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.

  • Jessica Ann

    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.

  • Irma

    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

    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.

    • Tracy

      Ohhhhhhh. Wooops.

      • Shauna

        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!

  • sherri lynn

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

  • At Anna's kitchen table

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

  • jenny

    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

      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. 🙂

  • rebecca s.

    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

    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!

  • cindy

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

  • Julie @BananasforBourbon

    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! 😉

    • Tracy

      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!!

  • Katrina

    These look so healthy and yummy. Thanks!

  • kristine@SugarBeams

    Wow, what scrumptious looking healthy muffins!

  • Rachel

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

  • leah

    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.

    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?

    • Tracy

      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.

  • Jen of My Tiny Oven

    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!

  • Robyn {Planet Byn}

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

  • Katy

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

  • Blanka

    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.

  • leslie

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

  • Julie

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

  • katherine

    can you use almond milk instead of whole?

  • Sydney B.

    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!

    • Tracy

      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!

  • kristine@SugarBeams

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

  • Mollie

    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.

    • Mollie

      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!

  • Shauna

    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

    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.

    • Tracy

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

  • Lucia

    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

    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

    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

    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!

  • Anna

    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!!

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  • Kate M.

    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

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

  • Kelsey

    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. 😉

  • Kim Rust

    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!

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  • Jenn

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

  • Lianna

    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! 🙂

  • Kristen

    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

    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

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

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  • Abigael Long

    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!!!

  • Nancy

    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

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

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