Happy #AKZucchiniWeek 2018! This is my 3rd year of doing zucchini week on the blog and it’s always one of my favorites!
How was your weekend? Tony and I saw a show at the Chicago Magic Lounge; it was such a fun date night and if you’re in the city, I highly recommend it. You can walk to the Green Mill after for music & drinks!
Anyway, let’s get to this whole zucchini week thang.
I thought it best to share this healthy zucchini banana muffin recipe first because you know how much I love muffins. Why? Probably because they’re portable, easy to make and freezer friendly too. And what could be better than a little chunky monkey zucchini banana muffin (banana, walnuts, coconut and chocolate)?
THE BEST SNACK EVER aka time to make your kids eat their veggies. Or maybe just time for you to eat your veggies? Heh. I love them for dessert with a little Soom chocolate tahini on top. These muffins pack in fruit, a veggie, heart-healthy fats, whole grains and fiber. They’re dairy free and can easily be made gluten free too!
Let’s talk ingredients in these zucchini banana muffins
These healthy zucchini banana muffins are naturally sweetened with ripe bananas and honey, and they make the perfect on-the-go breakfast! Here’s everything you’ll need to make them:
- Zucchini: Make sure you shred it and then squeeze it with a paper towel of excess moisture. This is critical!
- Bananas: Use ripe bananas and make sure you mash and then measure it out to 3/4 cup. They help to sweeten the recipe without adding a ton of additional sweeteners.
- Cinnamon: Not only does cinnamon help to regulate blood sugar, but it also adds a delicious flavor to these muffins.
- Olive oil: I love using a little olive oil in this recipe. You really only need to use 2 tablespoons to keep the muffins moist, since banana and zucchini do the job! Please note that you can also use melted butter.
- Honey: I love using honey to naturally sweeten these zucchini banana muffins. I typically use manuka honey, which offers many health benefits.
- Almond milk: To keep these dairy free, I typically use unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
- Walnuts: I love walnuts in this recipe because they add a delicious crunch, omega 3 and offer heart-healthy benefits.
- Chocolate chips: You can use dairy free chocolate chips if you’d like. I prefer dark chocolate.
- Unsweetened coconut: I love the texture a little coconut gives the muffin.
Recommended ingredient swaps
I always suggest following the recipe as-is so that they turn out exactly how they should, but here’s what I can recommend for substitutions:
- To make vegan: Sub pure maple syrup instead of honey. Sub 1 flax egg instead of a regular egg. Make sure you use dairy free/vegan chocolate chips.
- To make gluten free: I suggest using chickpea flour or a 1:1 all purpose gluten free flour.
- For the olive oil: feel free to use butter or vegan butter.
Can I use frozen bananas?
Yep! Just be sure to thaw your bananas completely and drain off the excess liquid so that the zucchini banana muffins don’t come out too moist.
Tips for baking with zucchini
- Use the small side of your grater so that you get little shreds of zucchini. No one will be able to tell there’s a veggie in their brownies!
- Squeeze out your zucchini shreds as much as possible to get all of the excess liquid out.
- Measure the shreds before you squeeze the moisture out.
- Feel free to shred a bunch of zucchini and freeze it for later! Follow my tips and tricks here.
Make it into zucchini banana bread
The zucchini banana bread batter actually translates well into bread, too!
- Simply make the muffin batter as directed.
- Pour into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Easy!
Storing & freezing these zucchini banana muffins
- To store: let the muffins cool completely, then keep them in an airtight bag or container in the fridge for optimal freshness (especially during summer months).
- To freeze: wrap muffins individually in freezer-safe bags or store them in a large freezer bag. When you’re ready to enjoy them, reheat for 30-45 seconds in the microwave or simply thaw them at room temperature.
Recommended tools for baking muffins
Check out all of our favorite kitchen essentials in the shop.
More zucchini recipes you’ll love
- The Best Zucchini Brownies You’ll Ever Eat
- Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Frosting
- Coconut Chocolate Zucchini Smoothie (with sneaky veggies)
- Healthy Marbled Chocolate Zucchini Banana Bread
- Zucchini Mac and Cheese
Get all of our delicious zucchini recipes here!
If you make these chunky monkey zucchini banana muffins, don’t forget to leave a comment and rate the recipe below. And of course, if you have Instagram, we’d love to see your creations — don’t forget to tag #ambitiouskitchen! You can also join our AK Facebook community group here.
Chunky Monkey Zucchini Banana Muffins
- Dry ingredients
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Wet ingredients
- ¾ cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 small to medium ripe bananas)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or sub melted butter)
- 1/4 cup honey (or sub pure maple syrup)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 heaping cup shredded zucchini (from 1 medium zucchini, shredded and squeezed of excess moisture)
- ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk (or any milk)
- Fold ins:
- ½ cup chocolate chips, dairy free if desired
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
- ⅓ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin liners and spray the inside of the liners with nonstick cooking spray. This is critical to making sure the muffins don’t stick to the liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
In a separate large bowl, mix together the following with a wooden spoon: mashed banana, olive oil, honey, egg, vanilla extract, shredded zucchini and almond milk.
Gently sir in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips, walnuts and shredded coconut.
Divide batter evenly between greased muffin liners. Bake for 22-27 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
Allow muffins to cool in muffin tin for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store muffins in airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Muffins can also be frozen for up to three months.
To make these vegan: Sub pure maple syrup instead of honey. Sub 1 flax egg instead of a regular egg. Make sure you use dairy free/vegan chocolate chips.
To make these gluten free: I suggest using chickpea flour or an all purpose gluten free flour.
To bake as bread: Make muffin batter as directed. Pour into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.
To freeze muffins: After muffins are done baking and cooling, transfer to an airtight container. Store in freezer for up to three months. Once ready to defrost, simply leave out for a few hours, or microwave for 30 seconds to a minute.