Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins

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These healthful Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins are made with natural, nutritious ingredients and no refined sugars. They’re tall, moist, flavorful, and loaded with zucchini!

Add our healthy zucchini bread or lemon zucchini bread to your list for a future baking project.

Overhead view of Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins

A few years ago, I published a healthy zucchini muffin recipe that we are completely obsessed with. However, it’s not gluten free, so naturally, there was a need for another zucchini muffin recipe…right?  I wasn’t sure, but when a reader emailed me and asked for a gluten-free version of zucchini muffins, I knew it was time to start experimenting! 

These muffins are free of refined sugar, relying on mashed ripe banana, pure maple syrup and medjool dates for sweetness. The other two main ingredients are oats and, of course, zucchini; both are adding loads of nutrition to these muffins.

The one ingredient that might not be considered super nutritious are the chocolate chips. I like using dark chocolate which has important and essential fats your body needs (source). To keep Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins completely refined-sugar free, use sugar-free chocolate chips (homemade or store-bought) or replace the chips with equal amounts of dried currants or coarsely chopped nuts.

Process shots: add oats to a blender; process to a powder; add dates, banana, and coconut oil; blend until smooth; transfer to a large bowl and add remaining ingredients; stir until combined.

Working with dates

  • Here are the exact dates I use for these zucchini muffins.
  • Use a high- powered blender or food processor. The stronger the blender, the easier it will be to blend the dates into a paste; without a high-powered blender, you may need to blend a bit longer and scrape down the sides more frequently. I use a small Blendtec jar for making these muffins.
  • Measure the coconut oil when melted. Measure 1/3 cup of melted (not hardened) coconut oil and pour it over the dates. The oil will help the dates blend easier.
  • Scrape everything out of the blender. The blended date mixture is thick and sticky, so take your time scraping it all out into a bowl. Every bit of this mixture is important to the finished batter.
  • Soften dates if needed. Here’s a quick way to revive stale or hard dates. If the dates are too hard, they won’t blend up very well. Before blending, make sure to remove any pits from the dates to avoid any damage to your blender.

Process shots: add chocolate chips; stir; fill muffin cavities; bake; remove from oven; ready to eat.

More tips

  • Ensure all ingredients are in fact gluten free: While the ingredients in these Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins are naturally gluten free, make sure to check all your ingredient labels to verify they weren’t processed in a facility with gluten.
  • Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a grater for these muffins. If the zucchini is excessively wet, wring it out a few times with paper towel or cheesecloth (I rarely need to do this).
  • Use an overripe banana. I like to use a banana with a peel that is browned all over; this is when bananas are the sweetest and contribute the most sweetness and flavor to these muffins.
  • Keep mixing. The batter will seem like it’s not coming together at first but keep mixing. As the batter is stirred, the moisture from the zucchini will release and everything will come together.
  • Generously grease the muffin tin. I don’t recommend muffin liners; the batter sticks to the liners.
  • Add extra chocolate chips on top. While completely optional, a few extra chocolate chips placed on top of the muffins before baking not only makes these muffins look more appetizing, it also ensures there is chocolate in every bite!

Overhead view of Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins, with one split open to show the insides.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffin storage

Once cooled, store the muffins in an airtight container or resealable bag at room temperature. These muffins are best eaten within 2-3 days. Honestly, we like them the best on day 2; the flavors from the spices have intensified nicely.

To freeze*/thaw:

  1. Cool muffins completely before storing.
  2. To freeze: Wrap Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins individually in plastic wrap and then place all the wrapped muffins in large freezer bags.
  3. To thaw: Set out at room temperature or heat frozen muffins in the microwave.

*There is some loss of texture and flavor when freezing and thawing these muffins.

More nutritious snack recipes

QUICK TIP

Use a good nonstick muffin tin for easy muffin removal. I can’t say enough good things about this muffin pan; these Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins always come out perfectly!

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Healthy Zucchini Muffins

5 from 7 votes
These healthful Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins are made with natural, nutritious ingredients and no refined sugars. They're tall, moist, flavorful, and loaded with zucchini!
Print Recipe

Healthy Zucchini Muffins

5 from 7 votes
These healthful Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins are made with natural, nutritious ingredients and no refined sugars. They're tall, moist, flavorful, and loaded with zucchini!
Course Breakfast, Snack, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 178kcal
Cost $4.64

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (195g) old-fashioned oats
  • 7-8 whole coarsely chopped fresh medjool dates (remove pits), 3/4 cup (117g)
  • 1/3 cup (67g) melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons mashed banana (~3/4 a large banana)
  • 1/4 cup (85g) pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups (252g) grated zucchini (See Note 1)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (93g) dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (40g) mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease 12 cavities of a muffin tin with nonstick spray (muffin liners won't work well).
  • BLEND OATS: Add 2 leveled cups of oats to a blender or food processor. Blend until the oats resemble flour -- a fine powder. If needed, stir and continue blending to break up larger chunks of oats. Pour powdered oats into a large bowl.
  • BLEND OTHER INGREDIENTS: Remove the pits and coarsely chop up the dates. Measure to get 3/4 cup and then add into the now-empty blender that you used for the oats. Pour the melted coconut oil on top of the dates. Mash a banana to get 3 tablespoons of mashed banana and add that the blender. Blend, scraping down the sides as needed, until you get a thick paste. Scrape all of this paste out of the blender and add to the bowl with the oats.
  • FINISH BATTER: In the same bowl, add the maple syrup, grated zucchini (See Note 1), 2 eggs, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. Stir with a wooden spoon or electric hand mixer until you have a thick batter (it will seem very dry at first, but keep stirring). Add in the chocolate chips and stir until incorporated. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin tin -- the batter should fill exactly 12 cavities about 3/4 the way full. If desired, sprinkle a few more miniature chocolate chips on top of the muffins.
  • BAKE: Bake for 22-26 minutes or until no longer gooey/wet looking on top and the sides are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let stand in the pan for 3-4 minutes before gently removing (use the tines of a fork to gently coax out the muffins) and setting on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • ENJOY: Enjoy muffins warm; these muffins are even better the second day! Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature. Best enjoyed within 2-3 days. Freeze leftover muffins.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a grater. If the zucchini is excessively wet, wring it off a few times with paper towel or cheesecloth (I rarely do this unless it's dripping wet).

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 178kcal

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Flourless and healthy Greek yogurt zucchini muffins
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29 Comments

  1. These healthy muffins look amazing, Chelsea! I love the pretty zucchini pieces poking out. The dark chocolate, Greek yogurt and coconut oil sound perfect in here! So healthy and delicious!

  2. Thanks so much!! I don’t mind the moisture in these muffins and didn’t pat the zucchini dry, but I definitely don’t think that it would hurt to pat them dry especially if you don’t prefer moist muffins. 🙂

      1. I’m sorry, I have very little experience with flax eggs and haven’t tested this recipe with them so I really have no idea. Wish I could be of more help!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made these twice now with thawed strawberries and once with thawed blueberries instead of bananas because I had those fruits in the freezer but no bananas on hand and they were so yum

    1. That is so great to hear!! I love to hear how you’ve changed them up with the different fruits 🙂 Thank you!

  4. These look great and I can’t wait to try them out! I was wondering if I could substitute the coconut oil with something else though? My boyfriend does not like coconut unfortunately and can pick it up in anything I put it in. Can I use butter or another type of oil such as sunflower? If so, could you please recommend quantities if you know? Thanks!

    1. Hey Gaby, I haven’t tried any other substitutions so I can’t say for sure without further recipe testing. I do think canola oil would be the best substitution.

  5. 5 stars
    I made these and they rock! I have 4 picky eaters, and I’l always doing crazy acrobatics to get them to eat their vegetables. This is just too easy! My husband and I couldn’t stop eating the raw dough- so delicious!

    I came home from the store to find that half of my zucchini I had intended to use had gone bad, so I improvised… I added finely shredded carrots and in an act of desperation added one stalk of celery. You would NEVER know. Seriously- these muffins are like a chocolate chip salad at this point! I can not wait to smirk knowingly at my children as they wax eloquent about how good these “desserts” are.

    I can’t wait to try your other recipes. This one hit it out of the park!

    1. Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for your sweet comment and for giving these a try! I love that you were able to sneak in all those other veggies 🙂 Thanks again and I hope you love what you try next!

  6. My 5 year old son and I absolutely LOVE these muffins!! Have you tried freezing a batch? Wondering if possible and if they were still as yummy?!

  7. I made this as a treat (and to use a giant zucchini) for my Nursery kids at church last week using a mini muffin pan and adjusting the time (12 mini muffins took 11 min in my oven) it was such a hit that I made them this week too – only I used coconut vanilla Greek yogurt and replaced 1/2 the chocolate chips with shredded coconut- another big hit. I’m making up a few variations to freeze today (using up the giant zucchini too).

    Thanks for this healthy recipe (my parents expect nothing less from me)

  8. Oats contain gluten so I’m puzzled by the title gluten free
    I’m a celiac and have always known to avoid wheat rye oats and barley

  9. Can I use dark or golden raisin instead of dates? I am trying to use what I already have. Thanks for sharing your recipe

    1. I don’t know that those would work the same way, but truthfully haven’t tested anything but dates. Sorry, wish I could be of more help!

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