Beware - these Dark Chocolate Pistachio Zucchini Bread Muffins are, like, really good. I highly encourage sharing because their tender, fluffy nature and bold chunks of chocolate next to humble pistachio pieces is just the combination most of us need for breakfast or a sweet little snack. Plus, who can say no to a healthy homemade muffin?
What should I write about? This usually isn’t a problem for me. Usually, I know what I want to share in each post - be it a snippet of the process or the whole thing, or something totally unrelated to food. But, right now, and for the last 24 hours, my mind goes blank when I open up my computer to write something here. I texted Dad and asked if he had any advice, and of course he did because he’s a genius when it comes to writing, but still, nothing sticks.
Should I read my favorite blogs and see what they’ve been writing about lately, maybe even go back to their first few posts and watch their writing skills evolve? Another day, sure, but right now it’s crunch-time and this post needs to go live very soon, so there is no time for fooling around. P.S. The Pancake Princess, I could read your blog all day. I’m kind of in love with the way you write and with all of your bake-offs. And The First Mess, I just want to stare at your pictures while you style my kitchen and bake me a batch of your vegan cinnamon rolls. Actually - fun-fact - I made a list of all the bloggers I want to regularly stalk and you two are at the top of the list. Once I finish writing here, you can bet your last muffin I’ll be catching up on everyone’s posts and soaking up the inspiration because every blogger on my list is just radiant with the admirable quality.
Should I talk about the muffin? Like, yeah, definitely because you’re probably here mostly for the muffin, but you’re also reading this right now, so clearly both the muffin recipe and my writing hold some level of importance to you. Hey, thanks! Don’t worry, I’ll get to the recipe in a sec. First, I need to word-vomit all the thoughts that block up my mind when I sit down to write a post.
Should I talk about school? And how I’m graduating in 55 days (54 by the time you read this)? My guess is that you hear enough of that from me and are probably ready for a change of subject. But real quick - can I just tell you HOW EXCITED I AM to be done with classes, with homework, with studying for exams, and honestly, with feeling a lot “less than” than my peers. No need to get super emotionally deep here, but my major is extremely competitive and some of my professors are not shy when it comes to encouraging us (the nice way of saying it) to work, find internships, get all A’s, volunteer, and the list goes on. Fitting into only one or two of those categories doesn’t feel awesome when I’m surrounded by many students who fit into most or all of them.
Should I talk about moving to Minnesota? Did you know it’s about 27 degrees below zero there right now? I’m moving in July and might need to start prepping for such frigid temps right away. San Luis Obispo is spoiling us in the community with relatively warm weather right now, but we’re also getting some much-needed rain and I’m loving allllllll of it. My future-oriented mind can’t stop reflecting on the last 4 years here and ruminating over how much I will miss it. UGH. Moving on.
Hmmm… should I tell you about Jake? We’ve been dating for a couple months (ish). He’s cute. He’s nice. Smart. Funny. Hilarious, actually. I really like him! But, we’ll stop there for now :)
Hey, thanks for reading this and not just skipping straight to the recipe. I can’t articulate how grateful I am for your time - the only way I can think of to do so is by continuing to do what I love, bring you delicious recipes, and keep thanking you!
Some notes about the recipe:
Definitely use whole-wheat pastry flour if you can find it or have it on hand. If you can do half whole-wheat flour, half all-purpose, that’ll work. This flour is lighter than 100% whole-wheat, and we want fluffy, tender muffins!
Kefir can be replaced by buttermilk, but you’ll compromise nutrition in doing so - kefir is much higher protein and probiotics. My favorite brand is Lifeway Kefir and can be found at most supermarkets and health-food stores.
Maple syrup can be replaced by agave or honey - whatever you’ve got on hand.
Yes, the eggs and kefir should be at room temperature (or as close as possible). If they are fresh out of the fridge, they will lower the temperature of the coconut oil, causing it to solidify and therefore remain in chunks (for lack of a better word) throughout the batter, potentially yielding an uneven texture.
Makes 12 muffins
1 small zucchini (about 1/2 cup before squeezing), gently squeezed of its liquid in a paper towel
2 pasture-raised eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup low-fat unsweetened kefir, at room temperature
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, plus a handful extra for topping
1/3 cup roughly chopped pistachios
Preheat the oven to 425F and lightly grease a muffin tin with coconut oil. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl (I used my KitchenAid stand-mixer), whisk together the eggs, kefir, maple syrup (or agave or honey), and coconut oil until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and baking soda and whisk again to combine.
Use a sieve to sift the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt into the bowel with the wet ingredients. Add the zucchini, dark chocolate chips and chopped pistachios. Use a rubber spatula to mix until no lumps of flour remain - don’t overmix!
Transfer the batter to the muffin tin. Fill each cup completely - this will help yield larger muffins! Top each muffin tin with extra dark chocolate. Bake at 425F for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350F and continue baking for another 15-16 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then carefully pull them out and cool on a baking rack for another 5 minutes.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.