Once upon a time, I thought zucchinis were one of the most disgusting foods in the world. A slimy, squeaky, wannabe cucumber - just plain gross.
That was until I started becoming more adventurous with food. No one in my family likes vegetables, per say - however I discovered that I did and I wanted to discover new ways that I could use them.
First up was a pizza - mini pita base, lots of crushed tomatoes (pre-food woes, obviously), herbs, feta cheese, sliced tomato, broccoli and topped with thinly sliced zucchini. I was hooked. I think I ate that pizza for lunch and dinner for a week straight - the only difference was sometimes switching the feta cheese for cream cheese (if you've never tried cream cheese on a pizza - please go to your kitchen ASAP!) or another type of cheese.
The next move had to be incorporating this new vegetable love into my favourite food category of all - muffins. I'd tried zucchini in baked goods only once before, when buying a carrot/banana/zucchini/nut slice at a local cafe, so I was entering into uncharted territory.
As I do, I whipped up a recipe on a whim. A bit of a recipe here, some extra this, take out that, mix it all together and hope it works.
My first batch of zucchini muffins was delicious and I had even more love for my new favourite vegetable - but then a friend said "Have you ever tried chocolate chip zucchini bread?".
Chocolate? Zucchini? That could never work - so I googled it. Turns out a million and one other people in the world agreed with my friend. Not being one to disagree with adding chocolate to whatever possible, I did - and I fell even further in love.
The recipe today is quite a bit different from my first attempt, but only because I've improved upon it tenfold. This recipe really should be called Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Muffins because the banana takes them to a whole new level. These could quite possibly be the healthiest muffins on the block - so don't think twice about throwing in some chocolate chips, they're for the soul!
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins - with Banana makes 16 muffins
Adapted from my Zucchini Banana Muffins
Can be: Gluten Free, Low Fat, Vegan
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
1 3/4 cup gluten free flour/plain flour/wholewheat flour/gluten free pancake mix*
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3-1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (I used two medium zucchini)
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4C milk of your choice
1 tsp vanilla extract
~1/2C chocolate chips (use more if you like!)
Preheat oven to 180°C/355°F.
Prepare muffin tins or a loaf tin.
In a large bowl mix together ground flax, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar.
In a medium bowl mix together grated zucchini, mashed banana, applesauce, milk and vanilla and pour into dry ingredients.
Mix wet and dry ingredients, add in chocolate chips and stir until just combined.
Pour into muffin cups or loaf tin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or 45-55 minutes for a loaf or until a skewer inserted removes clean.
*I used gluten free buckwheat pancake mix for the pictured version and they were delicious! If you're using gluten flours, be careful not to over mix!
So tell me, when did you discover you actually liked vegetables?
Since I was about 13, I've had to be careful that I don't eat too many vegetables. I sometimes think it's a good idea to add a whole zucchini into my dinner - but my stomach capacity definitely doesn't agree :P