Monday, July 25, 2016

Giant Oatmeal Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yeah, that's a handful to say. But they're so, so good. I've already made them three times and I think I've eaten one of these giant muffins every single day. But I'm sure that comes as no surprise, as you guys probably already know that I am a huge fan of breakfast, and breakfast food. The hardest thing about being in Argentina was that their breakfast consisted of coffee and toast. And I don't even like coffee, so there went half of my morning meal. We have something called First Friday at school, which is where on the first Friday of the month (makes sense, right?), a club or team signs up to provide a most delicious homemade breakfast to the entire faculty and staff. It's wonderful, and easily my favorite day of the month. And my teammates know it, so they'll frequently forward me the email announcing the First Friday information with a "YAY"-esque comment. All of this to say that I love breakfast. Though I'm also not willing to take 10-20 minutes out of an already jam-packed morning to make breakfast. And I know many others are constrained by time as well. This is where these muffins come in. 20 minutes of prep on a Sunday, and you have a healthy and filling breakfast for the entire week. All you have to do is store them in the refrigerator, grab one as you are running out the door, and heat it up whenever you get to your destination. Well, you don't have to heat it up, but who doesn't love the taste of melted chocolate in the morning?

I can't take credit for this recipe, as it is almost identical to the one provided by Alexis over at Hummusapien, though I added a few extra ingredients, and I chose to make my muffins in a giant muffin tin. That's certainly not a requirement, but it definitely makes eating only one of them in a single sitting a whole lot easier. It's all about that self control. And if you're freaked out about zucchini being included in a muffin recipe, don't be. I promise you can't even taste it.

  • 2 tbsp flax seeds + 6 tbsp water
  • 3 medium-large ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or any other type of milk you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or your favorite kind of nut butter)
  • 1/8 cup honey (this gives the muffins some added sweetness)
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-3.5 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup + a sprinkle extra chocolate chips
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • OPTIONAL: coconut flakes, almond slices, raisins

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and generously spray muffin tin with cooking spray
2. Combine flax seeds and water in a bowl and set aside
3. In a large bowl, mash the bananas using a fork, and stir in almond milk, almond butter, honey, zucchini, vanilla extract, and flax seed mixture until combined.
4. Stir in oats, baking powder, chia seeds, walnuts, chocolate chips, and cinnamon until combined. This would be the time to add the optional add-ins.
5. Using a spoon, fill each muffin cavity to the top and bake for 22-25 minutes.
6. Enjoy!

YIELDS: Six large muffins + a little extra (I have been baking the extra batter in a mini bread pan so that no batter gets left behind.)
Store these muffins in the refrigerator in an airtight container. If you want to enjoy them warm, put them in the microwave for about 45 seconds. You won't regret it.

I love that these muffins are free of oil, eggs, butter, and flour, and I'm able to sneak in an extra serving of vegetables without even noticing. And you can enjoy these muffins as breakfast (or as a part of breakfast if you're like me) or as an after school snack. I know I'll definitely be bringing these muffins along with me to inservice. I'll need something to snack on in between meetings and practice and setting up my classroom. Basically, starting next Monday, I'll be doing everything but sleeping up at school. Though I have been told there are cots. Anyway, these muffins will make my mornings a whole lot less stressful. And that's a happy Monday for you!

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