When Life Hands You Lemons, Make…Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins?!?!?

Yes, indeed.

As I mentioned in my last post, things have been quite hectic in the household with health related issues, and then I had surgery on both knees last Friday. The surgery was to remove “loose bodies” (loose pieces of ick floating around that were getting stuck in painful spots) and assess the condition of the cartilage graft surgery that I had to both patellas (kneecaps) almost exactly 4 years ago.

When I woke up from anesthesia, my doctor, whom I trust implicitly and would not let anyone else touch my knees, told me some good news and some bad news. The good news is that he removed loose bodies from both knees, and that the condition of the existing grafts looked good. The bad news was that there was a new area of damage on my right knee that would have to be repaired.

WTF?!?! That was not welcome news. During my last surgery, my doctor had performed a procedure which essentially moved the insertion of my quad muscle and lessened significantly the force that would be occurring between the patella and the femur. I had done no impact activities or things that were likely to cause damage. Although I am very active, I am also always aware of my limitations.

So. Regardless. Here we are again.

Biotechnology is ever evolving, and for that I am very grateful. This time, surgery will likely involve only one stage (DeNovo NT), instead of the two stage repair I had last time (trade name Carticel(R) if you’re really bored). And since I am only having one knee done, I will not have to be in a wheelchair this time. Crutches for 2 months will be bad enough (you can’t CARRY anything!) but I am grateful to not have to use a wheelchair.

That there's cartilage cells. Cool, eh?

The date for surgery is yet to be determined, but you’re damn skippy that I will be enjoying vacation with my husband in May first! Most likely the surgery will be scheduled for end of May when we return.

So what does all this have to do with muffins?

Well, I’m stress baking, of course. This means that my freezer is full so I do not turn into the extra large version of Erin that none of us want to see. I’ve been playing around with making recipes healthier, as always. And this also means that there have been some flops. This particular recipe was inspired from some zucchini that came in my organic buying club box last week. That, and well, it’s just not worth it if’s it’s not chocolate.


Gluten Free Healthier Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
The players:

-3 small zucchini, grated. (Yes, I know, I should have measured, but I didn’t.)

-1 whole egg

-2 egg whites

-2 TBSP chia seeds added to 1/4 c of water

-1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

-1/4 cup melted coconut oil

-1/2 cup cocoa powder

-3/4 cup coconut flour

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp baking powder

-sweetener of choice to taste. I used a dropper full of liquid stevia

The game:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together your dry ingredients, whisk together your wet ingredients, then add the two together. Easy peasy.

Fill your muffin tins.

Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes, give or take. My oven is convection so your mileage may vary.

These are not light and airy muffins, they were a bit dense and rich.  Raisins would probably be a really tasty addition.  Or chocolate chips.  Chocolate chips make everything taste better.




Once you eat all those muffins, you may need to take a look at the rest of your diet and see how you can fit those in without getting fat.  (Or not.  These really aren’t too bad, but should still be considered a treat.)

Check out:

The Easiest Gluten Free Diet

And if you want more, Gluten Free and Fit 101 has a lot more in store!

If you STILL don’t have enough, get my free nutrition guide.

And that should give you enough reading for a while.

If you STILL want more, or you just want a step by step, simple, checklist  approach to cleaning up your diet, check out 7 Quick Start Tips to Living a Healthy Gluten Free Fit Life

Or, come say hi on the GFF Facebook page :)

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  1. Kim says:

    Oh, Erin, I am sorry that you have to have another surgery! I am thankful that you don’t have to be in a wheelchair, though. Those muffins sound heavenly!


  2. Hi Erin, it is no wonder you said WTF. To come out of it with such a good attitude and enough spirit to make these decadent muffins is a sign of your fortitude! They sound great. I’m wondering something – most recipes that use coconut flour tend to have alot of eggs, more than usual in a baked recipe. You seem to have reduced the eggs by only using 1 whole egg and then 2 egg whites. I’m wondering if the chia and the applesauce made up the difference in what would have otherwise been additional whole eggs. Any thoughts?

  3. Erin says:

    Hi Kim!
    Yes, I don’t know if the doorways in my house could take me being in a wheelchair again! (I may have dinged them up a bit last time-it’s hard to steer around a corner when your legs are sticking straight out in front of you!)
    Let me know what you think if you make the muffins :)

  4. Erin says:

    Hi Ellen and thanks for coming by!
    Yes, that is exactly what I was trying to do by using the applesauce and chia. Knowing that coconut is an extremely “thirsty” flour, and that I only had a few eggs on hand, I figured I’d give it a shot. The applesauce flavor works well in these muffins, and chia is just so incredibly versatile and beneficial. It’s a small enough amount of chia where they don’t overpower the rest of the muffin though.

  5. Maggie says:

    I LOVE that you used coconut oil in these – my fave! And I also love that you used coconut flour. That ingredient still scares me a little but I just LOVE the texture it gives to baked goods. Isn’t it amazing? Know I am definitely craving chocolate zucchini muffins :) Hope surgery goes so well and everything heals up wonderfully. But first, have a FANTASTIC holiday with your hubby. xo

  6. betty says:

    sorry to hear about your surgery i hope you’re okay

    baking always lifts my spirits though whenever im feeling down, i find it so therapeutic, and these muffins sound wonderful i have heard zucchini makes them super moist, i’ll have to try this out, thanks for sharing :O)

  7. Erin says:

    Hi Betty and thanks for coming by!
    Baking is therapeutic for sure, there’s something about the rhythm of measuring, whisking, measuring, blending, etc.
    The zucchini does help maintain moistness since coconut flour can make things so dry.
    Please let me know how they turn out!

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