Mexican chocolate zucchini muffins

We had an I-ONLY-WANT-TO-EAT-CAKE-FOR-LUNCH episode recently, so I decided to give the people what they really want: Cake for breakfast. But not!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo tomorrow, I added some cayenne for the slightest of kicks in these healthy-ish breakfast/snack/anytime muffins. In honor of wanting to maintain balance in our diets, I added whole wheat flour, coconut sugar, avocado oil, zucchini, applesauce, and blackberries.

These muffins are really incredibly easy. No need to drain the zucchini or use separate bowls for the mixing. They're also free of dairy and refined sugar if you skip the chocolate chips, and can easily be made vegan by swapping in two flax eggs. The batter is thick (almost like a brownie batter), but puffs up with a light, airy, and not at all dry crumb.

 This batch only made 11 muffins because Sticky Fingers here kept munching on the blackberries and chocolate chips I'd measured out. All of my other batches made an even dozen.

This batch only made 11 muffins because Sticky Fingers here kept munching on the blackberries and chocolate chips I'd measured out. All of my other batches made an even dozen.

Mexican chocolate zucchini muffins

1-2 cups shredded zucchini (from one medium zucchini)
2 eggs
1 cup coconut sugar
½ cup avocado oil (coconut and olive oil also work fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup white flour
¾ whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp cayenne or chili powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ cup semisweet chocolate chunks
1 small container fresh blackberries, or 1 cup frozen berries (not defrosted)

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the shredded zucchini with eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, and applesauce. Mix well. Add the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cayenne, cinnamon, and salt, and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks (if using) and the blackberries.

Line or spray cupcake tins with coconut oil. Fill each opening ¾ full and bake for 23-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

Yield: 10-12 muffins