Healthy Oat Muffins filled with shredded zucchini and bright lemon flavor, these muffins will leave you feeling charged and ready for the day ahead!
January says the word potential, doesn’t it?
I know, there’s still a lot of people making resolutions that in a month or so will be non-existent. That’s not quite what I’m talking about.
I don’t write New Year resolutions, but I do like to think about the past year as a whole and how I can continue to learn more and better myself as a wife, mother, friend, daughter, etc…
So in January I tend to cook and bake food that feels refreshing and clean, for a good start to the year. That probably sounds weird, but, let me put it this way…
After all the junk that I ate over the Holidays, my body and brain are begging me to get back into my normal routine, which includes eating better.
Citrus flavors sound so bright and clean, I like more vegetables to make-up for the lack of them in December, and I’m back on all things gluten-free oat flour.
Thinking of all those things, I made these Lemon Zucchini Oat Muffins that gave me a little happy dance in the mornings – and I’m NOT someone who happy dances.
So what’s to love about these Lemon Zucchini Oat Muffins? They have:
- A bright lemon flavor that wakes you up!
- Shredded zucchini inside for a little extra veggie boost in your life, and to help use up that frozen zucchini buried in your freezer!
- Oat flour so they’re filled with extra fiber and will keep you full longer.
- No dairy or gluten!
These muffins are also pretty easy to make. The only extra steps, compared to a typical muffin recipe, is zesting a lemon and squeezing out the lemon juice, and shredding zucchini.
But these are worth the extra couple steps, and I have loved starting the new year (and new decade!) with these muffins.
Let’s talk ingredients before you make these muffins.
First, let me give you the low down on oat flour. You have a couple options here.
You can buy (certified gluten-free) oat flour and do absolutely no work. It’s easy and you don’t have to worry about anything. I recommend this for someone who hasn’t ever baked with oat flour and/or who wants to be as quick and efficient as possible.
Or, you can make your own oat flour. Using a high powered blender, blend the oats on high for several minutes, till you have oat “flour.” It will be a little more grain-y than other flours, but shouldn’t be too thick. If it isn’t fine enough, you’ll end up with crumbly baked goods.
So, I only recommend making your own oat flour for people who have a high quality blender!
I like to do both. It just depends on the day and how busy I am. Lately, life is crazy, and I’m loving the convenience of buying oat flour. A year ago I was only making my own!
Another important thing to talk about is the shredded zucchini.
Have frozen zucchini stored away in your freezer? Me too! 🙂 Prior to making these muffins, pull your frozen zucchini out and let it thaw out in a strainer, over your sink. Then pat it dry with a paper towel or a flour sack dish towel.
Using fresh zucchini? Shred it and pat away any excess water with a couple paper towels or a flour sack dish towel.
With both methods don’t go overboard with patting the water off of the zucchini. You still want some moisture in your zucchini, to help make these Lemon Zucchini Oat Muffins extra moist. Just make sure it isn’t sopping wet shredded zucchini (especially if it was frozen prior!).
Be sure to have a good tool to zest your lemons with so you can get as much zest as possible! The zest is where the flavor is really at!
And be sure to have a good lemon squeezer too, for some of that fresh lemon juice. Don’t try and use the lemon juice that you can buy out of that plastic lemon-shaped container.
P.S. I like adding walnuts to these muffins! They add a great crunch to the muffins, but they’re totally optional.
Lemon, zucchini, and oats sing together in these healthy muffins. I love starting my day with one of these muffins, and I have to say they’re delicious with a cup of tea too!
- 1 3/4 cup oat flour (certified gluten-free)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (or butter)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini, lightly patted dry with paper towels
- 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
To begin, preheat your oven to 350 and spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray. Alternatively, you can use cupcake liners.
In a small mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients and stir them together (oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt).
In a large mixing bowl, add your sugar, applesauce, coconut oil, lemon juice and lemon zest and whisk them together till well combined. Add your vanilla and eggs and whisk again.
Pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and stir together till you have one consistent muffin batter.
Add your shredded zucchini (and walnuts, if using) to the batter and gently fold them in.
Scoop the batter into your muffin tin, filling each cavity about 3/4 way full. Bake in the oven for 15-17 minutes, or till the tops of the muffins are springy to touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cool, then carefully remove from the muffin tray.
These muffins can last in an airtight container stored on the counter for about 2-3 days, or up to a week if stored in the fridge. You can also freeze these muffins.