Zucchini Walnut Spice Muffins (Low Carb and Gluten Free)


At this time of year, you see a lot of zucchini recipes. People with gardens are over-run with zucchini and eager to use them up. They start putting zucchini in everything from soup to cake in a desperate attempt to keep up the the over-productive plants, and many gardeners come to resent the lowly squash. That’s what they say, anyway – I wouldn’t know. You want to know how much zucchini we got out of our garden this year? One. One single zucchini. We planted 6 plants and we got one single zucchini. I don’t know if it’s because our soil is too sandy, or they weren’t getting enough sunlight. Or it may be that the volunteer pumpkin plant that sprung out of the compost we spread on the soil in early spring has now taken over the entire garden and sucked up all the nutrients in its quest for life. Whatever it is, we are decidedly not among the gardeners over-run with zucchini.

I have to confess, I am more than a little disappointed. I love zucchini and it is an ideal vegetable for diabetics, being low in carbs but packed with nutrients. I’ve been buying some every week at the farmer’s market from the moment in came in season. My husband and I enjoy it in many dishes, in stir-fries and soups, and I love sauteing it in some coconut oil for an easy side dish. I can’t really get my kids to eat it unless I bake it into muffins and cakes, but it’s wonderful that way too. It lends moistness to all sorts of baked goods, and it certainly ups the health quotient of these treats.

So, even though I have not been able to harvest much zucchini from my garden, I thought I should offer up a good low carb, gluten free zucchini recipe. It’s that time of year and even though I am not over-run by zucchini, YOU might be, and might be desperate for yet another way to use it. I decided to go for a fairly basic zucchini muffin. Although I have a penchant for jazzing things up with glazes and such, I just wanted a really good, really healthy and really flavourful muffin. A few chopped nuts and some spices are all zucchini muffins really need, in my opinion. And without all the bells and whistles, they are more portable, an important feature for me so that I can have healthy snacks any time I need them.

The Results: I really like these and I am really glad I stayed on the simple side this time. Made with almond flour and whey protein, they are very filling and satisfying and have helped fuel me through some early morning runs. And the lack of glaze or anything fancy meant that I could pop the whole lot in the freezer and just grab and re-heat when I wanted one. My husband is already requesting a second batch be made before zucchini season is over!

Zucchini Walnut Spice Muffins

2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 med-large zucchini)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups almond flour
1/3 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1/3 cup erythritol
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup greek yogurt
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp liquid stevia extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Set shredded zucchini in fine mesh sieve and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Mix thoroughly and let drain for at least one hour. Place in tea towel and squeeze out excess water. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 325F and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, whey protein powder, granulated erythritol, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.

In a large bowl, beat greek yogurt until smooth. Beat in eggs, shredded zucchini, vanilla and stevia until just combined. Beat in almond flour mixture in two additions, alternating with almond milk, and then beat in coconut oil until thoroughly combined.

Stir in walnuts and divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake 28 to 32 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serves 12. Each muffin has 6.3g of carbs and 2.5g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 3.8g.

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  1. Parsley Sage says

    Too bad about your zucchini haul :( Hey man, at least you've got a pumpkin! That's a good trade in my book! Awesome muffins, they sounds super delicious and 'make my kitchen smell heavenly' good. Buzzed

  2. kitchenarian says

    I love zucchini and these muffins look so tasty. I really like baking with almond flour, but I have never tried soy flour. I am anxious to try it in these muffins. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  3. Jen at The Three Little Piglets says

    You poor thing! Only one? I don't grow any – I am a notorious plant killer. I love having friends that grow stuff though, so I always trade for baked goods.

  4. tartedujour says

    Theses muffins looks fabulous…I wish I had one with my coffee this morning. Sorry to hear that your zucchini harvest was not abundant!! Maybe next year!

  5. Pretend Chef says

    I would love to give these muffins a try. I can't wait to try a garden again next year. I don't have a green thumb. Sigh.

  6. Ericka Andersen says

    Wow, I think your header might be the most delicious looking one I've ever seen! I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog. Thanks for stopping by mine yesterday to look at the white chocolate oatmeal cookie bars!

  7. Becky says

    Too bad about your "zucchini crop." You were able to get lovely zucchini at your Farmer's market to make these delicious muffins with all the spices and walnuts. Yum!

  8. Kim Bee says

    I miss having a garden. We had a huge one at our last house. I'll have to put one in here next year. Such a bummer about your crop. You made good use of what you had. These look positively delicious. Hard to believe they're healthy too. Great recipe.

  9. Erin says

    Your plants fared better than mine – I didn't get any! I was very annoyed, I was looking foward to making some good things, I love zucchini! Muffins are one of our favorite treats to make with zucchini – yours look wonderful!

  10. Kim - Liv Life says

    Your comment made my day!!! Thanks so much, Carolyn!! XO

    Unfortunately my zucchini plant was a victim of the June Gloom here in San Diego and it could not recover from the 1 month lack of sun that we had here on the coast. Didn't get a single fruit!
    But no worries, the markets are full of them and I buy them every week. My favorite way is in muffins and breads, but as I'm working on the waistline (Hubby just surprised me with an anniversary trip to Rome in 5 weeks!!!) I've been eating mine simply grilled. Last night was zucchini and asparagus and I was a happy girl!!

  11. RavieNomNoms says

    You have had some really amazing recipes on here lately Carolyn! These are no different…they look absolutely delicious!

  12. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. says

    These muffins look so good, Carolyn. And I've probably said this before, but I love that you post low-carb recipes. I'm on a low glycemic load diet, so I love that you have recipes for baked goods that we can enjoy too!

  13. Carrie {Pure and Yummy} says

    That is a bummer about your zucchini plant, I have to admit I am one that has had a lot of them come out of my garden this year. I planted two plants and they grow faster than I can use them. These muffins look and sound fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Lizzy says

    Oh, I love zucchini bread and muffins, but my source of had a bad crop, too. Your muffins look delish…I will have to see if our farmers' market still has any :)

  15. Cassie @ Bake Your Day says

    This sounds delicious and they look so moist. I love your recipe. Walnuts are a great addition too, well done, Carolyn!

  16. Mary says

    These will be going on my to-do list. I love to visit here . You've created a great spot for your readers to visit and I always enjoy the time I spent here. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  17. Catherine H. says

    I am excited to see this because I love zucchini muffins–I hate zucchini in any other form than baked goods, in fact. I was wondering if coconut, almond, oat, or buckwheat flour would substitute well for the soy flour. I avoid soy like the plague, so I was dismayed to see it in your recipe. I've been so grateful you don't use soy regularly, and I would love to make these mufins, as I have a huge zucchini from my CSA hanging out in my fridge. Do you perchance have any guidance for me?

  18. sweetpeaskitchen.com says

    Oh no…only one zucchini?! That's too bad! These muffins look wonderful…such a great way to use up all of the zucchini we have! :)

  19. Kari says

    I love zucchini in baked goods, but am not such a fan of it on its own. I've never tried growing it either, but I'm sorry your crop didn't provide more edible output! These muffins look like they would have been a noble end for the 1 you did end up with though.

  20. Carolyn says

    Hi Catherine…feel free to replace the soy flour with more almond, or with coconut (but definitely less of it! Probably only about 1/4 cup coconut flour). But be sure to squeeze out your zucchini VERY well, and I'd suggest holding back on the almond milk until you see how the batter comes together. I used soy mostly because I have a package I want to finish off, and I thought the zucchini might make things so moist that I needed something a bit drier than almond flour.
    I REALLY need to get a comment form where i can directly respond to the commenter. I hope you see this!

  21. Nicole @ Bake Me Blush says

    I'm sorry about your zucchini troubles :( There's always next year! Your zucchini muffins look really tasty and satisfying, plus I love those beautiful liners you paired them with in your photo. I really like that these have added protein as I've been trying to get more in lately–these would be great to carry me through to the next meal!

  22. Lauren at Keep It Sweet says

    For some reason I've never done any baking with zucchini but I really should. Your muffins look great, glad they turned out so well!

  23. Jeanette says

    Love how healthy these muffins are – my kids aren't crazy about zucchini either, but disguised in a muffin or quick bread, they would have these for breakfast.

  24. Shulie says

    Low carb and gluten fre, how about that?! Love that you harvested the zucchini from your garden. The muffins look picture perfect!

  25. Cookin' Canuck says

    I'm sorry about your zucchini plants – that can be so frustrating. These muffins sound like the perfect way to use that lone zucchini.

  26. Divya says

    Hi Carolyn!

    It's been a while since I had a chance to drop by. I was on vacation in India for 3 weeks so didn't really have regular access to the net. First of all, I'm LOVING the new website look! When did you change it?

    Love this recipe too. I'm always trying to consume more veggies and this sound like the perfect way to do it :).

  27. Laurie says

    Hi Carolyn, thanks for the great recipe. I made your muffins, only I substituted apples for the zucchini. They came out great! Details and pics here on my blog.

  28. Peggy says

    At least you got something out of your garden! The squirrels practically ate my entire garden – every time I would get excited about sprouting – they'd be gone the next day! Extremely frustrating!

    These muffins sound delicious and the walnuts and spice make them perfect for early fall =)

  29. Roxana GreenGirl says

    So sorry to hear about your zucchini plants. Think positive, at least you have more than I had. My plants were eaten by deers, didn't get a chance to bloom!
    The muffins look great, love the addition of spices!
    Thanks for sharing Carolyn :)

  30. Peepers says

    Making these right now! Yum. Is the net carb count with erithrytol subtracted? Assuming so but just wanted to be sure. Trying with flax meal and coconut flour in place of the soy flour 1/4 c of each. :)


  31. accordingtomaria says

    These muffins sound delicious, and perfect for fall! Plus, I LOVE how healthy they are!

    Do you know if I can sub the stevia extract and erythritol for honey or regular sugar? If so, do you know how much?

    Thanks for your help!

  32. Carolyn says

    Hi Maria! For this recipe, I think 1/2 cup honey or sugar would sweeten it sufficiently. If you use honey, you may need to add a little extra almond flour to make up for the additional liquid!

  33. Nami | Just One Cookbook says

    Oh what a great recipe here… my son loves zucchini and he would eat it in any cooking method, but not my daughter. She'll adore this muffins and I bet she won't know what's in it!!

  34. Carolyn says

    Hi Peepers. Yes my carb counts are already with erythritol subtracted, as I 've found it has no effect on my blood sugar whatsoever.

  35. Catherine H. says

    I finally made these today. My only regret is that I didn't make them sooner! They are absolutely delicious–the best low-carb muffins I've made. I made a triple batch, and I substituted 5 T. Coconut flour for the 1 1/2 c. Soy flour. I also used a half tsp. NuNaturals pure Stevia extract, because I don't use liquid Stevia in my baking. I also accidentally ended up with a little less than the recommended 3/4 c. Coconut oil but it seemed to turn out fine. 28 minutes baking time was perfect for them. They did not get the rounded nicely-risen tops in your pictures, but I'm perfectly fine with that. Fabulous recipe!

  36. Catherine H. says

    Just to clarify my above comment, since the ingredient portions are all out of whack–I made a triple batch, hence my measurements differing from Carolyn's. These are still the best low carb muffins I've ever had. I'm making a cranberry version today–can't wait till they come out of the oven!

  37. Laura says

    I have the green ntea bread cooking right now! Would like to make these zucchini muffins but need a substitute as I can’t have soy. Any suggestions? If I used coconut flour would I need to add more liquid or could I just up the whey and almond flour to make up the difference?

  38. says

    I did not have any soy flour and I try not to eat soy so I put in gluten free flour. I also used pecans instead of walnuts. These muffins are awesome. You can’t just eat one! Thanks for the recipe

  39. Nancy says

    As many times as I have read through this recipe, I can’t see the soy flour in the ingredients, just in the instructions, so I don’t know how much to add. And with the resoundingly positive comments, I want to try these!

    • Carolyn says

      I was in the process of updating the recipe so it’s no longer in either the instructions or the ingredients.

  40. Scarlett says

    These muffins are AMAZING. I’ve made a couple of your muffins, Carolyn, and although all are delicious, these are my favorites by far (and my fiance agrees). They are perfectly spicy and moist and I really doubt anyone could tell these are gluten-free and low-carb. Now the trouble is not eating the entire batch at once…

  41. Tina says

    These muffins are fantastic! I’ve been grain and sugar free for about 6 months, and these are the lightest muffins I’ve had. They tasted like a “real” muffin with flour and dare I say–sugar! Definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing.

  42. Deborah says

    I’ve just run out of the banana choc chip muffins I made for my son’s packed lunch at kindergarten. My next batch of bananas are not yet ripe enough to make another batch… so I’m going to make these instead, subbing choc chips for the walnuts. Thanks!

  43. Jkim says

    I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years now and have wanted to make these muffins for some time. I finally, finally baked them yesterday.

    Wow–They, and you, are amazing!! No one would believe they’re LC, sugar- and gluten-free. I love your rhubarb scones, but these are even better.

    As a kid, my younger daughter always requested a zucchini chocolate birthday cake. I think I’ll tweak this recipe to create zucchini-chocolate muffins.

    Thank you, Carolyn!

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