Skinny Chocolate Zucchini Protein Muffins (Gluten-free, Grain-free, Low-fat, Refined sugar-free)

Chocolate Zucchini Protein MuffinThese are NOT your everyday muffins.  These “skinny” muffins are seriously sensational.  At only 65 calories per muffin (and no, they’re not mini-muffins!) and super low in fat (dare I say “fat-free”?) but packed with protein, there is some serious macro magic happening in this healthy muffin recipe.  Plus, they’re downright delicious, with rich, moist chocolate flavour and the added bonus of high-fiber, nutrient-rich zucchini.  Oh, and they’re free of gluten, grains and refined sugar, too!  Perhaps I should call them “Freedom Muffins”?

Freedom muffins or otherwise, I’m definitely going to have to coin the term “next-day” muffins.  With some sort of kitchen alchemy, these muffins actually get MOISTER the day AFTER baking.  This recipe definitely got me reaching out for some special ingredients to be able to achieve great taste and texture without added fat or sugar, and maybe that’s part of the magic.

With this much magic going on, I really can’t take the credit.  I’m just NOT quite this magical on my own!  The true Macro Wizard Mastermind to come up with this combination is Carla Ramsay, a Fitness & Nutritional Coach based out of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.  Carla has successfully competed in and coached competitors for a variety of fitness shows in the bikini, fitness and physique divisions.  Her approach emphasizes natural, sustainable methods for “show prep” vs. short-term crash diets that lead to adrenal upset and dreaded “rebound” (sudden and dramatic weight gain immediately following a competition due to unhealthy restriction and deprivation leading up to the show).

But it’s not just about spray tans and bikinis!  Carla’s most recent accomplishment and honour was as a coach with Team Canada at the World Powerlifting Championships in Finland!  She also offers online coaching to meet nutrition and fitness goals of all kinds, with clients from all walks of life.  That’s how I connected with her.  In fact, this is in no way a paid plug, promotion or advertisement for Carla, just my own personal endorsement.  As I write this post (on an airplane en route to China for a business trip, actually), she has no idea what I’m saying!  I’ve just been genuinely pleased to work with her and wanted to share my experience with other fitness-minded (or at least muffin-minded) people like you!

This recipe is just one of many that Carla has in her arsenal to help her clients meet their individualized meal goals, which often place an emphasis on low-fat sources of protein and quality carbohydrate sources (that’s right, you can still eat carbs AND get leaner!).  I’m so glad that she agreed that I could share this recipe with you, and after you make it, I’m sure you will be, too!

Skinny Chocolate Zucchini Protein Muffins (Gluten-free, Grain-free, High-protein, Low-fat, Refined sugar-free)

  • Servings: 18 medium muffins
  • Time: 15-20 minutes prep + 20-25 minutes baking
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

These amazing “next-day” muffins are so incredibly moist (and even moreso the NEXT day after baking) and full of rich chocolate flavour that you’d never guess that they are low in fat, low in carbohydrates and packed with protein.

Author: Carla Ramsay- Fitness & Nutritional Coach, via The Golden Graham Girl

INGREDIENTS
1 package Jell-o Sugar-free Fat-free instant pudding mix, butterscotch flavour
7 tbsp (35g) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp (9g) xantham gum
6 tbsp (45g) coconut flour – I used Edward & Sons Organic Coconut Flour*
4 scoops (140g) chocolate whey isolate protein powder (FYI whey isolate bakes differently than protein blends – you may need to reduce or increase the liquid accordingly if using a blended protein powder) – I used Now Sports Whey Protein Isolate, Dutch Chocolate*
1/2 tsp (2g) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1g) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1g) sea salt
1/2 cup (50g) granulated erythritol – I used Now Foods Erythritol Natural Sweetener*
~2 cups (275g) grated zucchini
~8 egg whites (250g or 250mL or 1 cup liquid egg whites)
1/3 cup (80g or 80mL) unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup (123g) unsweetened applesauce – you can make this at home!

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat a conventional oven to 350F (185C) or a convection oven to 325F (165C).
2. Line muffin tins with 18 silicone muffin liners OR grease with non-stick cooking spray (pro tip: I like to use muffin liners – silicone works best with low-fat baking as paper liners are prone to stick – to make clean up easier AND to make it even easier to take these muffins on the go!).
3. In a separate bowl or container, combine all dry ingredients (the first 9 ingredients) (pro tip: I like to put my dry ingredients in a sealable container and shake to combine thoroughly – no risk of whisking dry ingredients out of the bowl onto the countertop or floor!).
4. Combine the remaining 4 wet ingredients in a separate large bowl and whisk until fully combined.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly – batter will be thick and will have a sticky, fudge-y texture as the natural thickeners in the pudding powder and the xantham gum begin to act.
6. Scoop into muffin liners (if using) or directly into muffin tin (fill each cup 1/2 – 2/3 full) and bake for 20-25 minutes until a cake tester inserted in center of muffins comes out clean.
7. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
8. Store in a sealed container overnight and enjoy the next day – you’ll be amazed at how these muffins magically get MOISTER overnight!

Chocolate Zucchini Protein Muffin Top

NUTRITION INFORMATION
Calories: 65 Fat: 0.8g Carbohydrates: 5.7g Sugar: 1.1g Fiber: 2.8g Protein: 8.5g

You could serve these warm but I highly recommend allowing them to cool and then storing them in a sealed container overnight and enjoying their magical moistness the NEXT day.  You can then keep them for an additional 2-3 days in a sealed container (if they last that long!).

All content on The Golden Graham Girl is the original creation and property of thegoldengrahamgirl.com (unless otherwise noted).

*Please note that I am currently NOT sponsored by or affiliated with any particular brand, company or product. Any ideas, comments or opinions are my own, as mentioned in my Product Review page.  However, if you choose to purchase new-to-you products I recommend using the link(s) I provide, I can earn a small credit.  More information on that is available here.

Some process shots:

Dry ingredients (9!) mixed in a separate container until thoroughly combined.

Dry ingredients (9!) mixed in a separate container until thoroughly combined.

Get that grater going for a little forearm workout - be sure to switch arms halfway through!

Get that grater going for a little forearm workout – be sure to switch arms halfway through!

Grated zucchini is great to have on hand for use in loaves, cakes and muffins or as part of a stir-fry, slaw or veggie side dish on its own!

Grated zucchini is great to have on hand for use in loaves, cakes and muffins or as part of a stir-fry, slaw or veggie side dish on its own!

The batter will have a thick, fudge-y texture - I used a spatula instead of a spoon because it's so sticky!

The batter will have a thick, fudge-y texture – I used a spatula instead of a spoon because it’s so sticky!

You can be generous with your muffin cups and still get 18 marvelous, magical muffins from this recipe!

You can be generous with your muffin cups and still get 18 marvelous, magical muffins from this recipe!

Fully baked!  Let cool and store overnight in a sealed container before enjoying the next day!

Fully baked! Let cool and store overnight in a sealed container before enjoying the next day!

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Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk MuffinWhole Wheat Banana-Walnut Muffins with Dark Chocolate Chunks
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2 thoughts on “Skinny Chocolate Zucchini Protein Muffins (Gluten-free, Grain-free, Low-fat, Refined sugar-free)

  1. Pingback: Double Chocolate Cheesecake Protein Muffins (Gluten-free, Grain-free, Refined sugar-free) | The Golden Graham Girl

  2. Pingback: Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake Protein Muffins (Gluten-free, Grain-free, Refined sugar-free) | The Golden Graham Girl

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