Zucchini Banana Flaxseed Muffins

puffy muffins

Hey! Guess what? As of last week, I have a preschooler. That's right! A PRESCHOOLER! Dang! Where does the time go? In preparation for this monumental event, I let Cooper pick out his very own lunchbox and backpack. He went with a nice robot theme and I'm glad for that because the construction themed set was not my favorite color. I know it's not MY lunchbox, but I'm the one who has to keep tabs on it, clean it out & fill it up every other day. I'm also left with the task of having to figure out what to put in said lunchbox and I need to get him excited about lunch time at school! It's a tall order.

zucchini banana flaxseed muffins

At the beginning of the week, I made these Zucchini Banana Flaxseed Muffins with the idea of putting one in his lunch box as a treat for all three days of preschool. Little did I know they would disappear in less than two days. Cooper loved them so much that I actually caught him standing on a chair at the kitchen counter reaching into the container of muffins I put aside for the week! And just when I thought my new hiding place was legit, I walked downstairs to see him eating another muffin behind the couch. SNEAKY kid! If these muffins were loaded with sugar, butter or oil, I'd be upset. But the fact that there's both zucchini and banana mixed in with a little flaxseed makes his sneaky behavior totally OK. I can't really blame him; they taste great! They're moist, tender, full of flavor and the flaxseed gives the muffins a nutty flavor without nuts. You would never really know that there's no oil in this recipe. I have now welcomed these healthy muffins into his lunchbox rotation. Victory!

And we're off!

Gather your ingredients.

ingredient party!

Measure out the flaxseed, sugar, flour, milk and what have you.


Mix all the dry ingredients together.


Grate the zucchini and mash up that banana. Look! I did it right in the peel. No extra bowl to clean up.

zucchini & banana

Mix it into your dry ingredients.

hello dry!

Get out the vanilla, milk & egg. Whisk!

milk, vanilla &

Pour the milk mixture into the flour/zucchini mixture.  Stir!


Place the batter in muffin tins that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake!


Bust open a warm muffin and smother it with butter. They still taste really great without butter...

zucchini banana flaxseed muffins

But I like butter...especially when it's married to a hot muffin.

zucchini banana flaxseed muffins

It kind of seals the deal, don't you think?

Zucchini Banana Flaxseed Muffins

Makes 12

(recipe adapted from Everyday Food Magazine)

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (from 1 large zucchini)
  • 1/3 cup mashed banana (from 1 large banana)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F Lightly coat muffin tin with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, flaxseed, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt & cinnamon. Add zucchini and banana and stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, egg and vanilla. Add milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined (do not over mix)

Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, Let muffins cool completely in a pan on a wire rack, about 30 minutes. Store in an air- tight container, up to 3 days.

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  • August 21, 2011

    I love the adorable image of little Cooper hiding behind the couch eating his muffin! I am totally going to make these and put chocolate chips in them. Unfortunately I live in a stupid country where actual cooking spray doesn't exist. But I guess I can use paper things. Sigh.

  • August 22, 2011

    Ok, I've just been at Joy's and I had a plan for my ripe bananas. Then I've arrived here and now I have a dilemma.

  • Panya
    August 22, 2011

    FYI, courgette/zucchini is a fruit too. It's the swollen ovary of the female courgette/zucchini flower. So botanically, an immature fruit. All squash are.

    I've made something similar to this before, adding pumpkin puree [another fruit!] and some pie spices...YUM.

    • August 22, 2011

      Ohhhhhhh. Wooops.

      • August 24, 2011

        I read somewhere that there's the technical/botanical distinction for fruit vs. vegetable (the one everyone references being tomatoes, of course), and then the distinction in the culinary world, based on our tastes and how we use the fruit/vegetable. Generally sweet ones would be fruit, generally savoury dishes use vegetables.
        Let's assume that zucchinis are more often used in savoury dishes.. then you can call it a vegetable and be kind of right!

  • August 22, 2011

    I saw this recipe in the magazine and wanted to try it too! looks great!

  • August 22, 2011

    They look so good. You've got a smart kid there!

  • jenny
    August 22, 2011

    it's actually a good thing that I don't have ground flaxseed right now. because otherwise I would be upending my entire workday to make these. (the joys--and pitfalls--of working from home!) guess I'll be making them tonight instead. :)

    • jenny
      August 23, 2011

      so I made them! and they were even more delicious than I had imagined! the only problem is that I don't have a husband or a kid to help me eat them...which could make for some trouble. :)

  • August 22, 2011

    these look fantastic! i will be making them for my husband and my grandpa. i am going to sub almond milk and split the flour between wheat and brown rice flour and see how they turn out. thanks for sharing this!

  • BlushingB
    August 22, 2011

    Zucchini muffins....with banana! I think my world has just changed! I love them both but together, this might start my own snacking behind a couch habit!

  • August 22, 2011

    Behind the couch eating...Copper sounds like my kinda kid!
    These sound awesome and I love that they have banana AND zuchinni!

  • August 22, 2011

    Score! I bought zucchini on a whim at the store over the weekend, so I have everything I need to make these muffins! And I'm gonna! Is it sad that I can also envision my husband crouching behind our couch, sneaking an extra muffin? He's been known to hide his piggish behavior from me. I count my baked goods to keep tabs on him. No joke. But we would both love these! Can't wait to try them! :)

    And I can't believe Cooper is in preschool! What are you going to do with all your time? More podcasts! ;)

    • August 22, 2011

      Oh man, I wish!! I'm at work while he's at preschool so I don't have any extra time (yet!). Also, good idea counting your baked goods. It's important to keep tabs on them!!

  • August 22, 2011

    These look so healthy and yummy. Thanks!

  • August 22, 2011

    Wow, what scrumptious looking healthy muffins!

  • August 22, 2011

    mmmm look at all the good stuff in those muffins! Preshoolers and adults alike should love these!

  • leah
    August 22, 2011

    Oh yes!! Totally making these as soon as possible, I don't have much to bring for snacks at work and these look perfect!!

  • Sydney B.
    August 22, 2011

    Here's my dilemma. I don't have flaxseed, but I must have these muffins now. Or at least in the hour or so it takes to bake them. What could I substitute? Could I just leave it out altogether?

    • August 22, 2011

      oooh! do you have any nuts? you could grind some up and make a "flour" with them. How does that sound? Or you could probably sub extra flour or whole wheat flour for the recipe.

  • August 22, 2011

    I wish I had a ripe banana at home, oh and a zucchini, and some flaxseed!! Guess I need to go to the store, cause I need these asap!
    Thanks Tracy, they look amazing!

  • August 22, 2011

    i know that's SALTED butter all up on your muffin!

  • August 22, 2011

    I just made these muffins and they were amazing. So so moist and delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  • August 22, 2011

    I love those a-bit-weird-looking muffins... and the combination of zucchini and banana looks pretty weird to me! :))
    And in addition I absolutely love zucchini, so, there isn't anything what could stop me now! I must try it.

  • August 23, 2011

    These look so good!

  • leslie
    August 23, 2011

    Making these RIGHT NOW! Did you strain your zucchini or plop it in, juice and all?

    • August 23, 2011

      No straining! Just plop it right in!

  • August 23, 2011

    A pre-schooler willfully eating healthy muffins?! You.are.a.superhero.

    • August 23, 2011

      haha! now if i could get him to eat broccoli....or eggs or cheese....

  • katherine
    August 23, 2011

    can you use almond milk instead of whole?

  • Sydney B.
    August 23, 2011

    I made them with whole what flour instead of flaxseed and they taste great, but they didn't puff. I don't know if the flour had anything to do with it, but I don't mind. I will have no problem finishing off this batch!

    • August 23, 2011

      It might be your baking powder or baking soda? Also it could be that flaxseed bulks up and expands. I'm glad they still tasted great! YAY!

  • August 24, 2011

    Zucchini AND flaxseed? Absolute winner, these look fantastic can't wait to make these!

  • August 24, 2011

    Awesome! Toddler to feed + old bananas + free time tonight after bedtime = this recipe! I might throw some chocolate chips in a batch just for me!

    @Sydney- Awesome about the whole wheat flour! That'll save me a trip to the grocery store for flax.

    • August 25, 2011

      Okay, I made these last night. And they saved me from a terribly undercooked and oversalted paella. The man, the tot, and I enjoyed these over breakfast this morning. Thanks Tracy!

  • August 24, 2011

    These are amazing! They taste so buttery and delicious, yet there's no butter in them. I think I might end up being the one hiding behind the couch eating them!

  • Linda
    August 24, 2011

    I am on day one of a two-day trip, driving my youngest son to his sophomore year of college. His next older brother is going to be a senior, leaving at the end of the week. The oldest is getting married next month. And you totally put me back in time to their preschool days... The soph still requests my baked goods to be mailed from home in care packages. Will be adding these to my repertoire.

    • August 25, 2011

      How exciting!! It's a big week for you all! It's crazy how time passes....but baked goods never get old.

  • August 25, 2011

    We all love butter. It's God's Gold, isn't it?
    And I love the idea of zucchini and banana alltogether.
    I'll try these muffins as soon as the heat calms down.
    I can't wait to turn my oven on again.

  • Natalie
    August 25, 2011

    Just made them with coconut milk. They're delicious and taste even better when topped with almond butter and/or jam. Thanks for the post!

  • Lauren
    August 25, 2011

    Making this recipe as a loaf instead of muffins as I type. Oven smells awesome. Can't wait to share this with my family.

  • Kayla
    August 25, 2011

    These are so good! I saw your recipe right after seeing Joy the Baker's banana bread with whole wheat and millet, so I combined the two. Used whole wheat flour with your recipe and added millet. Lots of goodness in those muffins!

  • August 27, 2011

    Made this this morning but put 1/4 cup too much milk in. They were super moist and fortunately the deliciousness was not sacrificed by my blunder. Thanks for the recipe!
    -OH- and the mashing a banana in its skin idea is great!!

  • August 30, 2011

    I just made these. They turned out super well! I baked them in a silicon pan-first time, and I liked it. I also added chocolate chips and a dash or two of cardamom. So good!

  • Sydney
    September 17, 2011

    Just made these. Delicious! Thanks for the healthy muffin recipe. I look forward to more!

  • October 24, 2011

    I've been making these - I heart Everyday Food! One thing I loved is that I think mine turned out looking better than the picture in the magazine, I think yours did too. ;)

    • October 25, 2011

      haha! that's pretty cool.

  • Kim Rust
    April 2, 2012

    Just made these today, and Quinn gobbled his down at snacktime. I also gobbled a couple down and so did my husband. YUM! I made them into mini muffins, so I can justify eating more of them, heehee!

  • Jenn
    June 9, 2012

    These are great little muffins! I made them this morning. They are now a new favorite (: Thanks for the recipe!

  • Lianna
    September 1, 2012

    I make these muffins at least a couple of times a month- but I sub all banana instead of the zucchini (which I don't always have on hand). My husband LOVES them, and they turn out perfectly fluffy every time! :)

  • March 7, 2013

    My coworker made these with ground oatmeal instead of flour and they turned out great! A great way to adapt for gluten free! Delish!

  • Mia
    March 10, 2013

    I have made these muffins about 3 times now - they have become a lunchbox staple for my 2 kids. I don't have flaxseed, so randomly substituted some bran flakes and chia seed, and they turn out fab each time! Thanks :)

    • Tracy
      March 10, 2013

      Oh nice! I'm gonna have to try it with chia as I am obsessed with it currently.

  • August 7, 2013

    Made 18 of these healthy babies and while I was in the bathroom putting away laundry, my 3-year old puppy ate 12 of them! Luckily, I caught her and we got to enjoy the last six :) they were amazing!!!

    • Tracy
      August 7, 2013

      rut roh!

  • Nancy
    February 21, 2014

    I love this recipe! I use whole wheat floor and made it sugar less by using dates... I kids ate them all in one night! Thanks for sharing.

    • Katrina
      May 27, 2014

      This recipe is awesome. I also used whole wheat flour and dates and added walnut pieces to the top.

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