Zucchini Bread Bites

These little muffins never last long in our house. They aren’t very sweet, but have a nice zucchini-bread-like flavor, and are full of healthy ingredients, like zucchini (uh, I guess you figured that out already), quinoa and oats. And yes, there is chocolate! They are gluten-free, and could easily be made vegan by swapping ground flax seeds for the egg.

I have made these muffins more than anything else when it’s my turn to bring the preschool snack. I feel like I am on a perennial search for a healthy, bread-y-type thing that my kids will eat, and this recipe really fits the bill. And yes, grownups seem to like them, too! Something makes them quite light — maybe it’s the quinoa flakes. (If you can’t find quinoa flakes at the supermarket, try Amazon or some other online retailer.)

This recipe comes from Sara Forte’s lovely book The Sprouted Kitchen. She has great snack ideas.

Ingredients:

1 egg

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 T extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

3/4 cups quinoa flakes

3/4 cup oat flour (I usually grind my own by throwing a cup of whole oats in the food processor)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

2 T natural (non alkalized) cocoa powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1/4 cup turbinado sugar

3/4 cup finely grated zucchini

Method:

In a bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, olive oil and maple syrup. In another bowl, stir together the quinoa flakes, oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, and theĀ turbinado sugar.

Squeeze the excess water from the shredded zucchini in a cheesecloth or with your hands (don’t be tempted to skip this step!), and stir into the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. The batter will be very moist. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While the batter is resting, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line mini muffin pan with paper liners. Using a cookie scoop, fill each muffin paper nearly to the top. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Makes two dozen.

Options: Sara Forte makes them on a cookie sheet like cookies, instead of as muffins. I have tried them both ways, and prefer muffins, but cookie-shaped is another possible way to do it.

You can add 1/2 cup toasted walnuts to the batter if you prefer, but my boys won’t eat nuts, so I leave them out.

To make them slightly more decadent, add some dark chocolate chips to the batter, or frost with cream cheese frosting.

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