need to squeeze out that extra water from the vegetable before we make it into muffins. One bowl contains our zucchini, another contains our dry ingredients while the biggest bowl has the wet ingredients. Eggs, sugar and yogurt are whisked together before stirring in the dry ingredients. When I started this process, I wasn't going to make them chocolate so I added the cocoa powder after the fact. It worked out in the end.

Zucchini and pecans are added last, gently folded in to make sure you get a good bit in every bite. I baked these for about 30 minutes. Of course I ate one right away but without oil, they stick to the wrappers a bit until they are cooled. Tastes the same but you get less muffin for your buck until you let them set.

So what will Muffin Monday be next week, pumpkin? Apple? Banana? Decisions, decisions...

adapted from Joy of Cooking
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups grated zucchini, drained of excess liquid
  • 1/4 chopped pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs, yogurt, vanilla and salt until creamy.
  4. Slowly stir the flour mixture into the egg-sugar mixture until incorporated.
  5. Fold in the zucchini and pecans (if desired) until evenly mixed.
  6. Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way with batter.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean. 
  8. Allow to cool before eating. 

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