Double Chocolate Strawberry Zucchini Muffins
I don't know about you, but I've been obsessed with strawberries the past few weeks. Seriously, they've been my go to add flavor to oatmeal, greek yogurt, salads, pancakes and sauces. And since I've bought a pound of organic strawberries just about every week, I decided to include them in these yummy Double Chocolate Strawberry Zucchini Muffins! Strawberries add the perfect amount of sweetness and flavor to just about anything. By adding strawberries to this recipe, you get flavor and moistness without the need for much added sugar. #winwin
Not only are strawberries delicious, but they're also nutritional powerhouses! Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, fiber, potassium and folate. They are also packed with antioxidants, most notably anthocyanins. Not only are anthocyanins responsible for the beautiful, bright color of strawberries, but eating anthocyanin-rich foods has been associated with numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving cholesterol and decreasing the risk of heart disease. In addition, adding strawberries to a meal appears to slow digestion and reduce spikes in blood sugar after consuming a carbohydrate-rich meal, compared to a carbohydrate-rich meal without strawberries.
On top of all the strawberry deliciousness, these muffins also contain zucchini, another nutrition powerhouse, rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and potassium. Zucchini is often recommended for digestive issues as they are hydrating (95% water content) and low FODMAP. FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates that for some are poorly digested, rapidly drawing in fluid into the gut, causing diarrhea, bloating, pain and gas, particularly as they are fermented by the gut bacteria. FODMAP stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. If you've been diagnosed with IBS, contact a Registered Dietitian, like myself, who specializes in gastro-intestinal nutrition, to properly implement a low FODMAP plan. Now that I've given you all of that background, the bonus is that these muffins are low FODMAP!
What I love most about these muffins is they use simple ingredients, like oats as the flour, and they're low in added sugar, with only 4.5 grams per muffin. I choose coconut sugar, as that's what I had on hand. However, brown sugar or any other sugar will also work. If you wanted to experiment with stevia, monk sugar or another sugar alternative, feel free. You should only need 1/4 of what this recipe calls for if using a sugar alternative, as these are extremely sweet. You could also make these vegan by substituting the eggs for flax eggs (1 flax egg = 2.5 tbs of flax + 2 tbs of water; combine and let sit for 10 mins). I used a small zucchini, as smaller zucchini are less bitter. Whatever size you use, be sure to squeeze out as much water as possible before incorporating the zucchini into the batter. Otherwise, your muffins may be too dense and difficult to cook throughout without burning. You can also make these without the cacao and they are just as delicious! Be sure to comment and share this recipe with a friend and tag @benutritionco on IG or FB.
Double Chocolate Strawberry Zucchini Muffins
Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 28-30 mins | Total time: 38-40 mins
1 cup old fashion oats, ground (use gluten free if necessary)
1 cup zucchini, grated, then squeezed in a cheese cloth or nut-milk bag to remove excess water
1.5 cups strawberries
1/4 cup almond butter (or any nut butter or sunflower butter for low FODMAP)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cacao
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Grind the oats into a fine flour (or purchase oat flour)
Grate the zucchini, then squeeze out the excess water in cheese cloth (I chopped in a mini food processor to save time)
Chop the strawberries or (I used a mini food processor to save time)
Spray muffin tins with baking oil or use silicone liners
Prepare the wet ingredients: in a large bowl combine the strawberries, nut butter, eggs and vanilla and stir to combine.
Prepare the dry ingredients: whisk the oat flour, cinnamon, baking soda, sea salt, cacao and coconut sugar.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until completely combines.
Fold in the zucchini and the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into 12 muffin tins, filling each about 3/4 of the way full (or completely full if using silicone liners).
Form into 5 patties, about 1/2 cup each.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool for 10 mins in the muffin tins, then remove and let cool on a cooling rack for a few more minutes.
Store in the fridge for a week or freeze these for later. Enjoy!
Nutrition Info (per muffin)
111 calories (45 from fat), 5g total fat, 14g carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 4g protein