The smell of these muffins baking in the oven, which we all love, is becoming a familiar scent in our home. I know that title is a mouthful, but I wanted to highlight the healthful and wholesome ingredients, not wanting to leave anything out since they’re all the star of the show. This recipe contains a unique blend of ingredients that makes for some pretty delicious muffins, in my opinion. I created this recipe with coconut flour (my favorite flour to bake with), lots of coconut oil (crazy about the stuff, as you know), zucchini (a great way to use up the extra garden abundance and add in more veggies), bananas (the sweetener), carob powder (also adds some sweetness), and chia seeds (so good for you!) It may sound like an interesting combination for muffins, but they work together really well.
I made these muffins regularly throughout the summer and fall when zucchini was so abundant in the garden. Then I froze zucchini for the first time and had ready-to-go grated zucchini to pull out of the freezer anytime I wanted to make these throughout the winter. (I will definitely be doing that again!) I waited for my bananas to be nice and ripe, and whenever they were, I got busy baking. (Bracken likes to help
mash eat the bananas.) My sister was the first one to intrigue me about chia seeds and then a friend was really into them and made some delicious recipes with them, so I started experimenting with them in our kitchen. Not only are they healthy, but they add a crunch to these muffins that I just love.
Being made with coconut flour, these muffins are great for those who don’t eat grains, (like on Paleo/Primal/GAPS diets), or are avoiding gluten. They can be made with just egg yolks, rather than whole eggs, for those on Autoimmune Paleo diets. (Sometimes whole eggs give Jeff heartburn, so I usually make these with just the yolks, the most nutrient dense part anyway. I do add a lot of yolks because eggs are so plentiful around here, plus they add some really good nutrition.) Also, you won’t find any sugar in this recipe, these muffins are sweetened with bananas. They are lightly sweet and I eat them plain quite regularly (it will depend on your sweetness preference), but we also love them with some coconut oil (because you can always use more, right?) and raw local honey spread on top.
I made these muffins for my birthday and for Bracken’s birthday, both in the fall. For birthdays, I love to smother them in frosting, cupcake-style, and the frosting really makes these muffins sing and brings them to a whole new level. (I will share the frosting recipe in a future post.) Family and friends have really liked them and a few requested the recipe. I’ve been tweaking it and working on it, not wanting to share it until I felt it was ready (as I always am with recipes I’ve created), but I’m happy to say I’m ready to share it with you all. I was grateful to my friends for asking and giving me the nudge to finally write it all down.
Zucchini Banana Carob Chia Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
-3/4 cup coconut flour
-5 tablespoons toasted carob powder
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-4 tablespoons chia seeds
-1/2 cup coconut oil
-8 egg yolks (or 4 whole eggs)
-1 cup shredded zucchini
-1 cup banana
-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
-3 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Warm up your coconut oil to get it liquid for easy mixing. Mix your dry ingredients together (except for the chia seeds, saving those for last.) In a food processor or mixer, blend your wet ingredients together.
(Be sure to squeeze as much liquid as you are able to out of the shredded zucchini before you add it. Coconut flour is very absorbent, which can make your baked goods dry, but with the zucchini and banana in this recipe that isn’t a problem and too much liquid could make your muffins a bit soggy. I usually use a hand grater to shred the zucchini, but you can also blend it up in the food processor. I’ve also substituted butternut squash for the zucchini when that is what I had on hand. )
After your dry and wet ingredients are all blended together, mix in your chia seeds. At this point I don’t worry about oiling my muffin pan because I use muffin liners (a great solution for us until we upgrade our muffin pans from the ones with the toxic non-stick coating), but if you don’t now is the time to oil your muffin pan. Scoop up the batter and fill up your muffin tins. Bake your muffins in the oven for 35 minutes (or until your toothpick comes out clean.) Though not as much as with other kinds of flours, these muffins will still rise and have a surprisingly fluffy consistency.
It will be hard to wait for them to cool down before you start devouring one. They are so good still warm out of the oven! (There’s just something so comforting about a warm muffin, isn’t there?) I stick some in the fridge and if you won’t be eating them all soon (like when I baked a batch before we left on our trip), they freeze great.