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These Zucchini Spice Muffins almost didn’t make it to the blog. The idea was spot on: budget-friendly flours, added veggies, a grab-and-go THM E snack or breakfast…what’s not to love, eh? Unfortunately they tasted a little bland right out of the oven, so I waffled back and forth about posting them. Finally in frustration I crumpled up the paper with the recipe on it, threw it into the trash can beside my desk, and put the muffins in the refrigerator to eat later. I don’t want to post mediocre recipes, so better safe than sorry.
Later I grabbed one of the muffins out of the fridge for a snack (because I always eat the flops…haha), took a bite, and was pleasantly surprised! That muffin – that unworthy muffin – tasted like my mom’s unhealthy zucchini bread! After getting cold in the refrigerator, the muffins had developed a nice flavor and sweetness that had been hidden when they were hot out of the oven. The texture had improved as well. I shouldn’t be surprised; I’ve learned over the years that baked goods made with a high percentage of oat flour have a tendency to be bland and mushy when warm. (I combat this by using oat fiber, which is drier and lighter, as part of the flour in my E muffin recipes along with oat flour.)
When I thought, “Zucchini bread!” my brain immediately followed up with, “Chocolate chips!” My mom always made zucchini bread with chocolate chips, and they always sank to the bottom of the loaf while baking, leaving a chocolatey layer at the bottom that I would save to eat last. I sliced a muffin in half, popped it into the toaster, waited impatiently for it to crisp up, then topped each half with a smidgen of butter and a few sugar-free chocolate chips. That sealed the deal. These were hitting the blog. (I ran downstairs to dig the recipe out of my trash can and uncrumple it.)
Moral of story: overnight refrigeration, folks. Overnight refrigeration.
I do like them best cold, even though melty chocolate chips on a toasted muffin are hard to beat. The zucchini bread flavor is most prominent when the muffins are cold out of the refrigerator. Trim Healthy Mamas, you can have 2-3 of these in a THM E setting. Try them as a breakfast with some lean protein on the side like low-fat Greek yogurt or cottage cheese or some collagen in your tea or coffee. The muffins do have some protein of their own from the oat flour and egg whites, so you don’t have to add more, but for breakfast I personally would need a little more than a few muffins to hold me over until lunch. For a quick afternoon snack I would be satisfied with 2 muffins on their own, though. It really depends on your metabolism.
If you decide to add butter and sugar-free chocolate chips, keep your added fat to 5g or less to stay within THM E guidelines, folks. 😉
To forstall questions, no, I do not recommend baking this as a loaf of zucchini bread. I’m guessing it would be kind of mushy in the center. (But you’re welcome to try, and I’d love to hear the results if you do!) I do hope to take this concept and make some tweaks to turn it into a loaf size eventually, though!
Oat flour is simply ground-up oats. I always make my own oat flour by grinding old-fashioned oats (you can use quick oats as well, since they’re getting ground up anyway) in a coffee grinder or high-powered blender. Since oats are a carb source, oat flour is a THM E fuel. Oat flour tends to be on the wet and gummy side if used on its own in recipes, which is why I usually pair it with oat fiber.
Oat fiber on the other hand is made by grinding only the hull of the oat. It contains no net carbs or fats and is a very fine, dry flour. (It soaks up a lot of liquid.) Since oat fiber contains neither net carbs or fats, it is a THM Fuel Pull ingredient and can be used in any fuel setting. Oat fiber usually cannot be found locally; you have to buy it online, and not all brands are created equally! Some brands are dark and very strong in flavor (like NuNaturals brand). I prefer LifeSource brand, which is light in color with a mild flavor. You can purchase it here from Netrition. I’ve heard good things about the THM brand as well, and it’s gluten free for those of you with allergies. Since oat fiber is such a unique flour, there’s aren’t many substitutes for it. Some people substitute with psyllium husk flakes, which are easier to find locally, but I haven’t personally tried that. Oat flour and oat fiber are not interchangeable due to the different amounts of liquid they soak up.
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As always, check out the Notes section of the recipe for extra info. Check out the links in and below the recipe to see the products I use and recommend. Some of the links included in the recipe and blog post are affiliate links, which means that if you make purchases through these links, I make a small commission (but your price doesn’t change).
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- Mix the ingredients together well with a hand mixer. Taste and add some extra sweetener (preferably a granulated sweetener like THM Super Sweet Blend or Gentle Sweet) if the batter isn't sweet enough for you.
- Fill greased muffin tin holes with ¼ cup of batter each.
- Bake at 375* for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. I prefer these muffins cold out of the refrigerator (the sweetness and flavor really develops after refrigeration), but they're also good toasted and topped with a smidgen of butter and a few sugar-free chocolate chips. (Keep your added fat to 5g per serving or less to stay within THM E boundaries.)
-Molasses is acceptable on the THM plan in small amounts (up to ¼ tsp. per serving) for flavor.
-I make my own oat flour by grinding old-fashioned oats in a coffee grinder or high-powered blender.