Zucchini and Walnut Muffins – Sugar Free and Healthy

Joanna May 6, 2020 Lifestyle, Food
healthy zucchini walnut muffins

Recently I made the decision to become an athlete. I know, I know, that’s kind of a random goal, and who defines what an athlete is anyway? But as the days in quarantine have turned into weeks, and the weeks have turned into months, I have started to feel like life was passing me by.

Don’t get me wrong, I am just doing what I can to survive all of this too. But at some point life has to resume. Correction, life never stopped, it just got turned on it’s head. Everything we once knew is gone and we have all had to adapt to a new reality.

So, over the past week or so, it’s really sunk in that even when we are “released” from quarantine, it won’t exactly look like it did before for a very long time.

Just before quarantine I was really into CrossFit and seriously considering competing in a CrossFit competition that is geared for people new to CrossFit. This competition would have taken place in early May and as that weekend approached I realized that I had been slacking during my daily at-home CrossFit workouts and was falling into really bad eating habits, which included lots of sugar, chewing gum and eating huge portions all of the time.

Although fun at the beginning, when we were all having a bit of an “end of the world party,” I eventually started to realize that this new lifestyle wasn’t sustainable and was wreaking havoc on my digestive system and spiking my anxiety, (something that I definitely didn’t need during an especially anxious time).

So, I made the decision… I needed a wellness goal to work towards. I would become an athlete and compete in a CrossFit competition when life resumes outside of quarantine. This decision, which I made a week ago, has completely changed my focus, my eating habits and my motivation when it comes to working out.

I’ve started to plan ahead with my meals and snacks and make sure I have filling and fueling healthy snack options on hand. I’ve also stepped up my workouts and find myself having more fun with them. I am often working out outside while my kids play and I even got a box to practice my box jumps!

I’ve started to challenge myself more when it comes to cooking. I learned how to make poached eggs, which are a huge game-changer on avocado toast and I am looking at recipes and what I need to use up in my fridge and figuring out how to clean them up and make them work for me.

Yesterday I saw that I had some zucchini that I needed to use and started flipping through my cookbooks to see what I could do with them. I landed on a recipe in the Minimalist Baker’s cookbook for vegan zucchini and walnut muffins. I thought… hmmmm…. this is a good start, but let’s see how I can pump up the protein and healthy fats and reduce the sugar. So, with an egg replacement here, and a sugar elimination there, plus a few more swaps and tweaks, I landed on this recipe.

Holy smokes guys! I have never in my life made something so yummy! I am so excited to share this recipe with you and I am pumped so do this with other recipes. Can I suggest eating them warmed up with natural peanut butter on it? Insanely delicious and nutrition and protein packed.

MAKES 12 MUFFINS | PREP TIME 20 MIN. | COOK TIME 25

zucchini walnut muffin ingredients
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (wrap paper towel a few minutes to soak up moisture)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 ripe banana mashed
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sea-salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2/3 cup large flake oats
  • 1/2 tsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp whole wheat all purpose flour
zucchini walnut muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease muffin tin.
  2. Grate zucchini, wrap in paper towel and squeeze out moisture. Set aside.
  3. Add the banana and egg to a large bowl and mash them together.
  4. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and applesauce and whisk to combine. Add the ground flaxseed, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the almond milk and grated zucchini and whisk to combine.
  6. Add the oats, almond flour and whole wheat flour and stir to combine.
  7. Divide the batter evenly among we muffin tins and top with walnuts.
  8. Bake the muffins for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and let the muffins sit in the muffin tin for 10 minutes, then turn each muffin on its side to cool all the way.
  10. Once cooled, store in a covered container for up to 3 days. Freeze for longer storage.

Enjoy!

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