Chareva’s Kitchen: Zucchini Muffins

Hard to believe, but it’s that time of the year already: the girls’ summer vacation is half over, the Fourth of July has come and gone, and the All-Star Game is next week. Time flies.

This also the time of year when Chareva’s gardens start becoming productive, which means people we’ve known for years won’t look us in the eye for fear we’ll offer them zucchini.

Chareva’s done her best to dispose of the wildly prolific plants. We’ve had baked zucchini, sautéed zucchini, zucchini fritters, zucchini on salads – heck, she even sneaked zucchini into her meatloaf recipe a couple of times. (It did not go undetected.) It’s gotten to the point where if she asks what we want for dinner, the girls and I say in unison, “Not zucchini.”

The exception was her zucchini muffins, which she made once as an experiment and again at the girls’ request. Here’s her recipe – in case one of us bumps into you in public and manages to squeeze a zucchini into your hand before you can refuse.

dry ingredients
1 cup almond flour
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (ground)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

wet ingredients
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup butter (melted)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp liquid Stevia
1 Tbsp molasses
3 eggs (beaten)
1 medium zucchini (grated), or about 2 cups squeezed. Discard juice.**

Mix wet ingredients in one bowl. Mix dry in another. Combine all ingredients in one bowl. Spoon into greased muffin tins. (Tip: Use a lint free coffee filter to generously grease the inside of the muffin tins with lard or bacon grease.)

Bake muffins in a 325 degree oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Makes 12 muffins at around 10 carbs each*.  (They’re awesome with some melted Kerrygold butter, by the way — Tom.)

*The combined flours add up to about 100 net carbs. To make the muffins lower in carbs, eliminate the rice flour and increase the coconut flour to one cup. Additionally the tapioca flour can be substituted with more almond flour. We were pleasantly surprised, however, at the lighter and slightly crispy texture that the tapioca and rice flours added. The molasses adds a nice brown color to the muffins, along with a bit of sweetness.

** In an effort help us dispose of the zucchini, Sara tried making zucchini-juice popsicles. The verdict: they’re horrible. Don’t try this at home.


39 thoughts on “Chareva’s Kitchen: Zucchini Muffins

  1. Erica

    Let me get this straight. The ‘coconut flour’ is just unsweetened coconut, ground up? NOT the regular coconut flour you buy?

    Also, I cannot eat almonds any longer (horrible back and joint pains. Ask Chareva what she might suggest. More coconut flour and maybe one of the other carb-y flours? I have potato starch on hand, as well as green banana flour and arrowroot.

    These sound great, and I wish I lived closer so I could be on the receiving end of a couple of zucchinis.

    Thanks, Erica

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      You can buy coconut flour or grind your own from coconut, yes. You could probably substitute any of the flours for almond. Green banana sounds like a good choice for this recipe, at least from a flavor standpoint.

  2. Vic

    Ah-yes, the zucchini. I have the same problem, what do you do with the excess? Friends do indeed shy away or meet you with “No zucchini today!” Before LCHF I would make “applesauce” with them. Just peel, cook, and puree, then sweeten to taste add some cinnamon and any other spice you like, cook til thick and serve. Very tasty. Come to think of it, depending on sweetener this could be lo-carb friendly. Actually, it could be used in any recipe calling for applesauce. UMMMM. I also cook it with tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppers, basil and oregano, and pepperoni, it makes a great side dish, you can leave out the pepperoni and can it for winter.( Just an FYI I can the yellow summer squash the same way and, hoping I don’t sound too trite, it really is like summer in a jar.) Also the good ol’ zucchini fry. Peel and julianne the critters, place in a dish and sprinkle canning salt on them, set in fridge until time to cook. You will be amazed at the water you will pour off, then roll them in some toweling and squeeze out the rest of the liquid, then fry, very good! Especially with beer. OOOPS! forget I said that. When all else fails, bury it in the back yard in the light of a full moon and your next child will be a boy. (never tried this one, but it did remove warts.)

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Good suggestions, but if I have a next child at all, someone has some explaining to do.

  3. Randy Beasley

    Vacuum-fried zucchini chips!
    Can’t wait until there’s an affordable vacu fryer for home.
    These chips are terrific with chicken salad or pimento cheese
    They offer a great crunch.

  4. Mark.

    Zucchini tips: harvest ’em very small. Problem is, you’ll always miss some and those will end up huge. I put them on the compost heap. Alternatively, grow loofahs (trellis almost essential) and the ones you miss when they’re young can be allowed to grow into sources of bath sponges. Also, consider growing heirloom non-hybrid ones that yield less; the striped varieties can be more flavorful — though I hear that there are now hybrids that are almost as tasty.

    After a certain point in the summer, I’m always tempted to rip out the plants (scruffy, insect-ridden, sprawling) and put in new ones, hoping they’ll yield before frost. Never have. I wonder whether that’s practical, especially in the South.

    1. Chareva

      Sara and I are in the process of pulling the plants out and feeding them to her chickens. We’re debating on what to plant in their place; perhaps okra from seed or some bell pepper plants.

  5. Kristin

    I haven’t the nerve to plant zukes or any other summer squash for that matter. I’ve always said I would when I figured out how to plant a quarter of a zuke. I’ve yet to figure out how so far. Therefore I’m happy to give other local farmers money or relieve a desperate neighbor (within reason) of their fruit.

    I did used to love zucchini bread so I do intend to try this recipe. It looks like a winner. I’m also enjoying the other ideas I’m reading on uses for zukes. Salted and fried looks great. And loofah out of large ones? Really? I’ll have to check that out. A neighbor used to chop up her big ones and saute with some hamburger to feed to the dogs. If you have big dogs that could prove useful. My chihuahua doesn’t eat enough.

  6. Walter Bushell

    Have you tried Zucchini parmigiana or in an Alfredo sauce? With bacon of course and perhaps some strong curry.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Chareva has made an Italian version with parmesan. We haven’t tried turning them into noodles.

  7. Alyssa

    I’m actually jealous! I’m in Canada and my zucchini aren’t even producing yet. I’d love to have zucchini this early in the year.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      If you drive south to the States, you’ll probably find plenty of people willing to share. The stuff is relentless.

  8. Linda

    I’ll definitely try those muffins, as I used to make numerous loaves of zucchini bread and spread the joy (?) to anyone who didn’t get the raw ones! Another simply delicious idea for zucchini which I ate just last night is to slice relatively small ones lengthwise and spread on paper towels for a while to drain. Then dip in beaten egg, the Parmesan from the green can and fry in bacon drippings. Simply delicious!

  9. Janknitz

    If you can’t do nut flours grind seeds (eg sunflower or pumpkin seeds).

    I make my own coconut flour as a byproduct of making homemade coconut milk. After squeezing out the milk I dry the pulp and grind it fine in the food processor.

  10. Nancy

    I just finished making zucchini lasagne. Slice the zucchinis lengthwise a scant 1/4 inch thick and use them in place of pasta. I make spaghetti sauce using 2 1/4 lbs ground beef, 1/2 lb ground pork Italian sausage, 1 qt home canned tomatoes (mine aren’t ripe yet), 1 can tomato paste, chopped onion, salt and pepper. Cook for a couple hours. I buy 15 oz whole milk ricotta, 1 lb whole milk mozzarella (grate it), some chopped spinach from the garden. Layer sauce, zucchini slices spread with ricotta, spinach, more sauce, mozzarella, more zucchini, more sauce and more mozzarella. I cover this with foil and bake 2 hours at 325.

  11. Elenor

    If all the zucchini grown in one season were laid end-to-end?
    …that would be a good use for them!

  12. Firebird

    Reminds me of “A Christmas Story” and all the turkey leftover combinations they weren’t about to eat because the neighbor’s dogs knocked over the kitchen table.

  13. Rae Ford

    When I have a bumper crop of both zucchini and tomatoes, I know that it’s time to start canning marinara sauce. Before we moved to FL from TN that stuff would always be gone before winter was over.

      1. Rae Ford

        It tasted like summer in a jar. And we used it as sauce of course but also as a base for tomato, vegetable, and seafood soup and chili.

  14. Cindy M

    Are there substitutes for coconut and almond flour? Allergies in my family make it tough to make the switch… =(

  15. Jean

    Zucchini (we call it courgette in the UK) and ginger soup.
    Fry up some onions and zukes, cook in meat stock, blitz with a hand blender.
    Slice a small onion and a small zucchini into batons, fry in butter with some grated root ginger – you choose how gingery you want it – and garnish the soup with it.

  16. Robin

    I just finished experimenting with dehydrating summer squash and other than being sliced too thin, it turned out great Next batch is being sliced thicker as my kids and I joked that if these were any thinner they would be one sided! I am planning on using it to add to stews, soups and such this winter….if it last that long. I liked it plain out of the bag.


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