Healthy vegan chocolate muffins?! How is that even possible, you may ask. Trust me: my today’s recipe for vegan chocolate chip muffins checks every box on the scale of delicious sweet treats that are actually good for you. They are dairy free, egg free, butter free, oil free, and even contain a whole zucchini in every batch!
I’ve been a fan of everything double-triple-quadruple chocolate ever since I was a kid. Luckily, when I went vegan five and a half years ago, I didn’t have to give up this favorite treat of mine.
One thing I’m not a fan of is when a delicious chocolate dessert is so heavy that it makes you feel like you’ve swallowed a brick. That’s why today I’m sharing my latest recipe for healthy vegan chocolate muffins that are just as decadent and moist as any of the chocolate muffins you’ve ever felt guilty about eating, yet are made without butter, eggs, or oil.
The secret ingredient in this chocolate muffin recipe is finely shredded zucchini. If you’ve followed the healthy baking blogosphere for a while, I’m sure you’ve heard about this vegetable’s ability to infuse baked goods with scrumptious moistness.
Zucchini is especially popular in chocolate cake recipes because the brown color of chocolate masks its shredded green skin speckled throughout the finished product. However, the green specks are easy to avoid in non-chocolaty baked goods too if you peel the zucchini first.
I kept my zucchini unpeeled for these chocolate muffins to save time and effort, but you can peel it if you’d like.
If you’ve got children, you’ll like it that these muffins let you sneak some extra veggies into your kids’ diets. In fact, children who get more fiber from vegetables in their diet might experience health benefits later on in life, as Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.org notes over here.
My 14 month-old daughter hasn’t heard any of Dr. Greger’s lectures on health yet, but she still gobbles up these chocolate zucchini muffins like they’re going out of style ?
Looking to sneak in more veggies into everyday foods? I’ve got a few recipes here on the blog that do just that – check out these pancakes with pumpkin and shredded carrots, or this pesto that gets an additional boost of greens from kale.
These muffins were inspired by the chocolate zucchini muffin recipe in Lindsay S. Nixon’s Happy Herbivore Cookbook. I’ve made Lindsay’s muffins countless times, but wasn’t always thrilled with their texture: it often seemed too sticky rather than moist.
Through some trial and error, I realized that this was happening because of the combination of applesauce and mashed banana in the recipe. While both of these ingredients work well to cut fat from this recipe, using both of them at once could be an overload (my opinion).
So I cut the banana from Lindsay’s original recipe, and added almond meal. An unexpected switch? It might seem that way, but I’ve been using almond meal to make various baked goods lately, and noted that it yields luxurious moistness and a delicate texture to the final products.
Just half a cup of this stuff made a huge difference. The muffins stayed just as healthy and whole food-y, but turned out more decadent. Almond meal may add some fat to the final product, but in my opinion it’s worth it.
By the way, see 15 kid friendly vegan recipes from the blog that have been approved by my 2 year-old toddler.
Since this recipe calls for almond meal and chocolate chips, it’s not fat-free, but rest assured that it’s still way healthier than a butter and egg-laden muffin from the grocery store. Also, since it contains zucchini, maybe I’ll just list these muffins under the salad category ?
One of my favorite ways to eat these muffins is to cut them in half lengthwise and smear some peanut butter because, ahem, chocolate peanut butter is the best flavor ever! Try this if you want to take these muffins to the next level of decadence 🙂
More recipes for baked goods from the blog:
- – Vegan Irish Soda Bread with raisins and caraway seeds
- – Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies made with aquafaba
- – Oil-free Vegan Pumpkin Bread – refined sugar free
If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out! Give it a star rating below, pin it to Pinterest, tag @vegan_runner_eats on Instagram, or leave a comment.
Trying to make being vegan easier both for yourself and your family? Check out my favorite vegan finds on Amazon, from useful cookbooks and vegan pantry staples to kitchen tools, products for vegan kids, etc.!
Question for you: Have you made any other baked goods with shredded zucchini?
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