Sep 092014

More zucchini…zucchini…zucchini! Everywhere! Recently Michael and I received a wedding gift from a very lovely friend who sadly can’t make it to the wedding. One of the items was a mini muffin baking pan. I was really excited to use it (and I was also doing some research on making some “dog” muffins that Bella can eat). But I had so much zucchini I decided to make some human muffins first and use up some zucchini. Here is the recipe:

Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins (vegan)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Adapted From:


  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (vegetable or canola oil may be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk (coconut, soy, rice, cow's milk may be substituted)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup ripe mashed bananas (about 2 small/medium bananas)
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded zucchini, measured loosely laid in cup (not packed in or squeezed; about 1 medium zucchini, I didn't peel it)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • about 11 teaspoons mini semi-sweet chocolate chips divided, about 1 teaspoon for each muffin (regular-sized chips may be substituted)


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a Non-Stick 12-Cup Regular Muffin Pan very well with floured cooking spray or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the bananas and whisk to combine.
  4. Before adding the zucchini, put it in a paper towel and squeeze tightly for about 10 seconds to remove some moisture. After squeezing, you should have about 3/4 cup of compacted shreds. Add zucchini to bowl and stir.
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, optional salt and stir until just combined; don't overmix.
  6. Using a large cookie scoop turn batter out into prepared pan. Each cavity should be filled to about 3/4 full, but not exceeding or batter could overflow.
  7. Sprinkle the top of each muffin generously with mini chocolate chips, about 1 teaspoon each.
  8. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes (for mini muffins) or until muffins are set, domed, golden, and a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
  9. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until they've firmed up and are cool enough to handle. It's normal for muffin tops to be flatten as they cool.
  10. Muffins will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
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I used the recipe as a base and adapted it. So the changes I made…

I used real milk (1%) instead of almond. I also used the Trader Joe’s gluten free flour. To make this a little healthier and reduce the amount of sugar,  I made another substitute. When you bake with Splenda it’s a 50-50 mix. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, you use 1/2 cup of Splenda instead. For this recipe I halved the sugar and used splenda and I also included 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce. I probably could have skipped the Splenda/Sugar altogether honestly.


I wanted to use the mini muffin tray, which was 24 mini muffins but I had a ton of extra batter after filling those so I did a few regular sized muffins as well. Because of that it kind of made the calorie count impossible to calculate but I’d say that the mini muffins are probably around 75 calories each and the regular muffins are around 100 calories, maybe a little less.


These muffins were awesome! And addicting! And because they are so tiny, bitesize really, it’s easy to just keep popping them in your mouth. The muffins were definitely DIFFERENT than any I’ve ever done. They were very moist and gooey which I attribute to the addition of the applesauce. I think maybe using the melted coconut oil also did that. I’ve never baked with coconut oil before. It gave it a richer flavor I think. Each muffin had maybe 2-3 chocolate chips in it and so the chocolate flavor wasn’t overpowering at all. Just the perfect amount of sweetness.


I would say that these tasted more like banana muffins than zucchini. Every once in awhile I’d get a bite of zucchini and really taste it but the most dominant flavor was the banana. These were great and I will make them again for parties. I ended up taking a bunch to my book club group and then I took some to a friend’s house the next day when Michael and I went over for dinner.


The muffins were a hit at the book club. I really, really liked them, too. They had such a different texture than I’m used to with muffins but it was pleasant. I think this is a great “base” muffin recipe. You could make some really interesting alterations…like maybe shredded carrots instead of zucchini or maybe dried cranberries instead of chocolate chips. I think the mini muffins were too small for nuts, but maybe with bigger muffins it would work well. Depending on how you end up changing the ingredients in the recipe, these muffins could be dessert or could easily be a breakfast treat.

I’ve never baked with coconut oil before and I have to say, I kind of love it! Will definitely be using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil in more future baking experiments.

Sep 082014


I haven’t been weighing myself consistently this year. I had gained a few pounds over the winter due to a lot of stress eating and while I only weigh myself once a month, I even quit that. I wasn’t giving up, I wasn’t quitting what I was doing (i.e. counting calories and exercising) I just needed a break. I didn’t want to deal with it.

I didn’t get on the scale again for a number of reasons. Part of it was that I just forgot. Life got busy and I missed the window in November to weigh myself and get an accurate number so I decided to just skip it. The other reason was the holidays. Blah, blah blah….Thanksgiving, Christmas, cookies, pie, candy….I just didn’t want to see that number. I told myself I’d wait until after Christmas but then I changed my mind.

Denial does not work with weight loss and maintenance. Seeing the number on the scale is a (sometimes brutal) reminder of where I am at and whether or not I’ve been LAZY about my food. Those CREEPING CALORIES add up. I finally decided to get back on that scale.

Just to recap my disappointing winter/spring…January I weighed 149. Still under goal weight. But too high for my liking. Fast forward to April and I weighed 147. Some progress. I was feeling a little better about seeing that number instead of the first. In May I got down to 146. Feeling okay! Moving in the right direction! Then…I stopped getting on the scale. Between May and August I gained 1 pound. I was back to 147. I was disappointed for sure. I had hoped that I would get back down to 145 (how much I weighed last summer at this summer).

While I wasn’t entirely focused on the wedding, it was in the back of my mind. During this last year I was engaged, I had a few ups and downs about my weight. Sometimes I felt pressure to lose weight for the wedding. Sometimes I felt okay with my body the way it is. With the wedding less than a month away, I admit I have had more of those feelings…Less than a month away! Can I lose any weight? Then I chastise myself and think, Why? This is me. Why would I try to lose a bunch of weight for one day?

And to be honest, my dress fits so I am kind of ok with where I am at.  

I was talking to some other weight loss maintainers on Twitter recently and both of them confessed to weighing daily. One blogger said:it’s not for everybody… But to me just data, scale should not be a surprise to me.”

I chimed in and said that I couldn’t do that because it makes me mental. Seriously. I got super obsessed at one point where I was weighing myself all the time and whatever that number on the scale said, my entire day and mood could be ruined. It held TOO MUCH control over my life and emotions. So I quit and decided to weigh myself once a month to check in. That works for me (usually).

It got me thinking. If I weighed myself every day would it change my outlook? Would I think about the scale in a different way? Would it have less power over my feelings if I just sucked it up and got on the scale every morning? A few things could happen:

First, it could make me obsessive again.

Second, it could make me less sensitive to the number on the scale.

Third, I would see massive fluctuations from day to day and perhaps that would take ALL of the power out of that number because I would see just how fluid weight is.

Lastly, weighing daily COULD lead to emotional/binge eating.

So many things can effect the number on the scale that don’t necessarily indicate weight gain. You could be retaining water, you could have sore muscles that are trying to repair themselves and holding on to water. You could be dehydrated. You could be constipated. You could have eating especially carb-y foods, or foods that cause inflammation in your body. It could be anything. And, of course, weight gain.

Seeing the changes every day could really take the sting out of it. I am considering trying this. Maybe for one month just to see if it changes my outlook. (Obviously not right now, maybe after the wedding.) Then I think…does it really matter? Is it an accurate gauge of your health? I mean, if you are counting your calories or points every day, eating right and exercising on a regular basis, you shouldn’t HAVE to monitor that number so closely.

How often do you weigh yourself?