Looking for a fluffy, moist muffin that’s naturally sweetened AND includes a veggie? Look no further than these Healthy Grated Zucchini Muffins. These muffins are perfect for toddlers, big kids, and adults, plus, they are freezer-friendly and great for a quick breakfast, snack, or part of a packed school lunch.
Medically reviewed and co-written by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and Lauren Braaten, Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT).
Healthy Zucchini Muffins
Are you looking for a muffin that is full of healthy ingredients, has an added veggie, and tastes so amazing your kids will devour them in record time?
Well then… let me introduce you to your new fave baked good – Healthy Zucchini Muffins!
Zucchini works wonderfully in baked goods, similar to bananas or applesauce. It adds a soft, moist texture and gives your muffins a boost of nutrition.
Best of all, these hidden grated zucchini muffins mix up quickly and are perfect for busy weekday mornings, packed in school lunches, or for snacks on the go!
If you are looking for more easy and healthy muffin recipes for kids and toddlers, then be sure to check out my Blueberry Avocado Mini Muffins, Veggie Muffins, these ready favorite Spinach Muffins, or these delicious Applesauce Muffins. You can also find more recipes and information in my best-selling cookbook, Little Foodies: Recipes for Babies and Toddlers with Taste.
Reasons to Love Zucchini Muffins
- baby, toddler, kid and adult-friendly
- easy to make
- great for school or packed lunches
- hidden veggie
- great for breakfasts on the go
- can be made gluten and dairy-free
- naturally nut-free
Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!
- Flour: you can use all-purpose, white whole wheat flour, a mixture of 50/50 white and whole wheat flour, or gluten-free one-for-one flour.
- Zucchini: you will need roughly one medium zucchini that has been shredded and then wrapped in a paper towel or kitchen towel to remove any excess moisture.
- Oil/Butter: to make the muffins nice and moist. You can use coconut, avocado, vegetable, olive oil, or melted butter.
- Maple Syrup: good quality maple syrup, honey (for babies over one), or agave nectar can be used in this recipe.
- Ground Ginger
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Toppings: chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, etc.
Allergy Tips: to make these muffins gluten-free, you can use any one-for-one gluten-free flour blend. If you are looking for a dairy-free muffin option, you can use any plant-based milk you prefer, such as almond, soy, hemp, oat, etc. You can also substitute a flax seed ‘egg’ for a regular egg, if needed.
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 375° F. Spray or line a muffin tin.
- Shred: shred your zucchini, then wrap up the zucchini in a paper towel or kitchen towel and press out any remaining water.
- Whisk: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ground ginger.
- Stir: In a large bowl, stir together the maple syrup, butter/oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Combine: pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Add Zucchini: gently fold in the zucchini.
- Fill Muffin Tin: Scoop the batter into the muffin tin 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake: Place the muffin tin into the oven, and bake for 18-20 minutes or until just golden brown.
- Eat: Let cool for 5-10 minutes, and serve.
Zucchini Health Benefits: These are some muffins you can feel good about giving your toddler and kids. Zucchini is full of fiber, B vitamins, and vitamin C, and if you make them with whole wheat flour, it will add even more fiber. The maple syrup in these muffins is a better alternative to white table sugar as a sweetener since it’s less processed and contains more nutrients.
To convert these zucchini muffins from standard size to mini muffins, keep the oven temperature the same, but shorten the baking time to about 10-13 minutes.
How to Store & Freeze
Once the muffins have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container. They will keep on the counter for up to 4 days and in the fridge for up to a week.
To freeze the muffins, place into a freezer zip-lock baggie or stasher bag and place in the freezer. They will keep for up to 3 months frozen.
Thaw frozen muffins overnight in the fridge or gently warm them in the microwave.
Zucchini Muffins for Toddlers & Kids
These quick and easy muffins are loved by toddlers and big kids – you can even use them for baby-led weaning. Serve zucchini muffins as is or with a smear of cream cheese, butter, or nut butter for breakfast, snack, or packed into a school lunch.
- Do No Overmix: I can’t stress this point enough – do not overmix the muffin batter; if you do, they won’t rise in the oven and will become dense and hard. The dry ingredients should be just combined with the wet ingredients.
- Preheat Oven: Ensure the oven is fully preheated so the muffins cook through evenly.
- Let Cool: let the muffins cool for about 10 minutes before enjoying them and let them cool completely before storing.
- No Sticking: make sure you generously grease the muffin molds or use liners so that the muffins don’t stick to the pan.
- Squeeze out the extra liquid: get the extra water out from your shredded zucchini by wrapping it up in a paper towel or kitchen towel and pressing out any remaining water. Don’t skip this step or muffins will be wet and dense inside.
- Use good quality maple syrup: Pure maple syrup is made with just one ingredient – maple tree sap that’s been boiled down to a thicker consistency. It also contains antioxidants and minerals. On the other hand, pancake syrup is made with corn syrup and artificial flavoring.
- Completely Hidden Veggie: if even small specks of zucchini is going to be off-putting to your child, simply add all of the wet ingredients – maple syrup, eggs, oil/butter, zucchini, and vanilla extract to a blender and puree for 30 seconds. Then add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix.
- 1 3/4 cup flour (see notes below)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup melted butter or oil, olive oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil or coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini (roughly 1 medium zucchini)
- 1/3 cup toppings – chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, white chocolate chips, etc. (optional)
Prep: Preheat the oven to 375° F. Spray or line a muffin tin.
Shred: using a grater or food processor, grate the zucchini, and then using a paper towel or kitchen towel, press out any excess water. Set aside.
Whisk: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
Stir: In a large bowl, stir together the zucchini, maple syrup, butter/oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
Combine: pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
Fill Muffin Tin: Scoop the batter into the muffin tin 3/4 of the way full. Add toppings, if using.
Bake: Place the muffin tin into the oven, and bake for 18-20 minutes or until just golden brown.
Eat: Let cool for 5-10 minutes, and serve.
Mini or Regular Size: you can make these muffins into mini or regular-size muffins, the only difference is the baking time. For mini muffins, bake for 10-12 minutes, for regular muffins, bake for 18-20 minutes.
Storage: store in an air-tight container on the counter or fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Note on Flours: you can use all-purpose, white whole wheat flour, a mixture of 50/50 white and whole wheat flour, or gluten-free one-for-one flour.
Oil/Butter: to make the muffins nice and moist. You can use coconut, avocado, vegetable, olive, or melted butter.