Feeding toddlers can be tricky business sometimes. My little guy loves muffins but doesn’t love vegetables! Aside from carrot sticks it is pretty challenging to get veggies into him. He will eat any and all kinds of fruit but veggies are well… not his favourite.
One typical way to get veggies into your picky kid is by hiding them in something they already like!
Enter muffins! And well chocolate. I don’t feel so bad when it’s high quality chocolate that is mostly cocoa, and when I am baking with nutrient packed ingredients such as spelt and nuts!
Anyway I found this one zucchini loaf recipe that I found very intriguing. I made them into muffins and made a bunch of alterations to suit our taste and they came out really well! I have made them twice now. And well heck upon posting this I am getting a hankering to bake a batch of them again very soon!
Check it out! These two blogs probably have some more gold to uncover.
My changes are marked by an * – see the links above to follow the original
NOTE: I found the original to be quite dry (just my personal opinion as a former professional baker – forgive me! I like butter) Maybe they were just too healthy for my taste haha. But since I am using spelt and well butter is actually proving to be more of a health food than people think… I go for gold and add double. But you could achieve the same thing by adding some coconut oil to make up for the extra fat.
What can I say?! I like a moist muffin! As well, note, these are muffins and the original recipe is for loaves. We are a muffin family and you get 12 nicely sized morsels with this recipe. Woohooo!
What Ya Need: Preheat your oven to 350°F
Put into a bowl set aside:
- 1 cup chopped walnuts* (original calls for 1 1/2 cups but I am adding in chocolate chips so forgive me 😉
- 3/4 cup premium chocolate chips* like Camino’s Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (Please don’t use inferior chips you will definitely notice a major difference!) (Original does not call for chocolate)
- 1/3 cup poppy seeds
- Zest of two lemons
- 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
Beat or whip in another bowl til fluffy: ( see instructions for details)
- 1 cup unsalted softened butter* (original calls for a half cup. Could also do 1/2 butter 1/2 coconut oil)
- 1 – 1 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar* depending on your level of sweet tooth (original calls for 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup cane sugar but I don’t like my baking too sweet so I reduce the amount plus we are adding chocolate which is sweet so it balances it out a bit)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract*(I love vanilla so I always add more than is asked! original asks for 2 tsp)
On a chopping board covered with paper towel or a clean dish rag:
- 3 cups grated zucchini (press out as much moisture as possible by grating onto paper towel or a clean kitchen rag and then press down with another wad of paper towel or another clean rag)
Beat butter til fluffy. Add in coconut palm sugar. Beat til whippy. Add in eggs one at a time. Then vanilla. Then you can stir in the zucchini. Note it will look pretty weird. Don’t worry! Once you add in the dry it will look better again.
In yet another bowl all it’s own:
- 3 cups spelt flour* (originals call for whole wheat or all purpose… but seriously, use SPELT, come on! I lose 2lbs every time I bake with spelt and I love the taste so it’s a WIN-WIN. I could eat 3 muffins and not feel any guilt, it’s awesome)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon* (original calls for 1 tsp – if you like more subtle flavour just use 1 tsp)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger* (original doesn’t call for but since we skipped the curry powder and there is already candied ginger I figured it would work well – and it did!)
- 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons cardamom* (original calls for curry powder which I just couldn’t do. I love cardamom so this was a no brainer for me! I like a lot but if you want less spice than just use 1 tbsp)
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg* (original does not call for)
Put all dry in a bowl and whisk til evenly distributed. Add to the wet mix in two stages. Don’t over stir the mix but make sure dry is fully incorporated into the wet.
Then fold in your bits & pieces gently. You don’t want to over mix cause then your risk tougher muffins.
Line muffin til with muffin cups and spoon batter into compartments evenly. Bake for about 18 minutes and then check them. Turning gently. I can’t remember exactly how long they bake for but I think it was about 25mins. It was a few weeks ago! But other zucchini muffin recipes online say the same thing 20-25 so that’s a safe bet! Just remember all ovens are different. But basically once they start to smell like muffins and look firm you can do a finger bounce test on the top of one muffin. If it springs back up it’s ready. Or insert a toothpick to check if the batter is completely cooked.
I hope you like them as much as we do!!!
And yeah I split these suckers in half and top with even more butter. Butter getting all melty on a freshly baked muffin! Is there anything better? Well maybe, but it’s pretty darn good!