So Good Chocolate Protein Muffins (with Veggies!)


These flourless Chocolate Protein Muffins pack in the nutrients but taste like a brownie. They are quickly mixed up in a blender and have so many nutrients tucked inside. Plus: They store so well in the fridge!

healthy chocolate muffins cooling on wire rack

Chocolate Protein Muffins

Muffins are one of those foods that we like to have in the house for easy breakfasts and snacks since they store so well in the fridge and are so easy to eat. These protein muffins taste like a moist brownie but have a load of nutrition inside…including veggies!

Honestly, you’d never know they were in there, but it’s nice to get in a little extra nutrition, right?

I don’t advocate sneaking veggies into everything we serve our kids—we want (and need!) our kids to trust us with the food we feed them—so I love making these with my kids and having them help me add the ingredients.

The zucchini, kale, and ripe banana adds moisture and flavor. The cocoa powder makes each bite super chocolatey, which my little taste testers think they is super yummy.

I love these healthy chocolate muffins since they are packed with protein and healthy fats, which means they provide nicely balanced and long-lasting energy for our busy little people. Plus, the texture is super soft and moist, which makes them easy for younger toddlers to chew and swallow.

Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe you’ll need the following ingredients so you know what to have on hand or pick up at the store.

ingredients-in-chocolate-protein-muffins
  • Peanut butter: This provides the base for the muffins. I usually use unsweetened creamy peanut butter. You can use sunflower seed butter to make them nut-free as you like.
  • Eggs: I use large eggs in baking, and in this recipe they help the ingredients hold together nicely, which is key since there isn’t any flour.
  • Honey (or maple syrup): This is my preferred sweetener here. Avoid honey for kids under age 1.
  • Raw zucchini (or yellow summer squash): This veggie is great in the mix since it blends in so well. If you don’t have any, just double the banana.
  • Kale (or spinach): I prefer to use greens I’ve frozen to knock down the “green” flavor, but fresh ones will work, too.
  • Ripe banana: Use bananas with brown spots for the best sweetness and flavor.
  • Cocoa powder: I use unsweetened cocoa powder and usually buy SACO or Hershey’s Special Dark.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the process involved in making this recipe so you know what to expect. Scroll to the bottom for all of the info.

how to make chocolate protein muffins in grid of four.
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender.
  2. Blend, stopping to scrape down the sides or move the mixture around with the stick that came with it (if you got one).
  3. Divide batter in a greased muffin tin. Top with chocolate chips if using.
  4. Bake and test for doneness with toothpick or cake tester. Let cool.

Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to get them out of the pan.

chocolate protein muffins in pan

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need protein powder for these?

Our kids are usually getting plenty of protein without us worrying too much about it, but it is an essential nutrient for balanced energy. Each regularly sized muffin has 7 grams of protein which is a nice dose!

Can I make this recipe without a blender?

You can use a food processor though definitely let it process for at least a minute to try to get the greens fully blended. A blender usually makes a more uniform texture, which is why I use it here.

Can I make these muffins mini?

You can bake these as full size muffins or minis, depending on your preference. And this batter also works in a donut pan should you want to go that route. It’s nice that it’s so versatile so you can adjust for the appetites in your household.

What’s the texture like in chocolate muffins?

I’m always amazed at the texture of these muffins, which is light and moist. I tend to like the flavor better when these are served chilled, but taste them both ways and see what you think.

how to clean a blender step by step

What’s the best way to clean a blender?

This batter is a little sticky due to the volume of nut butter, so here’s the best way to clean your blender.

  1. Fill the blender 1/2-¾ full of warm to hot water. Add a squirt of dish soap.
  2. Put the top on securely and blend, starting on low and working up to high. Keep going until the sides of the blender are clean. (Any stuck-on batter will come off from the friction of the water!)
  3. Rinse out.
chocolate-protein-muffins-on-napkin

How to Store

Store for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge or in a sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.

Best Tips for Success

  • Use a very ripe banana with brown spots for the best natural sweetness.
  • If your peanut butter has been in the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for an hour before using OR warm for 15 seconds in the microwave.
  • Spray your measuring cup with nonstick spray before measuring the honey to make it easier to pour out.
  • Stir a handful of chocolate chips into the batter to make it slightly sweeter.
  • Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to get them out of the pan.
  • I find that these taste best with greens that have been frozen and once the muffins have been fully cooled (and even chilled in the fridge for a bit!).
  • Dice the muffin for little ones as needed.

Related Recipes

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe, so please comment below to share!

healthy chocolate muffins cooling on wire rack
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a mini or standard-size muffin tin with nonstick spray or line with paper liners.

  • Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender and/or using the stick that came with it to move the ingredients around if needed.

  • Fill muffin cups about ½ full using about ¼ cup batter in each. Top with chocolate chips, if using.

  • For regular muffins: Bake 20-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

  • For mini muffins (or a donut pan): Bake 12-14 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

  • Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, run a knife around the edges, and carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  • Store for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge or in a sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • We prefer to eat these cold.
  • Use a very ripe banana with brown spots for the best natural sweetness.
  • Nut-free: Use sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter.
  • Egg-free: Use a liquid egg substitute such as Just Eggs.
  • If your peanut butter has been in the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for an hour before using OR warm for 15 seconds in the microwave.
  • Spray your measuring cup with nonstick spray before measuring the honey to make it easier to pour out.
  • Stir a handful of chocolate chips into the batter to make it slightly sweeter.
  • Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to get them out of the pan.
  • I find that these taste best with greens that have been frozen and once the muffins have been fully cooled (and even chilled in the fridge for a bit!).

Serving: 1muffin, Calories: 190kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 153mg, Potassium: 291mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 563IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 50mg, Iron: 1mg

This post was originally published June 2019.



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