Healthy Lemon Zucchini Muffins
Yields: 12 muffins
As a kid, I only ate lemon poppy seed muffins… But now, I love these lemon zucchini muffins even more than their poppy seed cousins! These muffins are really moist and tender with lots of bright citrus flavor, and the zucchini adds a really fun twist. Leftover muffins will keep for at least one week if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • 2 ¼ cups (270g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 ½ tbsp (14g) lemon zest (see Notes!)
  • ½ tbsp (7g) unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ tsp vanilla stevia, or adjusted to taste
  • ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup (120mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice (see Notes!)
  • ¾ cup (180mL) nonfat milk
  • 1 ½ cups (135g) freshly grated zucchini, patted dry (see Notes!)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners, and lightly coat them with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in the lemon zest. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, egg whites, vanilla extract, and vanilla stevia. Add in the Greek yogurt, stirring until no large lumps remain. Stir in the lemon juice. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 4 equal parts.) Fold in the zucchini.
  3. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350°F for 23-26 minutes or until the tops feel firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes: Do not use a stand mixer or electric mixer! Use a whisk where instructed and a fork for everything else. Mixers will overwork the batter, and the muffins will turn out tough, gummy, and/or dense.

I highly recommend using Meyer lemons, if you can! When made with Meyer lemons, these muffins have a better texture than when made with regular lemons. (The muffins can sometimes turn out a bit denser with regular lemons… I’m still working on figuring out the science of why that might be!)

For the gluten-free flour, use as follows: 1 cup (120g) millet flour, ¾ cup (90g) tapioca flour, ½ cup (60g) brown rice flour, and 1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum. Many store-bought gluten-free flour blends (like this one!) will also work, if measured like this.

Whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour, or all-purpose flour may be substituted for the white whole wheat flour.

I highly recommend using the vanilla stevia! It’s one of my favorite ingredients, and you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too. I buy mine online here because that’s the cheapest price I’ve found. If you prefer not to use the vanilla stevia, then substitute ¾ cup (180mL) of pure maple syrup, honey or agave. If using this substitution, omit the milk.

Any milk may be substituted for the nonfat milk.

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 firmly press down until the top towel turns completely wet.

{gluten-free, clean eating, low fat, low sugar}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at