Pumpkin Zucchini Dark Chocolate Muffins (of course, they’re healthy!)

I can’t believe this! Looks like I’ve missed yet another Holiday…

With every single one that passes, I keep thinking that I will get better at it.

I keep telling myself that next time, I WILL plan ahead and that I WILL come up with at least A special recipe to fit the particular Holiday…

But for some reason, I don’t seem to be getting ANY better at it.

If anything, I’m only getting worse!

I just found out that our Canadian Thanksgiving was coming up THIS week-end. WHAT?!?! Already? I thought for sure I had another 2-3 weeks to go! To think that I had planned on making a beautiful healthy Tiramisu for the occasion. Shucks! Guess it’s gonna have to wait.

And guess once again, I won’t have any special Thanksgiving recipe to share with you guys!


Pumpkin Zucchini Dark Chocolate Muffins | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

These DO happen to have pumpkin in them, you know. No one will EVER be able to tell, but it really IS present, I swear.

So technically, that DOES make them sort of Thanksgivingy, doesn’t it? Alright, maybe I’m pushing it a bit, but it’s the best I can do for now.

And they are very worthy of a giving thanks for, if you ask me!

Pumpkin Zucchini Dark Chocolate Muffins | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

As a matter of fact, these muffins are so good that I am seriously considering turning that batter into some sort of a super decadent healthy chocolate cake.

The ultimate “chocolate birthday cake” is what I’m thinking, complete with frosting and all!

That’s how “truly completely unhealthy” these muffins actually taste.

They are nice, moist and fluffy, yet they have a great density and chewiness to them. Of course, they are ample sweet and chocolaty to satisfy the chocolate lover in you…

Pumpkin Zucchini Dark Chocolate Muffins | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

And if you just call them “Double Dark Chocolate Muffins”, no one will ever know that they actually contain a healthy dose of pumpkin AND zucchini.

Or that the chocolate chips are in fact carob…

And that they contain no sugar whatsoever!

I get the feeling that this will become my official go-to chocolate cake recipe, eventually.

But for now, I think I better start working on my Christmas menu!

Or better yet… Halloween!

Pumpkin Zucchini Chocolate Muffins

Yield: Makes 12 large muffins

Pumpkin Zucchini Chocolate Muffins


    Dry Ingredients
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 4 scoops whey protein
  • ½ cup dark cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup carob powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened carob chips
  • Wet Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup date paste
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups zucchini, grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp pure almond extract
  • To be sprinkled on muffins
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped pistachios
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened carob chips (or cacao nibs)


  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line muffin pan (for 12 large muffins) with parchment paper cups and set aside. You could also choose to line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl mix flour, whey protein, cocoa and carob powders, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix in carob chips and set aside.
  3. In a larger bowl, mix all wet ingredients together.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix with a rubber spatula until well combined, no more.
  5. Divide the batter between the 12 prepared muffin cups (they will be VERY full, but that's okay) and sprinkle chopped pistachios and carob chips on top (use cacao nibs if you prefer). Place muffins in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Lower heat to 375F and continue baking for another 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and let the muffins cool in the pan for 3-5 minutes, then remove and place them on rack to cool completely.
  7. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.


Low Fat, High Protein, Refined Sugar Free


Pumpkin Zucchini Dark Chocolate Muffins | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Don’t be afraid to fill your cups ALL THE WAY up… and then some!

Really pile it up high, that batter!

Pumpkin Zucchini Dark Chocolate Muffins | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Your muffins will come out with perfectly nice little tops!

After all, muffin tops do look good… on muffins!

Pumpkin Zucchini Dark Chocolate Muffins | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Dark enough for ya? Oh, and those parchment paper cups? They’re simply AMAZING!

What a great addition to my cooking arsenal. Now I can never be without them again. They really are absolutely non-stick.

If you haven’t tried them already, you HAVE to get some now!

Pumpkin Zucchini Dark Chocolate Muffins | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

And there, if you look really closely, you can see a tiny little speck of green…

That would be the ONLY giveaway that there is zucchini in these.

But you could always say that it’s pistachio! 

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  1. simone says

    hi there,
    these look amazing! definitely going to give them a try, but do you need the whey protein? or is there another substitute?
    thanks alot.

    • says

      To be honest Simone, I haven’t tried them without the protein powder, so I can’t tell for sure. All I can say is that throughout all my experimentation thus far, I can honestly say that the addition or removal of protein powder to baked goods has never affected the recipe much, so I wouldn’t hesitate to simply remove it.

      If you do try them, let me know how it worked for you! :)

  2. says

    Oh these are pretty! They sound Thanksgivingy enough for me. :) And you can always get in a recipe in time for American Thanksgiving because there is no way you’ll not realize that one is coming. Me and all the other Americans will be bombarding you international guys with our Thanksgiving menu posts! Anyway, love the ingredients in these. They really are pretty. :)

    • says

      Absolutely, positively, Mr. Tender! :)
      And real good to see you my friend! Funny, I was just thinking about how I hadn’t seen you or visited your blog in a while! Guess I oughta pay your place a little visit like, right now! :) Time for me to check out what’s been going on in that groovy kitchen of yours! (And discover new songs, too!)

  3. Maria, says

    Woah these look good! Is the spelt wholewheat? If not would you recommend using 100% who’le spelt or just use unbleached white flour?

    • says

      I’m not sure I understand your question, Maria… the spelt flour is whole, yes. Whole spelt flour. If you can’t find it, whole wheat pastry flour would also do the trick. And I would never recommend using white flour of any kind! ;)

      Hope this help!

  4. Sandra says

    These are great muffins! Thanks for sharing, it satisfies my guilty pleasure of sweet, chocolatey goodness and my current wish to eat healthy. Who knew those two things could be combined?
    I didn’t have the protein powder but I substituted spelt flour, I also didn’t have carob so I used all cocoa powder and regular chocolate chips.
    I made a second batch to throw in the freezer for lunches. I’m off to try your date squares now.
    So glad I stumbled onto your blog, I’ll stop in regularly.

  5. keri says

    He Thanks for the recipe, I hope that with this comment I give you some material to work on the recipe!
    I’v tried the recipe 2x now. I am not at all happy with the result yet unfortunately!
    Though I even added a bit of stevia, the muffins just didn’t have much taste, not even a chocolaty flavor. Only a bit of carob was noticeable. I think that for a muffin with zucchini you can better go to a savory muffin, and for a chocolate do something maybe with beetroot orzo. At least a veggie with taste and a muffin with less ingredients while not giving anything back of the ingredients!

    • says

      Thank you for your feedback, Keri. Funny thing is I’m planning on making a zucchini chocolate cake this week! In retrospect, in analyzing this recipe, I think that what it lacks to really make the flavor pop out is a decent amount of fat. Indeed, fat molecules act as a flavor carrier, as they trap all the flavor and deliver it directly to your taste buds. This muffin recipe definitely doesn’t contain enough fat. I’ll make sure to keep that in mind when working on my new cake.


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