These plant based Zucchini Spice Muffins have the warm taste of cinnamon and allspice that reminds me of late summer or early fall. Once the end of summer nears, fresh zucchini can be found at Farmer’s Markets and roadside stands everywhere. If you’re lucky you have a neighbour who planted zucchini in the spring, because you know they’ll have too many and will want to share with you. Zucchini are available year-round at grocery stores, but the end of summer and early fall is when you want to stock up on locally grown zucchini. Grate and freeze zucchini, leaving the skins on, to use in meals all winter long. Just be sure to thaw and remove as much moisture as possible before adding it to recipes, especially when making sweets.
Versatility of zucchini in cooking
Zucchini, the summer squash that grows in abundance and to a ginormous size in a short period of time, is one of the most versatile vegetables. It can be prepared in sweet or savory recipes and can be eaten cooked or raw. Zucchini can be used in stir-fry dishes; baked and stuffed; roasted; grilled; pan fried in fritters; used instead of pasta in lasagna or as noodles (“zoodles”); added to soup, stews and ratatouille; frozen in small chunks and added to smoothies for creaminess; and made into cakes, loaves and muffins.
Difference between summer and winter squash
Zucchini, a summer squash, is part of the gourd family. You can tell the difference between summer and winter squashes by the thickness of their skins. Summer squashes have a thinner skin and should be eaten soon after ripening, whereas winter squashes can be stored for months over the winter. The skins on summer squash can and should be eaten because the carotenoid content is 2-10 times higher in the skins than in the flesh. Yellow zucchini is a bit sweeter tasting than green zucchini, but both are mild tasting and can be used interchangeably or can be combined in recipes.
Nutrients in Zucchini
Zucchini has a lot of offer nutritionally. It is an excellent source of manganese and copper and also contains other essential nutrients like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, and iron, vitamin C, and B-vitamins including B6 and folate, which are important vitamins for cognition and brain health. Zucchini squash also contains the carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, making it beneficial for eye health.
Of all the delicious ways to incorporate zucchini into recipes, muffins are my favorite. Zucchini adds texture and moisture along with extra vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to a sweet snack like these plant based Zucchini Spice Muffins.
Other muffin recipes to try:
Zucchini Spice Muffins
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ cup sorghum flour
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- ¼ cup arrowroot flour
- ¼ cup ground flax
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp allspice
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds ground
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup nut milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 400°. Prepare chia egg by combining ground chia seeds and water in small bowl. Stir and leave to set while preparing dry ingredients.
- In large bowl sift or whisk together dry ingredients to remove any clumps from coconut sugar.
- In second bowl mix chia egg, oil, milk and apple cider vinegar until combined. Add zucchini and mix in gently.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips. Stir only until mixture is moist.
- Fill greased or paper lined muffin tin cups ¾ full.
- Bake at 400° for 15-18 minutes. Let cool for five minutes in pan then remove to cool on wire rack.
- Makes 12 large muffins.