For the first time in years, I have the space in my yard for a garden. Unfortunately, my garden is being overrun by an unruly zucchini. I had always heard about zucchini taking over a garden and producing more zucchinis than you could possibly know how to manage. I think that fate is coming for me!
Fortunately, this week I host a cooking camp for kids age 5-12 and I have decided to put my abundance of zucchini to good use. Our camp is going to be making Chocolate Zucchini muffins on the first day. I have been testing recipes and think I have a good one to share. (Check out the recipe below.) I like to also talk with the kids about the nutritional value of the food we prepare so I thought I could share that information with the members of the Refinery community.
Most people think of zucchini as a vegetable but botanically speaking, it’s actually a fruit. Due to its high water percentage, zucchini is low in calories, carbs and sugars, making it a go to food for many people who are trying to lose weight. One medium zucchini has over 50 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. Vitamin C is important to maintain the lining of your blood cells, lower blood pressure, and protect against inflammation and clogged arteries.
Zucchini, especially it’s skin, is high in antioxidants, so it’s a good idea not to peal your squash.
Zucchini is high in potassium which is important in lowering blood pressure.
Zucchini is an excellent summer food since its high water content is hydrating and provides essential electrolytes and nutrients. This high water content also makes it easy to digest.
Zucchini is high in B vitamins which support a healthy metabolism and give you energy.
With all these amazing benefits, how do you want to add zucchini into your life. Check out this tasty recipe below.
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
1/3 cup honey, agave nectar or pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 medium)
1 ripe mashed banana (or you can use 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)
1/2 cup Rice milk
1/2 cup regular or mini chocolate chips, dairy free if desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners and generously spray inside of liners with nonstick cooking spray.
Squeeze shredded zucchini of excess water with a paper towel. This is important, so don’t forget!
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add oil, honey/maple syrup, vanilla, egg; mix on medium-low until smooth and well combined. Add in zucchini, banana and rice milk; mix again. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
Evenly divide batter into prepared liners. Bake 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. After 5 minutes, remove muffins and transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!
Photo from flickr.
Recipe from ambitious kitchen.