When he was younger, my son Will had a habit of filling his pockets with the many "treasures" he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. His habit got me thinking about how life is just like that on a larger scale; we gather up the precious bits of our many experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you will find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pocket. Thanks for visiting!
Monday, August 5, 2013
Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (gluten-free, vegan)
But when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, right? Or, in our case, when life hands you a giant zucchini that somehow got away on you in the garden, you cheer yourself up by baking some delicious double chocolate zucchini muffins! That's exactly what I did today.
Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
(inspired by this Paleo Chocolate Zucchini Bread recipe from Elana's Pantry)
2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 cup certified gluten-free oats, ground (I used a Magic Bullet to grind them)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp ground chia seeds mixed with 6 tbsp water (let mixture stand to form a gel)
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (with the excess liquid squeezed out)
1/4 cup finely chopped dark chocolate
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (plus a little extra for sprinkling on top of muffins)
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, ground oats, cocoa powder, sea salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Whisk together the melted coconut oil and maple syrup in a small bowl, and stir this mixture into the dry ingredients. Add in the chia seed gel and the grated zucchini and stir until all ingredients are combined. Fold in the chopped dark chocolate and walnuts.
Line 15 muffin cups with paper liners. Spoon the muffin batter into the prepared cups, and sprinkle some chopped walnuts on the top of each one. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Cool and serve.
These muffins are moist, chocolatey, and don't include cups full of sugar as I find many baked goods made with zucchini call for. They make a delicious and nutrient-rich snack.
I am happy to report that Will is feeling much better today. As if to make up for the few days he didn't eat much at all, he keeps asking to have another of these muffins, to which he has given a hearty two thumbs up. I'm glad I could do a little something to put a smile on his face!