Deliciously moist, these chocolate courgette muffins (or zucchini) are made with a blend of white and rye flour and are nut free and refined sugar free making them perfect for lunchboxes.
These were a huge hit with my kids who don’t usually get made chocolate muffins and none of them, not even the picky eater, detected the hidden vegetable here – the grated courgette.
These muffins are sweetened with mashed banana and honey. Honey is of course still a sugar but I prefer to use it to sweeten my bakes than, for example, white caster sugar. Maple syrup would be a good alternative, particularly if you wanted to serve these to under-ones (as honey isn’t allowed for babies). These muffins would be a good finger food for an older baby, particularly if you’re doing baby led weaning. You could make them in mini muffin tins to make them more baby-sized (reduce the cooking time).
I’m going to be starting to make a lunchbox every day for my eldest son who is going into the Juniors at school. Younger children get a free hot lunch every day at school here in the UK but he’s now too old to be eligible for this and has been begging me to make him a packed lunch. I’ve agreed on the condition that he try some new things. So we’ll see how that goes.
I’ve realised that many of my recipes that could potentially be good lunchbox fillers for picky eaters contain nuts. Most schools in the UK are nut free so I need to work on some adaptations. These chocolate courgette (or zucchini as it’s called in many parts of the world) muffins will definitely be making an appearance. They look like a treat yet have plenty of goodness in them so I don’t mind including them in lunchboxes.
I didn’t like these muffins at first – I thought they had a weird bitter taste. The kids didn’t notice this and all three loved these muffins and by the second day the bitter taste had gone and I couldn’t help agreeing too!
Here’s how to make chocolate courgette muffins:
- 100g self raising flour
- 60g rye flour (or use plain)
- 40g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 50ml vegetable oil
- 100ml honey or maple syrup
- 1 medium egg, beaten or use one flax or chia egg if vegan
- 1 medium courgette, grated and squeezed of excess water
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 60ml milk, I used almond but use oat, dairy or soya if you're putting these in a lunchbox
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/gas mark 6.
- Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cases.
- Sift the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together. Add any bran left in the sieve into the bowl. Set aside.
- Place the vegetable oil, honey and egg into a mixing bowl. I use a stand mixer but you can do this with a handheld mixer or by hand with a wooden spoon. Beat well for 2 minutes.
- One by one add the courgette, banana and milk, beating a little after each addition.
- Finally fold in the flour and chocolate mixture.
- Fill each muffin case to 2/3 full with the mixture.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
- I think these taste better the second day.
If you like this you might like some of my other courgette recipes: