My students often will ask, “Can we bake something? Pleeease??” Because to them baking means tasty treats. This week, I acceded, but with a caveat–the recipe had to be somewhat healthy. I also have a student with an egg allergy, so it had to be vegan. What I came up with was a chocolate-zucchini muffin recipe, modified slightly from this one at Happy Herbivore.

During my pre-class grocery run, I swept through the organic section of the supermarket and grabbed two green tubular vegetables that I thought were zucchinis. After arriving and setting up for class, I handed one of them to a student to grate. She took a long hard look and then raised her eyebrows at me. “Isn’t this a cucumber?” She asked.

At first I denied it. But when I looked closer, I saw that she was indeed correct. In my haste, I had misidentified a cucumber as a zucchini and my nine-year-old student caught me in the act! In a classic fake-it-till-you-make-it teacher move, I reassured her that it would be fine (I didn’t actually know.) We grated the cucumber, drained off some of the water, and added it to the batter. The result was a mouth-watering muffin, light and moist with only the slightest hint of the crisp green vegetable. By making this silly mistake, I learned that my students are paying sharp attention, and that there are plenty of options when it comes to incorporating vegetables into baked goods.

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3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1¼ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 whole banana, mashed

½ cup raw sugar

2 tbsp flax seed + 2 tbsp water

¼ cup unsweetened nondairy milk 

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup shredded zucchini

1/2 cup chocolate chips (or other add-in)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease muffin pan and set aside.
  3. Grate the zucchini and turn it over onto a paper towel to drain some of the liquid.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.
  5. Whisk together flax seeds with water, to create two “flax eggs.”
  6. In a large bowl, cream mashed banana with flax seed and sugar. Add in the remainder of the wet ingredients and the grated zucchini.
  7. Gradually add flour mix to wet mix in and stir until combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir to distribute them throughout the batter.
  8. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan and bake for around 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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