Healthy Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffins Recipe

Healthy vegan chocolate muffins recipe?! How is that even possible, you may ask. Trust me: today’s vegan chocolate zucchini muffins have everything you’d want to see in a delicious sweet treat that’s actually good for you. They are dairy free, egg free, butter free, oil free, and even contain a whole zucchini in every batch!

Vegan chocolate muffins with no oil

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 chip 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.

Check out this tutorial on how to properly shred zucchini for baking in muffins, breads, etc.

How to make vegan chocolate zucchini muffins

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Zucchini is especially popular in chocolate cake recipes. 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 before shredding.

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 2 year-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 my vegan pumpkin pancakes with pumpkin and shredded carrots, or my vegan kale and cashew pesto that gets an additional boost of greens from kale.

Zucchini muffins vegan oil free recipe

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.

While both of these ingredients work well to cut fat from this recipe, using both of them at once is an overload.

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.

Vegan chocolate chip muffins

Just half a cup of this stuff made a huge difference. My vegan chocolate chip 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? 😉

A note on chocolate chips. Lately I’ve been loving these semi-sweet chocolate chunks by Enjoy Life for all of my chocolate baking needs. They are free from the absolute majority of allergens like dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, even shellfish. (Did you know that some brands of chocolate add shellfish derivatives to their products?!)

Healthy vegan chocolate muffin recipe
My 2 year-old agreed to be my hand model for this picture. I paid her generously with chocolate muffins, of course 🙂

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:

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.

Yield: 12 muffins

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Muffins

Zucchini muffins vegan recipe

These healthy vegan chocolate muffins are made with finely shredded zucchini - a surprise ingredient that adds moisture without the need for eggs or butter. This recipe is also oil-free, which makes it ideal for whole food, plant-based diets.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour (or white unbleached all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 c almond meal
  • 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c finely shredded zucchini

Mix-ins:

  • 1/2 c dairy-free chocolate chips or chunks - I love these*

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, combine flour, almond meal, unsweetened cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips, set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar with non-dairy milk and applesauce until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add vanilla and shredded zucchini, mix to combine.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  4. Spoon the batter in equal amounts into the lined or unlined non-stick 12-cup muffin pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool the pan on a cooling rack for 15 min, then gently take the muffins out and cool a bit longer.

Notes

*Feel free to use more chocolate chips if you'd like, up to 1 cup.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 252Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 173mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 5gSugar: 18gProtein: 7g

Please note that the provided nutritional information data is approximate.

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Hope you enjoy my vegan chocolate zucchini muffins as much as we do in our family!

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18 thoughts on “Healthy Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffins Recipe”

  1. I did use what I had on hand, regular flour and sugar and mashed banana instead of applesauce. I switched the almond meal for chickpea flour and they came out delicious! 2 AND 8 (and 34 😉 year old approved, surprisingly! 8yo asked what was in them and said, “yeah right, if there was zucchini in this, they would be ruined.” Well buddy, it’s in there. So they’re ya go lol!

  2. Five stars. I’ve made these many times, they’re one of my favorites. The taste like a treat for sure! Thanks for an amazing recipe.

  3. Hi Alina! Just made these with 1/2 cup mashed banana instead of the applesauce and they are amazing! Had to resist to not eat 2. They do have a hint of banana flavor which everyone in the family loves (husband and toddler). Thank you!!

  4. These sound delicious for the kids and I and great way to use up some of the zucchini’s we have growing on our garden! Is there anything I can substitute for the applesauce as I don’t have any at home? Would coconut oil or banana work instead? Thanks!

  5. Omg this recipe has me so excited! I made them with all flour no cocoa and added cinnamon and they are perfection. The crumb texture is just right and no gumminess that has seemed to plague my vegan baking. Thank you you genius??

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