Vegetables are not uncommon for desserts, with their natural sweetness and colors, they bring color and juiciness to cakes and muffins. Carrot cake is the most famous example of this and a favorite of many people, according to my observations. I also like the combination of carrots and zucchini in this easy mix , where with their colors, they make a marble effect in the cut piece. I also love the sweetness and earthy taste of red beets along with dark chocolate, as in this fiery-colored and rich-tasting morsel .
However, all this has been waiting to be prepared again for several years, because you can’t convince almost 7-year-old Daniel , a chocolate lover, that carrots and beets are not just for baby puree. But I found what I needed and decided to apply it immediately.
For some time I started following the culinary blog Love and Lemons , and then I bought the author’s first book with the same title Love and Lemons Cookbook . There are only vegetarian recipes in the book, some of which are vegan. I like that its layout is by type of vegetable or fruit, not by categories like soups, salads or desserts. I often use the book for inspiration when I have a specific vegetable or fruit, and the recipes themselves are easy to make and open to improvisation.
In the zucchini recipe section, I stared at these dark, almost black chocolate muffins. I read several times that they were with zucchini because they were not visible in the cut muffin in the photo, and then the idea came to me to revive the preparation of vegetable cakes using cocoa for their camouflage. I had a much better chance with them in front of Daniel.
The recipe is vegan with ingredients that can be found in supermarkets or specialty stores, but if you do not stick to it, it can be successfully prepared with products of animal origin. Below, before the recipe itself, I explain in more detail about this.
The mixture itself is easy to prepare, no special devices are needed and the rule for preparing muffins is followed – mix the dry and liquid ingredients separately and then mix together. Finally, add all the additional products, which in this case are zucchini and chocolate. Bake the muffins well when the zucchini are drained of water after grating, so don’t miss this step.
I would also like to point out something that I consider important. Muffins are better after the day of baking. On the day they are cooked, they are more crumbly, and the taste of cocoa dough can be felt even as bitter. The next day, however, the texture of the muffins is firmer without losing their juiciness and crispiness, and all the flavors are combined. Thus, each bite remains juicy and slightly chewy from the zucchini, with an intense chocolate taste, in which the spices are already more clearly captured. I like them a lot. And Daniel adores them for breakfast.
Vegan chocolate muffins with zucchini
The recipe for these wonderful vegan chocolate muffins with zucchini has been adapted from the Love and Lemons Cookbook , making some very small changes. As a sweetener, the author uses maple syrup, which I replaced with date molasses. Agave syrup, mulberry molasses or brown sugar could also be used if desired. I decided to finish the muffins with pieces of almonds. They are not mandatory, but I like to have a crunchy element in them. They can be replaced with other nuts or dropped completely. Instead of almond milk, another nut milk can be used, taking care to be natural and not a sweetened drink.
This recipe is animal-free, but if you don’t want to be vegan, it can be easily transformed. Instead of flaxseed and water, use 1 egg; almond milk is replaced by cow’s milk; coconut oil with melted butter or oil. The cooking technique remains the same.
For 12 pieces.
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) water
- 250 ml of almond milk
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) lemon juice
- 60 g of coconut oil, melted
- 150 g of date molasses
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- 260 g wholemeal spelled flour
- 30 g of cocoa
- 10 g baking powder
- 5 g of baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon ground sea salt
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 70 g dark chocolate, cut into small cubes or rolls
- 200 g zucchini, finely grated and drained
- 50 g almonds, coarsely chopped
The oven is heated to 180ºC with the option of upper and lower reotan. Prepare 12 nests for muffins, in which paper capsules are placed and sprayed with baking spray.
Preparation of liquid ingredients
Flaxseed is mixed with water and left to stand for ten minutes.
Lemon juice is added to the almond milk and left to stand for ten minutes. Then flaxseed with water and all other ingredients are added to them. Mix well.
Preparation of dry ingredients
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sifted cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Mix well.
The chocolate is cut into small pieces, and if it is in pieces, it is left like that.
Measure 200 g of zucchini and grate on a fine grater. Grated zucchini is taken in handfuls and squeezed as much as possible. It is set aside.
Cut the almonds in bulk with a knife and set aside.
Mix the dry with the liquid ingredients and bake
When the oven is heated, pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a wire stirrer until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Then the chocolate and drained zucchini are added to it. Stir with a spatula until evenly distributed in the mixture, but without beating.
Distribute the mixture in the muffin tins, filling ¾ of their volume. Sprinkle with almonds and immediately place in a preheated oven on medium heat. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a wooden stick stuck in the center of a muffin comes out dry. If you come across a piece of chocolate that will be liquid at this point and leave the stick wet, make a second sample elsewhere or in another muffin.
When the muffins are ready, take them out of the oven and leave them in the tins for ten minutes. Then remove on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Store in a box at room temperature for up to three days or well covered in the refrigerator for about a week.