Zucchini banana muffins are a sweet and moist muffin. They are easy to make and loaded with zucchini, banana, applesauce and more! These muffins are great way to use up leftover zucchini from your garden or the farmer's market. They have less sugar than your normal muffin and can be made gluten free if needed.
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I can't tell you how many times I have leftover zucchini on hand and need a quick and easy way to use it. The spring and summer months always seem to yield extra zucchini. If you're like me and you need something to do with extra zucchini (or you just want to add some extra veggies into your muffin), this recipe is for you!
This recipe initially started out as plain zucchini muffins, however I really wanted to include some healthier ingredients and make it a low sugar muffin. This led to bananas and applesauce being added, and these banana zucchini muffins were developed.
When zucchini is used for baking, it takes on the flavor of the other ingredients it is cooked with, and so you cannot even tell these muffins contain zucchini. The muffins have a hint of banana, but it’s definitely not overpowering. I've made these muffins numerous times and have tested them with both regular all purpose flour and gluten free flour. The muffins turn out both ways and taste delicious no matter what type of flour used.
- Butter: butter is the main source of fat in these muffins. Melt the butter and let it cool for a minute before mixing it in.
- Sugar: granulated sugar is recommended.
- Eggs: 2 large eggs help bind everything together.
- Banana: use a ripe banana that has a lot of brown spots. This will add sweetness to the muffins.
- Applesauce: use plain, unsweetened applesauce. Adding applesauce helps reduce the amount of sugar used. If you prefer to not use applesauce, use and extra ½ cup of sugar.
- Zucchini: this recipe calls for ¾ cup of shredded zucchini, which is about 1 small zucchini. Do not dry the zucchini with a paper towel before adding it.
- Flour: this recipe works with regular all-purpose white flour or gluten free flour. The gluten free flour must be the 1:1 baking flour that contains xanthan gum. I have made the recipe with both Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 baking flour and King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure flour.
- Cinnamon: adds extra flavor to the muffins.
- Vanilla: adds flavor.
- Baking soda, baking powder and salt: helps the muffins rise.
How to Shred the Zucchini
The easiest way to shred the zucchini is to use a food grater. Simply run the zucchini up and down along the grater. The grater that I own shreds the zucchini into pieces that are still pretty long, so I like to use kitchen scissors and cut the zucchini into even smaller pieces. It’s not perfect, I just grab a handful of zucchini and make several cuts in every direction.
Another way to grate zucchini is to use a food processor. Cut the zucchini into thirds and place it in the food processor. Use the pulse button for a few seconds until the zucchini is shredded. If your food processor does not have a pulse button, simply push the on/off button repeatedly for 20-30 seconds. The zucchini should not be pureed. It should be shredded and resemble small pieces.
Are Banana Zucchini Muffins Healthy?
The muffins do contain some healthy ingredients, however keep in mind they still have sugar and butter in them. As I love to say, it’s all about the serving size and how many you eat! These muffins contain 205 calories/serving.
Here are some ways that the muffins have been made healthier:
- The amount of sugar has been reduced. The applesauce and banana add extra sweetness and help to replace some of the sugar.
- Adding applesauce and banana helps to cut down on the amount of fat used.
- While there is zucchini in these muffins, it’s not enough to be considered a full serving of vegetables.
These muffins have an option for a gluten free version. To make these gluten free, use a gluten free flour. I have tested this with two different brands of gluten free flour: Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour and with King Arthur’s Measure for Measure gluten free flour.
The muffins turn out well with both flours; they hold together well, are moist and have a good texture. The important thing is that the flour is measure for measure and contains xanthan gum in the ingredient label.
The muffins can also be made with regular all purpose flour if there are no allergy concerns. Simply use the same amount of regular flour as you would gluten free flour.
To make these muffins dairy free, replace the butter with canola oil. Use the same amount of canola oil as you would butter. This will alter the texture slightly.
Store these muffins in an airtight container and eat within 4-5 days. These muffins are best when stored in the refrigerator. This is because they contain zucchini, and refrigerating them helps extend the time they will keep.
The muffins can also be frozen. Remove the muffin liner and store in a freezer safe bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Microwave for 30 seconds before eating.
Tips and Tricks
- Do not dry the shredded zucchini or squeeze out any excess water with a paper towel. The recipe has been developed to create the perfect moistness of the muffin without having to remove excess water from the zucchini.
- Measure the flour carefully. Don’t pack the flour in the measuring cup. Instead, use a dinner spoon and spoon it carefully into a measuring cup. Level the top of the flour by using a knife and scraping any excess flour back into the bag. The top of the measured flour should be smooth and even with the top of the measuring cup.
- Use a banana that is very ripe and has lots of brown spots. This makes it easier to mash and will create a sweeter muffin.
I love making these muffins and serving them warm. They go well with a side of fruit for breakfast, or some coffee first thing in the morning. The muffins are also delcious with a small pat of butter, honey or vanilla yogurt on the top.
More Muffin Recipes
These zucchini banana muffins are one of my favorite recipes! They are a great option for the whole family, including toddlers or young kids. It’s an easy way to sneak in some healthier ingredients without anyone knowing! If you make these or are thinking about making these, leave me a comment below or tag me on Instagram!
Zucchini Banana Muffins (Gluten Free)
- 1.5 cups gluten free baking flour (use 1 to 1 baking flour that contains xanthan gum, such as Bob's Red Mill)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 medium banana ripe
- ¾ cup grated zucchini
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12 tin muffin pan with muffin liners. Spray with non-stick pan spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute, until fully combined.
- Add in the applesauce, vanilla and eggs. Beat with electric mixer until combined.
- In a separate bowl, mash the banana until smooth and no large chunks remain. Add to the sugar mixture and mix until combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix until combined.
- Combine the flour mixture with the sugar mixture. Mix just until combined.
- Stir in the shredded zucchini.
- Fill each muffin tin ¾ the way full with muffin batter.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted into the center of the muffin and comes out clean. Let sit in pan for 2 minutes, then cool on a cooling rack.