It happened again – I sang the Muffin Man song all morning as I cleared up the mess I made baking another batch of muffins, which I am hoping won’t completely disappear before tomorrow’s breakfast.
This morning’s hodge-podge of a meal essentially cleaned out the cupboards and didn’t leave much to offer the Goobies for tomorrow’s breakfast, so after Emery and I got home from dropping the girls off at school, we got busy in the kitchen and made a batch of muffins (mainly so I am not tempted to pull the covers over my head and sing la la la in the morning, hoping in vain they will magically come up with a solution to the breakfast problem without me).
Banana muffins are my go-to solution for make-ahead breakfasts, followed closely by pumpkin muffins and baked egg cups, of some sort, none of which were an option today (because it’s slim pickin’s around here until I get around to going to the grocery store later this week). I did find a sad looking zucchini in the crisper, though. Relieved to find it buried under a few stray sweet potatoes and convicted that I had ignored it for too long, I gave it some long-overdue attention, after which it exploded with the sort of happiness that is only conjured by chocolate chips and cinnamon.
I have made this recipe many times over, which is saying something because before it joined my repertoire I didn’t even like zucchini bread. Now, the Goobies and I all love it. (And I can’t believe I don’t have a clue how you feel about it. Hm. Must fix that.) To save time, I scooped the batter into muffin tins so I didn’t have to wait for a standard size loaf to bake all the way through. Plus, the kids seem to prefer muffins over loaves anyway (and they are a lot easier to handle in the morning. Simply pass them out, instead of slice them up and pass them out. Gosh, I’m lazy.)
Funny how I went into the kitchen a little unsure how I would come up with something the kids would actually eat amid the tidbits hiding in the deepest nooks and crannies of the refrigerator and pantry. I felt a little like the widow who was down to her last bit of flour and oil when a stranger with an empty belly asked her to use what little she had in her cupboard to fill it. I know, my circumstances are entirely different from hers (I am not a widow. The little bit of flour and oil I used for these muffins weren’t the last bits of food in our cupboard. A prophet didn’t come asking me to feed him. I know.) I guess what I mean is this: I felt like I didn’t have much to offer the kids, and I felt a little … curious how to stretch the last of the flour, one measly egg, and a withered zucchini into anything palatable, let alone delicious. But, it worked, and Mia was very upset with me when I wouldn’t let her eat one for lunch today. Promising she could eat them for breakfast wasn’t a good enough trade off, I guess, since chocolate chips were involved. Oh well.
So without further ado, here is the recipe just in case you ever want to slip into the kitchen early one morning when the bread is gone and the cereal has run out and there is only an egg or two and you just don’t know what else to make, but you want to make something, if only to save my sanity. (Or you know–when you just want to surprise us all with a muffin we will all enjoy.) You will find they are very easy to whip together, and even a novice muffin maker like you will have success. (Let me know if you like them, will you?)
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins (GF/DF/NF)
This is based on this recipe, which I first used before I was gluten free. I have adapted it over the years to suit our family’s needs. Feel free to swap out alternative ingredients based on what your family can tolerate (Don’t have refined coconut oil? Use canola, or another neutral tasting oil. Out of an egg or two? Substitute apple sauce, 1/4 cup per egg). Want to make a loaf of it instead? Grease two standard loaf pans and bake for about an hour or so, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- 2 eggs (or apple sauce. See note above.)
- 1 cup refined coconut oil (does not taste like coconut), melted and cooled off a bit
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups gluten free flour blend (that already contains xanthan gum)
- 1 teaspoon salt (or 2 teaspoons kosher salt)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 cups shredded zucchini (from 1 medium zucchini)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- cinnamon sugar, for topping
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, whisk together the egg, sugar, then slowly pour in the melted (and cooled!) coconut oil until the mixture is creamy yellow, smooth and velvety. Then, add the vanilla and stir.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour blend, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Slowly add to the wet ingredients, stirring after each addition. Once you have added all the flour, stir in the zucchini, followed by the chocolate chips.
Scoop about 1/4 cup of the batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake for 18 minutes, or until puffed and golden, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.