Honey, I baked!
Did I ever tell you that my Dad came home every Friday night from work with a special treat for my brothers and me? For years and years and years. Sometimes it was a pack of Mambas (remember those? #yum) other times in was a new VHS tape (HA!), or heck even a pack of gum. Just something to remind us how much he loved and thought about us.
Well, Healthier Zucchini Banana Bread Muffins are my Friday treat for all of you! Because nothings says “love you, mean it!” like muffins. Well those and head massages, Pancheros queso, and unloading the dishwasher, but today we’re specifically talking squishy, just sweet enough, healthier, gluten-free muffins.
I love the idea of starting traditions for my kids. Moments they’ll remember and memories they’ll cherish for their entire lives, like I had growing up. Friday night treats from my Dad, summer stops at the ice cream shop, and competing for top spot on the chore chart every week. What can I say, the urge to deep clean has been with me from the beginning.
I’m not sure if you’d quite call it a “tradition” but something I hope both Lincoln and Cameron grow up knowing is spending time with me in the kitchen. I can’t – make that won’t – say cooking with your kids is always fun, because holy moly flour and four year olds are a wicked combination, but it’s a great chance to practice patience and really connect with your children.
Recently the L Man and I made these gluten-free Healthier Zucchini Banana Bread Muffins and they were a total hit. Not only because he got to lick the maple syrup bowl, but also because they are so, so delicious despite a few sneaky swaps.
I started with this Taste of Home recipe then halved the white sugar and oil, replacing some of it with pure maple syrup and coconut oil, respectively, added more shredded zucchini, plus a splash of vanilla and plenty of cinnamon to create an honest to goodness TREAT that nobody would ever guess are gluten-free, number one, but also a little bit healthier.
Whether you make these muffins with your kids, for your kids (nothing better then surprising your guys with a home baked snack when they get home from school, right?) or simply as a snack to savor with a cup of coffee or tea during “me time” – I know you’ll just love them!
Start by whisking together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2-1/2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup) in a large bowl until smooth. Add 1/2 cup mashed banana, which is about 1 medium-sized banana, 1/4 cup each unsweetened applesauce and melted coconut oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla then whisk until smooth. Set the bowl aside.
In another bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon each baking soda and baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1-1/2 cups gluten-free flour WITH binder – most packages will say “measure for measure”, “cup for cup” or “1:1”. I use King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour for all my GF baking needs – LOVE this product!
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two batches, then fold in 1 cup shredded zucchini, which is roughly 1 small zucchini, or 1/2 medium zucchini. I used my food processor to shred the zucchini, but a box grater works fine too.
Fill lined muffin tins 3/4 of the way up with batter then bake for 17-18 minutes at 350 degrees. The result? Soft and squishy, perfectly sweet muffins that nobody will know were made just a little bit healthier! I hope you love this recipe as much as we do – enjoy!
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Healthier Zucchini Banana Bread Muffins
Healthier Zucchini Banana Bread Muffins are soft, squishy, and just sweet enough. Pair with coffee or tea for a tasty, gluten-free snack or breakfast idea!
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2-1/2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium-sized banana)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-1/2 cups gluten-free “measure for meausure” or “cup for cup” flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees then line a muffin tin with liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and maple syrup until smooth. Add mashed banana, unsweetened applesauce, coconut oil, and vanilla then whisk until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, stir together gluten-free flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt then add to wet ingredients in 2 batches, stirring until the flour is just combined before adding the second batch. Add shredded zucchini then fold to combine.
- Scoop batter into lined muffin tins, filling them 3/4 of the way full (I use an ice cream scoop) then bake for 17-18 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in tin for 3-4 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container on the counter for 2-3 days and/or freeze in a Ziplock freezer bag.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.