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Chocolate zucchini muffins for the lunchbox

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These kid-friendly zucchini muffins are made with gluten-free oat flour.

These kid-friendly zucchini muffins are made with gluten-free oat flour. by Sarah Henning

I’ve started making the kiddo’s lunches for kindergarten, and, as any parent (or just anyone who has ever packed a sack lunch) knows, it’s sometimes difficult to make sure you’re including the right amount of food. Too much and it’s a waste, too little and lunch ends with your kid having a not-so-full tummy.

So, I’ve been trying to vary what I put in the kiddo’s lunch, just to see what comes home and what doesn’t.

Last week, his little treat was a super healthy cookie. This week, it was my version of zucchini bread.

Just like most of you, we’ve got an end-of-summer surplus of zucchini, and rather than grating and freezing it all (which I’ve done in the past), I’ve been trying to use as much of it in “real time” as possible. Thus, it’s pretty convenient that the kiddo loves these chocolate-zucchini muffins (heavily adapted from the Chocolate Spice Zucchini Cake recipe in Nancy O’Connor’s “Rolling Prairie Cookbook”) that use a cup and a half of the shredded stuff at a time.

They’re good for both a lunch treat and for breakfast, but if you can’t get through all 15 of these muffins in short order, don’t worry, as they freeze really well.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup honey or maple syrup

1/2 cup coconut sugar

2 eggs, beaten or 2 flax eggs (per egg: 1 tablespoon ground flax seed and 3 tablespoons of water)

1/2 cup non-dairy milk with 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar stirred in to curdle

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups oat flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons grated orange peel (I used dried)

1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (I grated it in the food processor)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place liners in a 12-well muffin tin (this recipe makes about 15 muffins, so if you have a second tin, line it with three liners as well).

In a large bowl, combine coconut oil, honey/maple syrup and coconut sugar. Mix in eggs/flax eggs, curdled non-dairy milk and vanilla. Sift in the oat flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt. Stir well to combine. Stir in the orange peel and zucchini.

Spoon the mixture into the lined muffin tins, filling about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 30 minutes.

Yields 15 muffins.

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