Vegan Zucchini Date Muffins

by Gena on February 27, 2011

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I’ve got a new Friday night tradition. Well, almost: I’ve got a new every-other-Friday tradition. Every other Friday, as I do homework and wait patiently for M to arrive from D.C., I take a short break to bake. And what am I baking, you ask? Muffins. Lots and lots of muffins.

This ritual goes back to my first CR baking post—vegan carrot raisin muffins—back in October, and it has held its own in the months since. As it turns out, M is a big muffin fan, which is convenient, because muffins are undoubtedly my favorite type of baked good. They’re also the most convenient, at least IMO: they’re basically a breakfast food, but they can also double nicely as snacks and sweet treats. So M and I can nibble on a muffin or two at midnight when he gets in, but most of all we can look forward to enjoying them with a smoothie for breakfast. These muffins get more love from me than most, because they’re packed with veggies. Zucchini muffins are a terrific way to sneak some green veggies into a tasty treat. They’re an ideal food for kids, or even for adults who have a tough time tolerating vegetables.

The abundance of vegetables doesn’t, however, mean that these muffins are tasteless. Chopped dates lend a wonderful touch of natural sweetness, and cinnamon and ginger add spice and flavor. So while you can feel glad that the muffins are made with whole grains (I used whole wheat pastry flour; a gluten-free baking mix would work nicely, too, and so would all-purpose) and a green vegetable, but you can also feel certain that they’ll impress.

Nice added bonus? Zucchini and applesauce add a lot of natural moisture, so the oil in this recipe only amounts to four tablespoons.

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Vegan Zucchini Date Muffins (vegan, soy free, can be gluten-free if you substitute GF flour)

Yields 12 muffins

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (sub all purpose GF flour, or regular all purpose flour)
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup coconut or olive oil
1/4 cup almond milk
1/3 cup sucanat or sugar (this will make the muffins moderately sweet; use 1/2 cup for sweeter muffins, but keep in mind that the dates will add sweetness too)
1 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
2/3 cup chopped dates, tossed in a little flour so that they don’t clump together

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Mix all dry ingredients (save sugar) in a large bowl.

3) Whisk together applesauce, oil, milk, and sucanat, and pour them into the dry ingredients.

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4) Fold ingredients together till just mixed, and then fold in the zucchini and dates.

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5) Pour batter into muffin tins and bake until golden brown — about 12-15 minutes.

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Few midnight snacks taste better than these—especially if you happen to share one with someone special, who’s just coming in from the cold.

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On that note, a new week begins. Tune in tomorrow for a special NEDA week post!


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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl February 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Love your tradition :) Never had dates in zucchini bread or muffins before – sounds delicious!


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 27, 2011 at 9:53 pm

The muffins look fabulous! It’s ironic that you just linked your post to carrot raisin muffins. I just made No Bake Oatmeal Raisin Carrot Cake bites. I totally forgot about your carrot raisin bran muffins. I have to say, the zuke muffins are really stealing the show! They look wonderful…moist, delish, and flavorful.

Great job, Gena!

And it’s very cool that you and M have an every other weekend arrangement so that it’s equal on both of you for commuting to the other’s city and you rotate like that.

I hope you enjoy your Sunday night. And those muffins :)


Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama February 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I love zucchini muffins- the addition of chopped dates is interesting.


Sarah @ eatliveaustin February 27, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Wow these look delicious. I think I’m going to have to finally buy a muffin tin.

Baking a bunch of muffins for the week is a really good idea, usually the only time I have a good breakfast for 4 or 5 days in a row is when I make quiche.


Hannah February 27, 2011 at 10:20 pm

SWOOSH! (That was the sound of me high-fiving the air in lieu of you.) Brilliant! I adore dates and spices and muffins. Gotsta make me this soon!


Namaste Gurl February 27, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Mmmm, these sound right up my alley– sweet, veggie packed, and whole- grain! I totally approve and love all the ingredients, too!
Could you sub spelt flour instead of WW?


becky February 27, 2011 at 10:44 pm

wow looks super satisfying and tasty!!!!


Gina February 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Yum! These sound sooo good and I love that they can easily be GF!
Btw I made my first collard wrap today and your tutorial was superb :)


Shady February 27, 2011 at 11:34 pm

I had to read the recipe about 4 times before seeing how much zucchini was needed. I’ll need to make a supply of these and keep them in my freezer for late night study sessions (like this one is shaping up to be).


bitt February 27, 2011 at 11:46 pm

I love a good muffin too. So does Chris. I bet he’d love these. I like the idea of dates instead of raisins in muffins. And cute thought of muffin munchin at midnight. :-)


claire February 28, 2011 at 12:00 am

These sound wonderful…look great too of course. My boyfriend is definitely a fellow muffin lover so I can’t wait to make these for both of us!


thefruitpursuit (Sabine) February 28, 2011 at 1:26 am

aw what a nice little tradition :). I love to bake for my boyfriend as well!


Eimear Rose February 28, 2011 at 2:08 am

Another girl here who loves to bake for her boyfriend, but I need a few healthier recipes so I can indulge too- these look like the ticket! I might try making them with date sugar. Hope you had a lovely weekend:)


Casey February 28, 2011 at 5:15 am

I used to love muffins, though truth be told I don’t remember the last time i ate one. I do however sneak vegetables into baked goods and raw desserts all the time. I love zucchini in particular for its mild taste.


Sprinzette February 28, 2011 at 6:01 am

I really enjoyed this – thanks for all the inspiration.


Kelsey @ Clean Teen Kelsey February 28, 2011 at 10:38 am

Ahh holy yum! These sound amazing. Too bad I don’t have any zucchini on hand. :(


Kelsey February 28, 2011 at 12:06 pm

LOVE that baking tradition! It’s all about balance and what a great way to unwind. :) These muffins sound so great; can’t wait to try.


Laura C February 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm

This looks like a good answer to the zucchini in my produce bin and slightly old store of dates! Thanks!


Becky M February 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm

If the dates add sweetness can the sugar be omitted completely? I have never cooked with dates and am not sure how sweet they really are.


Christin@purplebirdblog February 28, 2011 at 1:08 pm

That is a tradition I can definitely get behind! :)


Lauren February 28, 2011 at 3:10 pm

What a fun tradition! M sure is a lucky guy! :)


Sylvia February 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Mmm these look delicious! I’m sure M appreciates freshly baked goods after a long journey :) I have been craving muffins lately, and I just acquired a set of muffin tins. I will have to try these.


emma February 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm

What a great (and intriguing)muffin idea! I’ll add those to my “to make” list. Wonderful!


Christine (The Raw Project) February 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm

What a wonderful tradition and these muffins look wonderful, I’m curious to try them the unique list of ingredients! Thanks!


GeminiJess (Forever Addicting) March 1, 2011 at 5:42 am

These look amazing! I love baking with dates! I’m currently living in Melbourne and have yet to see sucanat anywhere! Organic coconut sugar is readily available, which is a good alternative so perhaps i’ll use that instead. Definitely making these babies soon! Thanks, Gena.


melissa March 1, 2011 at 11:17 pm

These are seriously healthy muffins, unlike the huge muffin shaped pieces of cake all over town. I need to make them soon.


Michelle (Housewife in the Raw) March 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm

What a sweet tradition! I’ll file this away for zucchini season this summer when folks are giving away bags of summer squashes.

PS – if you call them cupcakes, there is a much bigger chance your kids will eat them. It’s all in the marketing!


Mauimandy@The Grains of Paradise March 4, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Wow Gena these look wonderful! Thank you for the inspiration. I’ll be making these for sure!!


(what runs) Lori March 6, 2011 at 9:54 am

These look and sound delicious. They look very moist! And you get your veggies in. I love these. :)


Sahirah March 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm

These look so good, I’m making these very soon,I love dates I use them alot to sweeten things especially smoothies I love bitting down on the sweet bits of dates throughout my smoothies.Do I use the same amount of gluten free flour as the whole wheat?


Joanna B March 30, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I just made these muffins they are amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe.


lisa April 11, 2011 at 11:28 am
Ms. Read June 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm

I made these for a brunch yesterday because we have some vegan friends and wanted them to have more than fruit (also made vegan waffle mix). As it turned out my vegan friends couldn’t make the brunch but everyone was happy to goggle up the muffins. Only 1 was left.


Alicia September 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm
Erica October 2, 2011 at 10:42 am

I made these for the protestors staying overnight across from my office for Occupy Wall Street (! Good nutrition to keep them going all day long.


sophie strout April 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Mine were sooo dry I had to add more milk! They’re baking now and seem kinda off. I know they won’t really rise much since there is no egg/flax egg but they’re very sponge-y. If they taste good, that’s all that matters! *fingers crossed*


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