Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45-55 minutes
Yields: 6 Muffins or 9 Squares
Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan option, refined sugar free
My best friend’s mom used to make the craziest muffins when we were teenagers. They were always loaded with fruits and vegetables (mainly vegetables) and never contained sugar.
I made Big Al’s banana bread for John the other day, so I set out to making an alternative for myself. I wasn’t thinking about Cynthia’s muffins when I started, but then the memory hit me so hard. We still have a few (several?) weeks left living on Sao Miguel before we head back to the states, and while I will miss it here, I am glad to be going home to things like my friends who have mom’s who used to make crazy muffins.
Here is what I made the other day, but you could easily swap ingredients depending on your tastes/what you have in your kitchen:
- 1 cup zucchini, grated AND squeezed dry
- 1 carrot, grated AND squeezed dry
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup almond meal/flour
- 2 eggs (or egg replacements like chia eggs or flax eggs–I used one real egg and one chia egg and one flax egg)
- 1 T honey or maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 400F.
I started by mixing 1 T of chia seeds and 1 T of flax seeds with 6 T water and putting in the fridge to use later. I then began mashing up my banana in a bowl. I made the mistake of grating the zucchini right into the same bowl. I had some leftover zucchini middles from making zucchini pasta, so I didn’t use the peel, but you definitely could and it would add flavor, texture, and color. This made my batter very wet, so make sure you grate the zucchini (and the carrot!) onto a paper towel or clean kitchen towel to absorb some of the liquid.
Once I had grated the zucchini and the carrot I folded it into my banana. I added one egg and the chia egg and flax egg I had made first. Then I added 1 T honey. Once I had mixed all my wet ingredients, I began adding the almond flour. At first I only used 1/2 cup, but it soon became clear I would need more. This is probably because I had so much excess water due to the zucchini and carrot mishap. I would start by adding 1/2 a cup and then adding more as needed.
Place in greased muffin tins (should make six decent sized muffins), loaf pan, or 8×8 Pyrex dish and bake for 45-55 minutes. The batter will not rise, but will become golden brown and firm. I used an 8×8 pan and cut 9 squares.