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Monday, April 24, 2017

Chocolate Zucchini Breakfast Muffins Protein & Nutrient Rich

Revising favorite recipes to boost the nutrition levels.  This Chocolate Zucchini muffin recipe was always a favorite.  And now with the updates, I think the muffins turned out really well, even Scarlett approved. She had one after lunch and just now at 4pm she's asking for another.  That's a good sign that it's worth making.

The reason I wanted to make these, well, there are a couple of reasons.  One is this is what I love to do.  Take a delicious recipe that is tried and true that we love and make it healthier.  And two, is I have a mom that is fighting cancer, recovering from brain surgery and a stroke that is the result of the brain surgery.. and I am trying to come up with more nutrient dense meals or even bites, if you will.  The amount of food she eats coming out of chemotherapy is so minimal and every bite crucial.  I am a firm believer in food as medicine and using nutrition to boost your immune system and healing. 
Praying this overcomes the evil known as chemo.  

But not just for mom, this is something that is perfect for breakfast on the run for anyone.  

A couple of things I recommend for anyone trying to make things a bit healthier in the kitchen... throw out the cocoa powder in your pantry and get some live superfood cocoa powder.  It will change your life.  
We make these most delicious-super-chocolatey brownies with it.  Add it to a cup of hot milk with some honey for a super healthy hot cocoa.  Make these Chocolate (cocoa) banana pancakes which require no syrup.. and all nothing to feel guilty about. When Scarlett asks for hot cocoa, I am happy to give it to her.   The nutrient boost is a real thing, raw, full-bodied chocolate flavor, packed with anti-oxidants.. this is my favorite and I purchase it there.  I am partial to balinese sourced, but that may be simply because it's one of my favorite places to travel.  Probably.  However, cocoa tasting.. bring it on! Would love to taste the differences.  
Did you know?.... Raw Cacoa Powder has more anti-oxidants than blueberries, red wine and black and green teas.  Four times the antioxidants than green tea!  
Cacao beans are rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese. 
It also has healthy fats. Cacao contains oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, also found in olive oil, that may raise good cholesterol. Also, substances found in cacao are known to help reduce appetite. 
But this isn't all cocoa powder.. this is when in it's purest form.  That is why raw live powder is best and considered a superfood!  

Alright.. head on down and make some already! 

Dense, dark and delicious.
Packed with zucchini and healthy choices, but you won't even think about that.. they're that delicious. 

I made mine in these "muffin top" pans.
But this can be made in a regular muffin pan and loaf pan also.

Chocolate & Zucchini Muffins 

1 1/2 cups brown sugar (I mix 1/2 turbinado & 1/2 coconut sugar) 

1/4 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup coconut oil, unrefined

3 (lg or xl) eggs

1 t. vanilla

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup dark chocolate chips (tossed with 1 T. flour)

2 cups whole wheat white flour

1 cup cocoa powder, sifted

1/2 t. kosher salt

2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. cloves

1/8 t. nutmeg (or large pinch)

2 t. cinnamon 

1/2 c. peanut protein powder or whey protein powder (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350º F. 
Lightly grease large muffin pans with coconut oil or line with muffin cups.

In a medium bowl mix together the sugar, butter and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well Incorporated. Stir in vanilla, yogurt, zucchini and chocolate chips.

In another bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Spoon batter into large muffin pans. 
Bake in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes. 
Cool on a wire rack.  

Note: Do not overcook as they will dry out. 

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