Veggie muffins with no added sugar, no added fat, entirely whole grain, lots of healthy veggies , a good source of calcium and vitamin A – get ready to bake!!
These savory vegetable muffins are a perfect way to get more vegetables into your day. Loaded with healthy veggies and full of flavor, these are a great option for picky eaters or anybody who isn’t too keen on eating their vegetables. These muffins make a great healthy snack, lunch, breakfast, or side.
But a warning – these are SAVORY muffins – do not think sweet. (If you want a “sweet” one with no added sugar, try this one.) And the texture is not a light as a muffin that contains a cup of sugar per recipe. Sugar both gives flavor and the texture that many of us think of in baked goods.
These muffins tend to be on the wet side because of all the vegetables they contain. Several of the instructions for these muffins are to minimize the amount of liquid in these muffins. Don’t change these or your muffins will not come out of the muffin pan or will be too squishy.
For dairy free muffins, we used a variety of different dairy free yogurts and milk. All worked wonderfully. But the worst failure I had was using dairy free cream cheese in place of the yogurt. I think because it was missing the acidity from the yogurt. After baking one muffin, I tried to doctor it up with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and additional leavening, but it was a flop. Don’t use dairy free cream cheese in the recipe. (However Rebekah really likes cream cheese ON the muffins!😊)
The original Savory Vegetable Muffins call for cheese. We did different things, and they both worked. Rebekah used a dairy free cheese inside her muffins. It was yummy. (Her experience told her not to attempt to put the cheese on top of the muffins, but you can try if you desire.) Cindy did not use cheese in her dairy free muffins and it was surprisingly fine. If you have it, use it. If you do not have it, feel free to leave it out.
The first time you bake these I suggest you start with a regular sized batch. It will help you get the hang of these muffins and determine if your family likes more or less spice. I have found that it is easier to prepare two batches worth of veggies at a time, since a medium sized zucchini is about 8 ounces. You can leave the extra shredded veggies in your fridge for a couple of days to bake more so you can have plenty for your freezer.
Shred your veggies first. You can use any combination of shreddable veggies. We have successfully used carrots, zucchini, eggplant, beets. Zucchini has been a staple in these muffins for at least part of the veggies. Use at least two veggies. A food processor makes the shredding faster, but you then have to wash it. I found it more efficient to shred the vegetables by hand using a box grater.
When your vegetables are shredded, place them on a double layer of paper towels. Because of the amount of moisture in zucchini, I put the zucchini in one double layer of paper towels and the other veggies in another if I am doubling the shredded veggies (which I always do!) As you prepare your other ingredients, the shredded vegetables will lose moisture. Squeeze as much liquid as you can out of them before adding the vegetables to the batter. If you prepare your veggies earlier in the day (store in the fridge) or even the day before, you will not need to squeeze out any moisture!
Mince your garlic and shallot. Wash your fresh herbs if you are using them. Mince.
If you desire you can sautéing the vegetables. This step is optional, but it adds flavor to the muffins. (Rebekah sautés, Cindy was lazy and did not – until once she sautéed the shallots and garlic. It was so much better, she now recommends sautéing at least just these two!) If you have sautéed, let the veggies cool and squeeze out any excess moisture before adding to the batter.
Put your dry ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. After whisking you can add your garlic and whisk to be sure the garlic does not clump together (If you have not sauteed it!). I also add my fresh herbs now.
Combine the yogurt and milk. I find it easier to add the milk slowly so the yogurt does not clump. Add egg and mix.
Add the dry ingredients all at once and stir. The batter will be stiff. That is good because as the vegetables cook they will release liquid.
Add the vegetables and mix well.
To use liners or not??
Use a muffin scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop the batter into nine muffin tins sprayed well with cooking spray. Because of the wetness of these muffins, we do not recommend using liners. This is because more moisture escapes and you have better muffin texture if you do not use liners. You can also use another method to grease your muffin tins.
Bake the muffins at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Rotate the muffins front to back and return to the oven for about 7-8 minutes. If you have an instant read thermometer, your muffins need to be over 200 degrees in the middle. If you undercook your muffins, they are impossible to remove from the tins. Or if you have used liners and they come out of the pan, the centers are too wet. You can also use a toothpick to check for doneness. The baking time seems like a long time, but you are also cooking the vegetables.
I strongly suggest you bake one or two muffins the first time to check the cooking time in your oven. You will need to wait until these test muffins cool to judge their texture though – this will take you awhile, but it will save the rest of your muffins from being under or over cooked. Because of the large amount of vegetables in the recipe, it can be hard to tell when they are done. They will lose moisture as they cool, so let them cool completely before eating.
Dairy free – These muffins can easily be made dairy free. Use a dairy free yogurt. Click here for the dairy free recipe and notes.
Gluten free – I used King Arthur Baking Company’s Measure for Measure flour and they came out perfectly! They rose better than my 100% white whole wheat version. Everyone who tasted them enjoyed them.
Egg free – Flax eggs work in this recipe with a tweak. Because the eggs give structure but we do not want to add more liquid, decreasing the water that is added to the ground flax seed to 2 tablespoons works best. Click here for the egg free version.
Using different vegetables – Go for it! Let us know what you try!! We experimented with carrots, zucchini, eggplant, beets and sweet potatoes. Just use at least 2 veggies (8 ounces of each). We suggest using half zucchini for your vegetables.
Using different spices – Cinnamon and ginger were staples in this recipe. We have tried nutmeg and cloves. I want to try crystallized ginger! Start with the spices you think your family will enjoy.
Add oatmeal for scones – These muffins tend to be on the wet side because of all the vegetables they contain. If you think your family would like scones better, it is an easy modification. Just adding oatmeal to the mixture absorbs that extra moisture so that the dough can be patted into a traditional scone shape and baked.
I’ll be honest – these are not as good as my favorite sweet potato zucchini bread. But they also do not contain the 2 cups of sugar that recipe does. For our road trip yesterday I ate two with cheese and fruit for lunch. It was a perfect travel food and the dietitian part of my brain was happy too!
Savory Vegetable Muffins Without Dairy
- food processor or box grater
- 4 ounces zucchini, shredded *
- 4 ounces carrot, shredded *
- 1 small shallot or about 1/4 cup onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup whole wheat flour **
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon chili powder ***
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin ***
- ½ teaspoon black pepper ***
- ¼ teaspoon paprika optional
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary or thyme optional
- ¼ cup non dairy milk
- ¼ cup plain non-dairy yogurt Greek preferred
- 2 eggs ****
- 1½ cups shredded non dairy cheese, divided optional
- Shred the vegetables using a box grater or food processor. You should have 2 cups veggies.
- Place the shredded vegetables on two strong paper towels. Wrap the vegetables and let the moisture drain out while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Mince the shallots (onions) and garlic. Mince fresh herbs if using.
- Saute the shallots and garlic in a small pan in a half teaspoon of oil for about 5 minutes until transluscent. Cool. (This step is optional but improves the flavor if you are not fond of strong onions & garlic.)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Measure the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices into a small bowl. Mix well.
- Place the non dariy yogurt in a large bowl. Slowly add non dairy milk, beginning with a tablespoon at a time so the yogurt does not clump.
- Add eggs and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Add the dry ingredients in one batch. Stir well. The batter should be quite thick / stiff.
- Squeeze the shredded vegetables to remove any excess moisture. Add the shredded vegetables to the batter. The batter should loosen up a bit.
- Add 1 cup shredded cheese (if you are using non dairy cheese) and mix.
- Use a muffin scoop (¼ cup or 4 ounce size) or ¼ cup measuring cup to place the muffins batter into 9 tins.
- Bake the muffins at 350° for 15 minutes.
- Remove muffins from the oven and sprinkle each one with non dairy shredded cheese (if using).
- Return to the oven for 15 minutes.
- Use a thermometer to test for doneness. Your muffins should be at least 200° in the middle. If you do not have a thermometer, I recommend baking one muffins first. Let cool and see if the muffin is done in the middle and the vegetables are cooked. *****
- Cool for two minutes in the pan before removing to a rack to finish cooling.
- When the muffins are cool, store in the freezer.
- * Use a variety of vegetables: we have also used beets, eggplant. You will have 3-4 cups shredded vegetables.
- ** For the gluten free version click here.
- *** About half of our testers preferred muffins with less spice. For muffins with less spice use 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (omit the cumin)
- **** For the egg free version click here
- ***** A toothpick does not work well to check for doneness because the melted cheese on top keeps all the crumbs inside the muffin so you cannot tell if they are done.