Hurray!! Today is Friday, which not only means the start for the weekend for most of us but also a new recipe: Chocolate Courgette Mini Muffins. I told you courgette season is upon us 😂😂 Last year, my mum had just started having a vegetable patch. One of the main vegetables that grew (in abundance) was courgette. She made everything from soups, dips, sauces, bread – you name it. I feel like this is a vegetable you see everywhere at this time of the year and so I wanted to provide you with another option to make them delicious 🤗.
Funnily enough, courgette and chocolate are a match made in heaven 🌟💫. Courgette makes the dough super moist and also acts as a great binding agent. These mini muffins are also virtually crumb-free (because they are binding so well) and so should you have little children’s hands that are eating these you will likely not have spillage all over your floors 🤗. I have also enjoyed the mini muffins for breakfast, as a snack in the morning or out on hikes – just to give you some ideas where/when to potentially consume them 😉.
Why are these Chocolate Courgette Mini Muffins good for you?
Cocoa powder is mainly used in conventional chocolate but the unprocessed version contains a range of health benefits! It is made by crushing cocoa beans and then extracting the fat or cocoa butter from it. The powder is also high in an antioxidant called “polyphenol”, which is linked to reducing inflammation, increasing blood flow, as well as lowering both blood pressure blood sugar levels. The flavanols in chocolate can aid in improving nitric oxide (= a molecule that is naturally produced by your body) levels in your blood. This enhances the function of your blood vessels and therefore may aid in reducing blood pressure. In addition to these amazing health benefits, cocoa may help to improve your mood and symptoms of depression.
I have written extensively about the benefits of these in my Courgette Fritters recipe. Head on over there if you would like to know more about the health benefits of courgettes 😉.
Almonds deliver an incredible amount of nutrients and are packed with fiber, protein and healthy fats. Albeit often-times referred to as a nut, almonds are actually seeds that are the pit of an almond fruit. Almonds are particularly high in Vitamin E, Manganese and Magnesium. They are an incredible powerhouse in terms of their antioxidant power, which are mainly in the skin of the almonds. These antioxidants help to protect you against oxidative stress, which can be responsible for inflammation and the building of cancer in our bodies.
Coconut sugar is a natural sugar made from the coconut palm sap. Different to refined sugar, it contains quite a few nutrients, including Iron, Zinc, Calcium, and Potassium. It also contains a fiber called “inulin”, which helps the body to absorb coconut sugar more slowly and thereby does not spike your bloodstream as quickly.
These Chocolate Courgette Mini Muffins are not overly sweet but – I find – sweet enough. You will be to still taste the lovely bursts of cocoa and chocolate. The less cocoa content you are using in the chocolate, the sweeter they will clearly get. We usually use 85% but I appreciate that is quite rich for some people. I have also made them with a 70% version and they were lovely.
For making the Chocolate Courgette Mini Muffins – I used a Mini Muffin Form. I have had mine for at least the last two to three years. It is definitely not as shiny and blue any longer, but it continues to be trusted, does not need much (or any) additional greasing, and can easily be popped into the dishwasher for being cleaned – win-win in my books 😄. I hope you enjoy this deliciousness and if you do – please tag me in your creations on Instagram under @life_and_lemons_foodblog and leave a comment below.
Chocolate Courgette Mini MuffinsCourse: Sweet treatsCuisine: gluten-free bakingDifficulty: Easy
These Chocolate Courgette Mini Muffins are a perfect morning or afternoon snack. They are crumb free, delicious and greatly burst with flavors of chocolate!
A bit of oil to grease mini muffin form
- Wet ingredients
¼ cup (60 gr.) apple sauce
¼ cup (60 gr.) almond butter
1 egg (see below for an option to make vegan)
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla, liquid
¾ cup (ca. 170 gr.) finely grated zucchini (can be more – up to one cup but the baking time might be longer)
- Dry ingredients
1 cup (120 gr.) oats
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp coconut sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
ca. 2 ounces (50 – 60 gr.) dark chocolate (70% upwards)
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degree Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and spray a mini muffin and grease a mini muffin form with a bit of oil
- In a bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. In a small blender or coffee grinder, grind the oats into a flour. Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Finely chop the chocolate into small chunks and add to the batter
- Pour the batter into the prepared mini muffin form and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy this delicious chocolatey treat!! These make ca. 24 mini muffins and store super well in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- You can make these mini muffins vegan by using a chia egg. Simply mix 1 tbsp ground chia mixed with 3 tbsp warm water and let sit on the counter for 5 – 10 minutes. I did find that they needed a much longer baking time – ca. 40 minutes and they stayed quite soft in the middle – the taste was not altered though.