If you’re trying to eat more vegetables, it’s important to incorporate them into as many meals (and snacks!) as possible. Many of us miss a golden opportunity: breakfast. According to a recent survey, 31 million adults living in the United States skip breakfast every morning. Those who do eat breakfast are likely to grab a pre-packaged granola bar on the way out the door or order a pastry or sandwich from a coffee shop. Our lives are busier than ever, and many of us don’t have time to sit down to eat breakfast, let alone cook it!
These veggie-loaded muffins are the perfect compromise. Inspired by classic zucchini bread, our muffin recipe is completely vegan … oil-free … and naturally sweetened. It’s a modern, plant-based twist on comfort food. You can make a batch of these over the weekend, and have an instant breakfast option that will power you through even the most hectic day.
Quick and Easy Banana-Zucchini Muffins
Many zucchini bread recipes call for you to drain the zucchini prior to baking. For our zucchini-bread inspired muffins, we calculated the zucchini’s moisture content into the recipe and eliminated that step! To make these muffins, you will need:
- 1 large, very ripe banana
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup brown rice syrup
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup zucchini
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 2/4 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
How to Make Our Banana-Zucchini Muffins
- First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a muffin tin.
- If you want to enhance the flavor of the muffins by roasting the walnuts, this is your moment to do so! While this step is entirely optional, we find it adds a lovely richness. Chop the walnuts, then once the oven has finished preheating, pour them onto a baking sheet and roast until fragrant and toasted. This will take approximately five minutes. Stir the nuts at the halfway mark.
- In a mixing bowl, mash the banana until smooth.
- Mix the applesauce, brown rice syrup, vanilla, and lemon juice into the mashed banana.
- Grate the zucchini using the small side of a box grater. Use quick, short motions—this will yield tiny pieces of zucchini, rather than long strands.
- Stir the grated zucchini into the banana mixture.
- Sift in 1 cup of flour along with the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Pour in the chopped walnuts, then sift in the final ½ of flour. Mix just until no visible flour can be seen in the batter. Be careful not to over-mix!
- Pour the batter into the muffin tin and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Check for doneness using a toothpick or knife.
- If necessary, adjust the oven temperature to 325 and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
- Let the muffins cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then pop them out and enjoy!
These muffins are deliciously moist, which means they’ll keep for only a few days at room temperature. If you’re planning to eat them over the course of a week, storing them in the refrigerator will be your best bet. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.
On a relaxed morning, you can try a more indulgent iteration by making grilled muffins. If you’ve never grilled a muffin before, it’s simple and deeply rewarding. Split the muffin in half, drop a slice of vegan butter in a skillet, then when the butter begins to sizzle, place the muffin halves cut side down in the pan. The cross-section becomes gloriously crunchy as the butter seeps into muffin. The result is truly a treat to savor!