Sunday, October 5, 2014

Healthy Whole Wheat Chocolate Zucchini Muffins



I never thought my first really "healthy" new item would contain chocolate - but that makes all things better and bearable, right?  The funny thing is - I am not really a chocolate fan. But there is something about zucchini and chocolate.  And they pair beautifully with whole wheat pastry flour (ground soft wheat berries).  Yes I really have gone back to basics and even ground my flour for this recipe.  It was easy and the feeling that it was so fresh just made the whole experience that much more fulfilling.  I know that sounds kind of  strange, but I really did feel like I was doing something good for me through every step of this and I am excited about learning more and experimenting.


The original recipe was already pretty healthy, but I took it up a few notches with the flour, the coconut sugar, the coconut oil, and the Enjoy Life chocolate chips.

HEALTHY CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

adapted from  Whole and Heavenly Oven
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil (or butter)
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. whole wheat flour (used soft wheat berries - ground)
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. tightly packed shredded zucchini
1/2 c. Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips and King Arthur burgundy chunks

Preheat oven to 425.  Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tin.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk sugar, oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla until smooth.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Gently fold flour mixture into liquid mixture until just combined. (batter may be very thick).  Fold in shredded zucchini and chocolate chips.


Brimming with healthy goodness (ignore the floating chunks of chocolate...)


Divide batter between greased muffin cups and smooth tops.  Bake muffins at 425 for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 and continue baking an additional 15 minutes.

Cool muffins in pan 5-10 minutes and then finish cooling on a wire rack.

Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.  Muffins may be frozen up to one month.

Can you see how wonderfully glossy they are? That is all natural...


Definitely good enough to eat...


See??? Absolutely good enough to eat every bit!


Things I learned this week:

  • Neither the coconut sugar nor the coconut oil gave the muffins a coconut flavor, but they did have a beautiful sheen to them when fresh out of the oven.  One more thing about coconut oil - there are two very different kinds.  Regular and/or organic coconut oil has a mild coconut flavor. There is also a variety called "organic expeller pressed".  It has absolutely no coconut taste or smell and is often used for frying.  I actually love the flavor, but for those who don't, it was well hidden, probably from the chocolate and whole wheat flour.
  • I really love grinding my own flour. Yes, you have to plan ahead a little, but just a little. It doesn't take more than a few minutes.  I love the nutty freshness of the flour and the fluffiness.  I weigh it when I have those measurements so I can get the exact amount.  I really really love it and look forward to trying a variety of berries, including ancient grains like einkorn and kamut.
  • The Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips have no soy, dairy or preservatives and taste wonderful - no after taste.  I ordered mine from Amazon but have recently seen them in all of the local grocery stores and health food stores.  And they are about the same price everywhere.
  • And on the subject of organic..... I am quickly learning that just because it is labeled organic does not mean it contains the best ingredients. They may be individually labeled like "organic corn syrup"  but let's face it, corn syrup is one of those things that we are all better without if possible.  So I now really read the labels. And milk is one of the most confusing products.   So I am reading labels even more carefully and doing the best that I can.  I am not going to go crazy over it, but will try to be as healthy as I can be while I have control at home. Enough said!



These are equally delicious frozen and reheated - I could not even tell the difference!


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I am a mother to three and Grammy to two beautiful granddaughters and one very handsome little grandson.  Was born and raised in southern California and am happy to call it home.  I fill my days with volunteer work, paper crafting, needlework of all kinds and cooking and baking.   I am blessed with wonderful family and friends who fill my heart on a daily basis.