You guys, I have to be real with you for just a minute. This project has turned me into a monster. A literal cookie monster. At this point, June is a sugar glazed blur. Don’t get me wrong, it was an incredibly tasty blur, but a blur nonetheless. I went from eating healthful food for a purpose, to eating healthful food for a purpose PLUS eating every sugary, sweet thing that was in a one foot radius of my hand. Until about a week and a half ago, I was mindlessly munching on just about anything and everything that had chocolate on, near or around it. It got to the point where I couldn’t even remember what I had eaten during the day because I had eaten a little bite of many, many things.
When I first started the bucket list, I knew I’d eventually get to this point. I mean how much sugar can a body take and still actually enjoy? But, if you remember, I said from the beginning that this would be a journey of finding balance. And so, that’s been my goal for the past couple of weeks. On the 1st of July, I decided to do a little detox. Keep in mind, I’m using the term “detox” so cautiously and not even correctly. In reality, I completely disagree with any plan that requires you to give up something entirely. So really, I guess I just decided to take a two week period where I returned back to being really mindful of what I put in my body. What I ate would be purposeful and enjoyed since I wasn’t inhaling little pieces throughout an entire day. Here I am, at the end-ish of that two week period, and I feel great having broken a habit that I hadn’t really realized I had gotten back into. And, to be honest, I still eat most of what I did before, but now I’m trying to do it slower and with some thought. This way, I can continue to eat what I love, but actually appreciate it when it comes time.
Anyways, that whole annoying little speech was to introduce this week’s recipe! While I am ENTIRELY looking forward to making and enjoying the many other indulgent recipes on my list, I thought I’d go with something a little cleaner this week…Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins! There are so many reasons to make these. First, it’s summer people! Zucchini is practically throwing itself at people in grocery stores, farmers markets, or in their own gardens. So. Much. Zucchini. Abound. What’s awesome about zucchini is that like bananas, it can be added to baked goods without being tasted. The moisture from it though, makes these guys winners.
Second, chocolate. I take that back. Double Chocolate. This recipe is healthy, but you would never know it. The cocoa powder and chocolate chips are quite the dynamic duo here. Top tip…throw them in the microwave for 10 seconds before eating them, and you might as well call them Double Chocolate Heaven Muffins. Or, just Heaven for short.
Last, they’re super customizable. For example, I split my batter in half and made two varieties for experiment sake. I added some espresso powder to one half to bring out the chocolate even more, and some freeze dried raspberries to the other half for a fruity touch. Okay, enough’s enough, let’s get to the baking! The recipe is below for when you obviously decide that you need to make these, pronto.
Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make these guys. There aren’t too many, and you probably already have most of them!
First, you’ll need to grate your zucchini and drain most of the water out by squeezing it in a tea towel or paper towel. This will prevent too much moisture from being in the batter. Then, you can go ahead and sift together your dry ingredients. You may be tempted to skip that step, but sifting helps break up any of those stubborn clumps of cocoa. Trust me, taking a bite full of that is not the “double chocolate” effect we’re looking for. Next, combine your oil, honey, vanilla and eggs with a whisk until well combined. The zucchini and milk can then be added to that.
Go ahead and add your dry ingredients into the wet bowl a little at a time, and stir just until the mixture is uniform. Over-mixing will result in tough muffins. Once your batter is together, there are quite a few directions you can go. First, make your choice on chocolate chips. You can go mini if you want to make sure they are well distributed throughout every single bite, or you can go normal size if you want larger pockets of melty goodness. I went for the regular, because to be honest, that’s what I had! I’m also a sucker for all combos that involve fruit and chocolate. That’s why I decided to mix in dried raspberries into half of my batter and espresso powder into the other half. I went with freeze dried because I feared that with regular berries and zucchini, there would be too much moisture in the muffin mix. They may be tricky to find, but I got my dried raspberries from Target (the mecca of all stores, of course…). Just make sure to add a little extra milk to the half with the freeze dried berries, because they tend to suck up all the moisture surrounding them whenever they have the chance.
Now that you’ve customized your batch (or decided that the original is fantastic enough), you can divide the batter into 12 tins. If you’re looking to go crazy, you can sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top for a prettier muffin and a gooier texture.
Twenty minutes later, you have a dozen little treats that just happen to be good for you!
Next time you’re in the store, let that zucchini jump into your cart. And a bag of chocolate chips too…if they just happen to be laying around nearby. You won’t be sorry!