These easy carrot zucchini muffins are one of the best make-ahead breakfasts you can enjoy. They may look unassuming but they definitely pack a lot of spice and vanilla flavor. They can be made as a loaf or even mini-muffins that small hands might enjoy. My toddler absolutely loves these muffins; we make them together and she enjoys every moment. If you want to turn this into zucchini bread, you can do that as well! All you'd have to do is omit the carrots.
- Grated zucchini- no need to draw out the water for this recipe
- Grated carrots-no need to draw out the water in this vegetable either; they're used for added texture and flavor
- Vanilla powder- adds an even more intense vanilla flavor than that of vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour- general-use flour designed for baking
- Almond milk creamer-used in place of milk to add even more moisture along with flavor
- Brown sugar-used to sweeten the muffins and create a deeper flavor, color and texture when used alongside cane sugar.
- Cane sugar-used to sweeten the muffins
- Cinnamon-used alongside the cloves and ginger to enhance the flavors and add a touch of cinnamon flavor
- Ground ginger- adds a small touch of spicey ginger flavor
- Ground cloves-imparts a strong, sweet, and spicy flavor
- Eggs-act as the glue to all of the ingredients
- Butter-adds moisture and flavor
- Baking powder-a leavening agent used to help baked goods rise
- Baking soda-allows baked goods to rise and become fluffy
- Salt-helps to bring out flavors, draw out moisture, and preserve baked goods for longer periods of time
Key Ingredients Needed
To make these delicious and healthy muffins, you will need a few key pieces of equipment. First, you will need a muffin tin and either muffin cups or nonstick cooking spray to prevent the muffins from sticking to the pan. You will also need a large mixing bowl to combine the wet and dry ingredients, a separate medium bowl to combine the grated carrots and zucchini, and a small bowl to make the flax egg (if using). A food processor or grater can be used to shred the veggies, and a measuring cup and spoons are essential for precise ingredient measurements.
How to bake with zucchini
Zucchini is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes. When using zucchini in baking, it's important to remove the excess water from the grated veggies to prevent the muffins from becoming too moist. To do this, place the grated zucchini in a paper towel or clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess liquid before adding it to the muffin batter.
- To make these zucchini breakfast muffins; first, you'll need to complete all prep work needed for the recipe-this includes grating the vegetables, measuring out the ingredients, gathering all equipment needed, and bringing the butter to room temperature ahead of time (unless you know one of those "hacks" for doing this quickly).
- Blend ingredients together using an electric mixer.
- Add wet ingredients first, then the dry ingredients-do this slowly so that the ingredients don't splatter.
- Preheat your oven and mix in your vegetables last before baking to perfection.
How to make carrot and zucchini muffins healthy
- Coconut sugar- an alternative sweetener derived from the coconut palm tree with a lower glycemic index. I recently used this as an alternative to brown sugar and it tastes just like the real thing!
- Applesauce- this has long been used as an alternative to sweeten desserts and adds extra moisture to baked goods as well. If you decide to go this route I would emit the creamer as the purpose of this is to not only deepen the flavors but to add increased moisture to these muffins.
- Monkfruit sweetener- a no-calorie sweetener that is used as a substitute to white sugar. When baking, the ratio is usually 1 to 1 however; I've found that this sweetener is actually sweeter than that of its counterpart so for every cup of sugar, I like to use ¾ of a cup of monk fruit sweetener.
How to store Carrot Zucchini Muffins
In my household, these typically do not last long enough to be stored in a freezer however; if you want to make them ahead of time and enjoy them later, they will keep in the freezer for approximately two weeks. I would be cautious about leaving them in there any longer than that. To defrost, simply leave them on the counter for a few hours and they'll taste as fresh as they did when they were baked. A best practice would be to let them cool on the counter first before leaving them in an airtight container. They keep well for a week stored at room temperature.
This recipe for carrot zucchini muffins can be made with any type of milk. I use oat milk for everything whether it's for cooking or baking and whole white milk can certainly be used as a substitution here. There are a few substitutions you can make to this recipe to fit your dietary needs and preferences.
For a vegan option, use a flax egg instead of regular eggs, and use almond milk or another plant-based milk instead of regular milk. You can also substitute the white and brown sugar with coconut sugar or pure maple syrup for a refined sugar-free option. Additionally, you can use a gluten-free flour blend or almond flour instead of all-purpose flour.
The batter from these muffins can be made in so many different ways. You can use it to make a loaf of bread or even mini muffins. In fact; this recipe started as a loaf of bread and I decided to turn it into muffins to make them easier to take on the go.
For a fun twist on this classic recipe, try adding in some chocolate chips or orange zest for extra flavor. You can also swap out the grated carrots for shredded apples or sweet potatoes for a different flavor profile. Adding in some chopped nuts or seeds can also give the muffins an extra crunch. Lastly, try topping them with a dollop of cream cheese for a carrot cake-inspired treat.
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Carrot and Zucchini muffins are the perfect make-ahead breakfast. They are moist, flavorful, and can be made healthy if desired.
1 cup grated carrot
2 cups grated zucchini
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup almond milk coffee creamer or milk of choice
½ cup butter, room temperature
⅓ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla powder or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¾ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
- Bring butter to room temperature, grate carrots and zucchini, measure other ingredients, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cream white sugar, brown sugar, and butter together using an electric mixer equipped with a paddle attachment. Mix until ingredients are fluffy or about one minute.
- Add eggs-one at a time, creamer, and spices. Mix until combined
- Slowly add baking soda, baking powder, flour, salt, and vanilla powder.
- Turn the mixer on the slowest speed before addid in the zucchini and carrots. Mix for about 15 seconds or until just combined.
- Using a muffin tin lined with baking cups; transfer batter filling each cup ¾ of the way.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until muffins come out clean when a toothpick is inserted.
- Cool completely and enjoy right away!
Any type of milk can be used in place of almond milk coffee creamer
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 muffin
- Calories: 200
- Sugar: 14.4 g
- Sodium: 89.6 mg
- Fat: 8.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 27.6 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Cholesterol: 51.3 mg
Keywords: carrot and zucchini muffins