Zucchini Carrot Oat Cocoa Muffins
Packed with flavor most importantly, but also with whole grains, veggies, fiber and heart healthy fat (if you opt for the flax) – this one was a YUM all around!
I wasn’t sure if my kiddos would dig the grated veggies in this – A was a fan, G needed a little more convincing. I think as kids get older, they tend to get over the texture issues, but I do have a modification if your little one can sniff a veggie out from a mile away.
1 zucchini, grated (leave peel on)
1 large carrot, grated
(Optional) 1/2c raw walnut or pecan halves or ¼ cup dried fruit (raisins or cranberries)
1 ¼ c white whole wheat flour
1c old-fashioned oats
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
½ c dark chocolate chips
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 flax eggs: 5 Tbsp water + 2 Tbsp flax meal or (2 eggs at room temperature)
1/2c plain nonfat Greek yogurt at room temperature
1/4c canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs cocoa powder
1 banana, smashed
Preheat oven to 350°. Line 24 cups of a mini muffin pan with paper liners or lightly coat with nonstick spray. Set aside.
If using nuts, toast them in oven for 8-10 minutes until they are lightly browned and fragrant.
Make flax eggs by combining water and flax meal in a bowl and set aside while nuts are toasting.
Transfer nuts immediately to a cutting board; roughly chop and set aside.
Grate carrots and zucchini. Place on paper towel, pat dry and set aside. If your kids have texture issues, try a finer grate.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder and salt.
Add grated carrot, zucchini and chocolate chips. Fold gently to combine.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs (flax or regular), Greek yogurt, honey, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Add banana to bowl and mash into mixture.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined. Do not overmix.
Fold in the nuts or dried fruit.
Divide the batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake for ~15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Pull out of oven, and if you’d like place one more choc chip on top of each muffin. Let muffins cool for a few minutes then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
TO FREEZE: Individually wrap each muffin and store in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw and enjoy muffins as desired.