Healthiest Ever Vegan Zucchini-Banana Muffins

I’ve been playing around with this recipe for years, and my most recent version before this–the Gregerized version–was pretty healthy, but contained maple syrup, which isn’t really much healthier than regular old sugar.

So this new version uses medjool dates as a sweetener.

According to Dr. Greger, dates are the healthiest form of sweetener because the sugar is not extracted from the fibre of the fruit. Indeed the high fibre content gives them a low glycemic load. Here’s what Dr. Greger has to say about dates (the lowdown is that dates are excellent for health):

This version contains FIVE different fruits (apples, bananas, dates, cranberries, blueberries), three different nuts (pecans, walnuts, almond…milk),  two seeds (pumpkin and sunflower) and one vegetable (zucchini). Partway through the recipe, I ran out of the fancy whole-wheat flour Emily sent me from Flourist in Vancouver, so I subbed in some of their organic red fife flour.

Super Healthy Banana-Zucchini Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a couple of large muffin pans with cooking spray. This recipe makes 12 huge muffins.

First, blend in Vitamix (or any high-speed blender) until smooth:

  • 50 grams medjool dates with pits removed
  • 1 cup almond milk

Pour into mixing bowl and add:

  • 2 large very ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini

And mix well. Next, to the bowl:

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt

Mix well and add:

  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries (or other dried fruit)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)

Mix well and add:

  • 1 more cup whole wheat flour (this is where I used the red fife flour)

Mix just until no visible flour is left.

Transfer the batter in 1/2 cup scoops into the muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The internal temperature of the muffins should be about 205 degrees.

I doubled the recipe because I had so many bananas and zucchinis that were fading fast, so we’ll be eating these for quite some time!

Now…it’s tempting to eat the muffins when they’re hot, but the interior will be quite gummy if you do. Better to wait until they’re completely cool and then warm them in the microwave or under the broiler. I didn’t have any dried cranberries or blueberries this time, so used raisins and currents. You can use any dried fruit you want–I’ve even used dried pineapple, and the muffins turned out great.

The muffins are delicious with a schmear of peanut butter…which adds another nut to the mix!

And here’s a pic of the sweet little Shelby Underfoote because he just gets cuter by the day. He’ll be fifteen weeks tomorrow!

The song of the day is Andrew Bird’s “Eyeoneye” because I just love the lyrics. Andrew Bird said of the song’s theme, “It’s noble to be strong and self-reliant, but if you’re too proficient who’s going to break your heart? Doing it yourself is as easy as seeing your own eyeball.”