Summer is officially over and somehow I’m still packed to the gills with summer squash + zucchini. How does this always happen? (And why do I have gills?) You’d think with each season we’d learn and maybe plant LESS the next year, but, nope. Squash & zucchini shall forever overtake my garden and grow in ridiculous abundance, much to my chagrin.
To say this is one resilient plant would be an understatement. I once had a spaghetti squash sit on the counter for 9+ months before using it – and yes, it was somehow still perfectly good to eat. I mean… it looked a little weird inside, but, whatever. STILL PERFECTLY FINE. (#procrastinatorextraordinaire strikes again!)
While these zucchini’s are über fresh in comparison to my 9-month-old countersquashbaby, both varieties of veg are severely under appreciated, in my humble opinion. Zucchini & squash tend to be an afterthought for me and the remaining 50-90% of America. With nothing too exciting happening in the flavor department, they’re usually just tossed into soup or some sort of stir-fry/curry/hash where they fade into the background of said dish. How depressing! Zucchini’s DESERVE to shine! … Just not today. Maybe next time.
This time we’re going to HIDE all of that nutritious zucchini goodness inside some chocolate-banana muffins – because who doesn’t love chocolate + banana?! If I haven’t mentioned it 9,000 times over, I love any & all things Banana… not so much chocolate, but, combine the two and I’m all about that jam.
Every week I buy one regular bunch of bananas + one bunch of 4 small bananas and I purposefully let those 4 nanners go bad. This forces me to cook or bake some of my favorite banana bread or in this week’s case, some chocolate-banana zucchini muffins. Since I’d become a bit burnt out on banana bread, and zucchini bread wasn’t much different taste-wise, chocolate-banana-zucchini won the “what should I make with these foul, squishy brown bananas?” match.
I gave some muffins to James’ grandfather and he asked our neighbor “have you tried Nicole’s chocolate cupcakes?! They’re delicious!” (They’re my top 2 taste testers. They frequently chat fence-to-fence while noshing on and simultaneously reviewing my recipes.) Since these muffins don’t use much added sweetener, I was pleasantly surprised to hear them dubbed “cupcakes” by their Standard-American-Diet palates. This easy recipe uses only a 1/2 cup of honey while the overripe bananas do the rest. My personal method-of-enjoyment? Throw these chocolatey bad boys in the microwave for 5-10 seconds before slathering in salted butter and stuffin’ ‘em down my gullet. Y.U.M. No further description necessary – you’ll just have to make them yourself.
[Stay tuned for my upcoming piña colada zucchini cake! Can you tell I’m chock full o’ squash. -_-]
- 218 grams Otto's Naturals Cassava Flour (about 1-1/2 cups + 2 tbsp)
- 1-1/2 cups grated zucchini, firmly packed & well-drained
- 1 cup mashed overripe banana (3-4 small brown bananas)
- ½ cup raw honey
- ⅓ cup melted ghee (or coconut oil - I'm simply not a fan of coconut oil in baked goods)
- ¼ cup cacao powder
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1-1/4 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips/chunks (opt. - use a bit less if using mini chips)
- Squeeze & drain grated zucchini in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth. Set aside.
- Whisk all dry ingredients - flour, cacao, baking soda, salt - together (except chocolate chips) in a medium sized bowl.
- In a separate, larger mixing bowl, whisk banana, honey, ghee/oil, egg, and vanilla together. Add grated zucchini to wet mixture.
- Slowly add dry to wet ingredients & mix until combined. Use a ¼ cup scoop to evenly distribute batter into paper liners in muffin tin. Garnish muffins with a few chocolate chips before baking.
- Bake 20-25 mins at 350 and enjoy!