Superfood Muffins | Easy To Customize

Superfood Muffins | Easy To Customize

Make these superfood muffins, packed with vegetables and gluten free oats, and get your family to eat right the easy way. They’re endlessly customizable, too, so substitutions are welcome!

Superfood muffins with the wrapper pulled away and a bite taken, showing the tender inside.

Think of these superfood muffins, made as written, as a heartier, healthier, more nutrient-dense version of our gluten free carrot cake cupcakes. They were given that high praise (minus the part about celebrating their health benefits) by my vegetable-hating oldest child.

These muffins still have honey, and yes, sugar is sugar. But honey at least has some nutrients, and there simply isn’t that much in this recipe.

The most time-consuming task in this whole recipe is grating the carrots and the zucchini. Grate them one after the other, without cleaning the grater.

You can use pre-shredded carrots (I buy those for ramen soup because I can be lazy and I’m not sorry). They have a bit less moisture, but these muffins don’t seem to mind one bit.

Superfood muffins on wire rack, cooling after being baked until tender.

How to make superfood muffins when the cupboards are nearly bare

The “ingredients and substitutions” section below covers how to replace ingredients if you or someone you’re baking for has additional food allergies and intolerances. It will help you replace eggs, dairy, oats, almond flour, and honey.

Please keep in mind that, with every substitution, you are moving farther away from the original recipe, and I simply cannot promise results. But especially with many of us hunkering down at home these days, I’ve tested this recipe with some pantry-style swaps and it’s somehow extra adaptable.

I’ve replaced the shredded zucchini with (get this) peeled and shredded white potatoes (I used russet, but I doubt it matters that much). The result was a bit heavier, but still delicious.

I think you could replace the shredded zucchini with peeled, cored, and shredded apple. If you can, use an apple with a nice firm flesh, like a green apple.

I think you might even be able to replace the shredded carrots with peeled and shredded sweet potatoes. I would not replace both the zucchini and the carrots at the same time, though. At least not both with different forms of potato!

Instead of chocolate chips, use whatever combination of chopped nuts you love. Walnuts are a nice soft nut, but my family is categorically against nuts in muffins. And chocolate chips win people (children) over.

Superfood muffins raw in the wells of a muffin tin, ready to be baked.

(More) Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy: The only dairy in this recipe is 6 tablespoons (84 g) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled. Since this recipe is so adaptable, I think Earth Balance buttery sticks would work as a butter substitute. Just eliminate the salt in the recipe, since Earth Balance is very salty.

I would not replace the butter with oil, since I really do not like to bake with oil in a recipe with almond flour. The results are almost always greasy and unpleasant.

Eggs: There are 3 whole eggs in this recipe, so it’s quite difficult to replace them with an effective substitute. You can try using 3 “chia eggs” (each 1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel), but I’m not certain how well that would work. I’m afraid you’ll have to experiment.

Oats: First, certified gluten free oats are appropriate on a gluten free diet. I’ve even seen a new brand for sale in Australia, which famously had none until now.

However, some people still can’t have them or don’t feel comfortable eating them. Since we discovered that oats can be replaced in gluten free baking, I feel confident that you can replace them in this and any other baking recipe.

If you think you need to replace the oat flour because you have oats but not oat flour, I never buy anything more processed than rolled oats. I just grind old fashioned oats in a blender until they’re a fine powder. In this recipe, the oat flour can be replaced with quinoa flakes.

The old-fashioned rolled oats can be replaced with beaten rice. For a more complete discussion of how to replace oats in baking, please click here to learn how oats can be replaced in gluten free baking.

Honey: In place of honey, you can use pure maple syrup. I prefer honey, though, since it’s thicker so it makes for a slighter tighter batter. Plus, it’s way (way) cheaper than pure maple syrup.

Almond flour: You can almost certainly replace the almond flour in this recipe with cashew flour. A nut-free replacement is a bigger deal, for sure, and you might be better off using our recipe for gluten free morning glory muffins instead.

Chocolate chips: Please see the discussion above about using other mix-ins. But if you want buy-in from children, use the chips!

Superfood muffins, just baked in muffin tin with crispy edges and soft and tender crumb.

Make these superfood muffins, packed with vegetables and gluten free oats, and get your family to eat right the easy way.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 muffins


1 cup (120 g) finely ground almond flour

1 cup (120 g) oat flour (certified gluten free if necessary)

1 cup (100 g) old-fashioned oats (certified gluten free if necessary)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/4 cups (135 g) grated zucchini (from 1 small to medium zucchini)

1 cup (90 g) grated carrot (from 1 large, peeled carrot)

3 eggs (150 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, melted 
and cooled

1/2 cup (168 g) honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease or line a 12-cup standard muffin tin and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the almond flour, oat flour, oats, ground cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the grated carrots, and mix to combine, then the grated zucchini, and mix to combine. Separate any vegetables clumped together, then create a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, butter, honey, and vanilla, and mix to combine. The batter should be thick but soft. Add most of the chocolate chips (reserving a few for the muffin tops) and mix until the chips are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

  • Scoop the batter into the prepared wells of the muffin tin, filling each all the way to the top. Shake the tin back and forth to distribute the batter evenly in each well. Top the batter in each well with the remaining chocolate chips.

  • Place the muffin tin in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 22 minutes, or until a muffin in the center springs back when pressed very gently in the center. Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Adapted from a combination of our Morning Glory Muffins and Run Fast Eat Slow’s Superhero Muffins.


Comments are closed.

  • Amanda
    August 5, 2020 at 5:39 PM

    I just wanted to come here to say I’m now making my 4th batch of these muffins (we make them as the recipe is) and they are just the best. My kids aren’t huge fans (weird toddlers don’t like muffins) but my husband and I don’t mind because we easily eat the whole dozen in a week or two. They freeze wonderfully. Thank you for such a delicious recipe (and a great way to use the oodles of zucchini we keep getting in our local veggie delivery box) . I’ve been a longtime follower and this (along with the Shepard’s pie from your early cookbook) are easily some of my favourite recipes!

  • C. Rom
    July 1, 2020 at 12:57 AM

    How many calories in each one?

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 1, 2020 at 9:33 AM

      I don’t have that information, C. Rom. Feel free to plug the ingredients into an online nutrition calculator. I like sparkpeople.

  • Kate
    March 24, 2020 at 2:11 PM

    OMG yes! These were my second ever gf confection and I’m so happy with them! They were delicious warm from the oven, at room temp. the next day, and still amazing straight out of the freezer! I love the super dense and moist texture of these muffins. I was concerned they wouldn’t be sweet enough, but they were completely fine.

  • Jean
    March 23, 2020 at 1:21 PM

    I was just noticing that you always provide gram weights with your ingredients which is great but when you get to chocolate chips in your recipe you switch to ounces. So is 4 oz about 120 g and/or is that 1/2 cup? Thanks!

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 23, 2020 at 1:44 PM

      Hi, Jean, 1 ounce is 28 grams. Both ounces and grams are weight measurements. I think you may be confusing ounces with fluid ounces, since 8 fluid ounces make 1 cup in volume. But 4 weighted ounces may or may not be 1 cup, depending upon the density of the ingredient.

  • Anna
    March 22, 2020 at 9:00 PM

    Hello. I checked the substitution list and have a question. Would it be possible to substitute the butter with apple sauce?

    Thank you!

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 23, 2020 at 9:00 AM

      Hi, Anna, no, I’m afraid definitely not!

  • Lindsey
    March 22, 2020 at 2:50 PM

    Can I add blue berries to it? Or would that produce too much liquid ? Excited to try these :-) Thanks!

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 22, 2020 at 3:10 PM

      Dried fruit or nuts in place of the chocolate chips would be great, Lindsey. As you guessed, I don’t recommend any fresh or frozen fruit.

  • GF Mum
    March 19, 2020 at 5:14 PM

    Even my pickiest eater thought these were delicious! I substituted apple for zucchini, as that was what I had on hand. Worked out beautifully.

  • Monica
    March 19, 2020 at 1:51 PM

    They were DELISH! I added nuts… it’s almost a sin to not have nuts in muffin!!
    Thank you

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 19, 2020 at 2:52 PM

      And my family thinks nuts in a muffin are a sacrilege, Monica! That’s the best part about baking in your own kitchen. You call the shots. ?

  • colleen diiulio
    March 19, 2020 at 11:20 AM

    has anyone tried to make this in a loaf pan instead of individual muffins? will that work?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 19, 2020 at 2:53 PM

      I really don’t recommend that, Colleen, since baking in a loaf pan is much different than baking in the wells of a muffin tin. The recipes often require a different balance of ingredients to bake all the way through in a loaf pan without overcooking on the outside. I do have many quickbread recipes that are baked in loaf pans, though. Have a look at those!

  • Bhavana Lymworth
    March 16, 2020 at 1:19 AM

    Excited to try this recipe–already have all ingredients! They look so good!

  • Amanda
    March 15, 2020 at 6:47 PM

    These were delicious! Even my kids are them up and they are usually skeptical of my baking.

    I used Apple instead of zucchini and it worked beautifully. This swap also allowed me to reduce the honey by half. Just right for my palette.

    Thank you for another winning recipe, Nicole!

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 15, 2020 at 7:17 PM

      Cheers to a super-adaptive recipe, Amanda! So glad you and your family enjoyed them.

  • Caitlin
    March 15, 2020 at 3:51 PM

    We are new to GF but old to DF/EF. I noticed all of your recipes (I have read so far) call for chia egg as a substitute. Would flax egg or another egg sub work as well or does it need to specifically be chia eggs? I don’t prefer them because we find chia causes us to feel bloating.

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 15, 2020 at 3:55 PM

      Hi, Caitlin, I do generally recommend a “chia egg” instead of a “flax egg” because, in my experience, if you are going to use a flax egg you really need to boil the flax seeds and go through the whole business of separating the gel from the remaining seeds, etc. Just soaking flax seeds or ground flax and using it raw means you’re using raw flax, which has a pronounced flavor. If you’re willing to do the real deal flax eggs, that is definitely preferable!

  • Caroline
    March 15, 2020 at 11:47 AM

    Meant to add: they didn’t hold together super well but I wasn’t sure if that’s because we didn’t let them cool long enough before eating.

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 15, 2020 at 11:57 AM

      Yes, Caroline, you absolutely must let them cool before breaking into them.

  • Caroline
    March 15, 2020 at 11:42 AM

    My toddler and I made these today. They are really good! Perfect amount of sweetness. The oats and veggies make for an interesting texture, but we plan to add these to our regular rotation of muffin recipes. Thanks, Nicole!

  • Connie
    March 15, 2020 at 11:00 AM

    Do you need to get any of the moisture out of the zucchini before you add it?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 15, 2020 at 11:21 AM

      Usually yes, Connie, I do recommend that in my zucchini-containing baked good recipes. But this magic recipe is so adaptable that it can accommodate varying moisture levels so the recipe doesn’t call for it—and even relies upon some of that moisture so please don’t! ?

  • Kitt
    March 14, 2020 at 11:50 PM

    I was looking at your wonderful lemon bread recipe. It says you prefer coconut oil, but I am not a fan of the flavor of coconut in baking recipes. Does the oil add coconut flavor? What would be your second best recommendation?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 15, 2020 at 9:22 AM

      Hi, Kitt, most virgin coconut oil today is “triple filtered” and has absolutely no coconut flavor or aroma. Even other virgin coconut oil has no real discernible coconut flavor or aroma.

  • Avery
    March 14, 2020 at 5:26 PM

    Just made these – they smell amazing! They could definitely use more sweetness, they are right on the far end of low sweetness. They are still really good but without the chocolate chips they would need more sweetner. I would recommend using a fine grater.

  • Stacy
    March 14, 2020 at 11:04 AM

    What about another vegetable instead of zucchini?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 14, 2020 at 11:21 AM

      As I explained in the post, Stacy, I’ve tested it with peeled and grated potato instead of zucchini. Have a look!

  • Allie
    March 14, 2020 at 7:14 AM

    Would these freeze well?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 14, 2020 at 10:24 AM

      Yes, they freeze amazingly well, Allie! I have multiple batches in the freezer right now in sealed containers, and my children defrost in the microwave on busy school mornings as needed. Works great.

  • Frances
    March 13, 2020 at 2:51 PM

    Can you leave out the chocolate chips?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 13, 2020 at 3:12 PM

      Hi, Frances, have a look at the ingredients and substitutions section, and the rest of the post text, but you can certainly replace them with chopped nuts or some other favorite mix-in!

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