Healthy Double Chocolate Zucchini Bran Muffins
Yields: 12 muffins
 
As a family of chocoholics, these muffins are always a huge hit at my house! They’re full of rich chocolate flavor, similar to 70% dark chocolate, thanks to cocoa powder and mini chocolate chips… And the hearty oats combined with lots of Greek yogurt give them a slight fudgy texture, just like my favorite fudgy brownies! Leftovers will keep for at least one week if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and they also freeze really well.
  • 1 ½ cups (180g) oat bran (measured like this and gluten-free if necessary)
  • ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup (180mL) nonfat milk, divided
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder (measured like this)
  • ¼ cup (30g) whole wheat or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp (7g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (60mL) molasses, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (60mL) pure maple syrup, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (160g) freshly grated zucchini, patted dry (see Notes!)
  • 3 tbsp (42g) miniature chocolate chips, divided
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and lightly coat 12 muffin cups with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the oat bran, Greek yogurt, ½ cup of milk, and vanilla extract. Let the mixture rest for at least 10 minutes while preparing the remaining ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. In a third bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and egg whites. Stir in the molasses and maple syrup. Add the oat bran mixture, stirring until fully incorporated. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and remaining ¼ cup of milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 3 equal parts.) Fold in the zucchini and 2 ½ tablespoons of miniature chocolate chips.
  4. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups, and press the remaining miniature chocolate chips into the tops. Bake at 350°F for 20-23 minutes or until the tops feel firm to the touch. Cool in the muffin cups for 5 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack.
Notes: Other readers have had success substituting wheat bran for the oat bran. I have not tried that myself and cannot personally vouch for that substitution. If you decide to try substituting wheat bran, measure by volume (cups) not weight (grams).

For the gluten-free flour, use the following blend: 2 tablespoons (15g) millet flour, 1 tablespoon (7g) tapioca flour, 1 tablespoon (7g) brown rice flour, and ⅛ teaspoon xanthan gum. Most store-bought blends (like this one!) should also work, as long as they are measured like this.

Remember to measure the oat bran, cocoa powder, and flour correctly with this method or a kitchen scale. (← That’s the one I own and love!) Too much of any of these ingredients will make your muffins dry (especially the oat bran; it acts like a sponge and soaks up so much liquid!). Too much cocoa powder will also make your muffins taste bitter, rather than rich and chocolaty.

Any milk may be substituted for the nonfat milk.

Additional cinnamon may be substituted for the allspice, if you don’t have allspice.

Honey or agave may be substituted for the maple syrup. Do not substitute pancake syrup because it will not produce the same taste or texture. I don’t recommend substituting anything for the molasses; it’s required to produce the iconic bran muffin flavor. (This is the kind I use, and you'll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!)

Measure the zucchini before patting it dry. You must pat it dry to remove the excess moisture because that excess moisture will cause the muffins to collapse while cooling. To pat the zucchini dry, lay a double-thick layer of paper towels onto a cutting board, and arrange the freshly shredded zucchini on top. Place another double-thick layer of paper towels on the zucchini, and gently press down until the top towel turns completely wet.

{gluten-free, clean eating, low fat}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at https://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2018/01/03/double-chocolate-zucchini-bran-muffins/