Healthy Zucchini Muffins (52 New Foods, Week 25)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on June 28, 2012 6 Comments

Healthy zucchini muffins were the pick of the week in our new food adventure. A tasty treat for kids (and adults)!

I’m a sucker for a warm basket of fresh baked muffins. Everything about them feels cozy. They are fun to make and even more fun to enjoy cuddled up with my kiddos on a leisurely Saturday morning. You can imagine my absolute delight when my new food adventurers decided to make zucchini our new food of the week. A perfect opportunity for healthy zucchini muffins!

Feature Recipe: Healthy Zucchini Muffins

Finding an easy recipe for healthy zucchini muffins was a snap! I took a wonderful family recipe for zucchini bread from The Naptime Chef, and tweaked it a little – adding whole-wheat flour and grapeseed oil. My 5 year old loved these tasty little tidbits, but my daughter didn't like the texture of the grated zucchini in my first batch. So I whipped up another version with pureed zucchini. My strategy wasn’t to “hide” the veggie, she cut and pureed the zucchini herself, but rather to change the texture to get my daughter to give it a try. It worked!

Healthy Zucchini Muffins

healthy zucchini muffins Adapted from The Naptime Chef
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: about 20 minutes
Makes 24 muffins

cups whole-wheat flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3 ½ tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
½ cup grapeseed oil
½ cup applesauce
1 ½ cups sugar
2 medium zucchinis, pureed
2 tsp vanilla extract


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with baking cups. I have fallen in love with silicon baking cups – they make perfect muffins (every time!) and are a breeze to use. When using the silicon cups, spray lightly with oil.

healthy zucchini muffins step 1

2) Sift together your dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon.

healthy zucchini muffins step 2

3) Chop then puree the zucchini.

healthy zucchini muffins step 3

4) In a mixer, stir together your wet ingredients – eggs, oil, applesauce, zucchini puree, vanilla, and sugar.

healthy zucchini muffins step 4

5) In small batches, pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir gently.

healthy zucchini muffins step 5

6) Pour batter into muffin tins. Fill each cup about ¾ of the way.

healthy zucchini muffins step 6

7) Bake about 20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched lightly.

healthy zucchini muffins step 7

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Mmmarvelous muffins!

What we liked: I was thrilled that the pureed version of this recipe turned out to be a winner for my picky eater. The muffins were a wholesome treat, and will make a great lunchbox snack.   

* Do you have a favorite recipe for healthy zucchini muffins?

* What other ways do you like to prepare zucchini?

* Have you ever tried zucchini flowers?

Next up: Next week marks the halfway point in our 52 New Foods adventure. Be sure to tune in to see what fun new food ideas we have in store.

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Friendship Garden Soup.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit children’s nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

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Comments (6 Comments)

Posted by Jennifer on June 28, 2012

Cathy – I chopped off and discarded the ends of the zucchini, then sliced the whole thing (skin and all) into chucks and threw it into the food processor for a few minutes. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out.

Posted by Jennifer on June 28, 2012

I love these suggestions! LAB, is there a simple formula you follow for replacing sugar with fruit. That would be helpful for many recipes.

Posted by Sarah Miles on June 28, 2012

try replacing one or two of the eggs with a TBS/egg (and a few TBS of water) of milled Flax. up the fiber even more and add some healthy Omega 3s. I make zucchini bread all the time that follows a similar recipe, only it calls for three eggs for two large loafs of bread. three eggs sounds like a lot for this recipe and the sugar could be reduced as well.

2 cups shreaded zucchini
3 eggs (or 1 egg + 2 TBS milled flax + 4 TBS water)
1/2 cup apple sauce
2 white cups sugar (this can be reduced to 1 cup white + 1/2C brown)
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups WHITE whole wheat flower (King Arthur is the best!)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder
3 slightly rounded tsp cinnamon

Makes two large loaves. 350 about an hour. My kids devour it! (hense why I try to reduce the sugar as much as I can get a way with! – adding a little extra cinnamon helps)

Posted by LAB on June 28, 2012

Why not get truly healthy and creative by sweetening with fruit? I make wonderful muffins using 1 1/2 cups of shredded fruits and veg—pineapple, apple, banana, dates, carrots,spinach,zucchini—use flax seed in place of egg to bind and some ground nuts for a fat. Muffins turn out delicious and are truly healthful. Nothing healthful about 1 1/2 c of sugar.

Posted by Cathy on June 28, 2012

They look and sound wonderful! I love zucchini muffins and bread!

Posted by Cathy on June 28, 2012

were your zucchini peeled or seeded – or – washed, removed ends and chopped whole without any peeling or seeding?

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