Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #237: Zucchini Gingerbread Muffins

by Alaine Keogh, Dietetic Intern [University of Minnesota Medical Center – Fairview]

Photo credit: Cascadian/Flickr

With the first signs of winter (morning frost, icy windshields and sprinklings of snowflakes) come visions of holiday coffee cups, family gatherings and yummy baked goods. Whether it comes in the form of gingerbread men or houses dressed up in frosting and candy, a spiced cake, or a specialty beverage, gingerbread is one of those classic winter flavors.

This recipe for incorporates a hidden healthy ingredient: zucchini! This is a great way to trick your kids (or yourself!) into eating a serving of veggies in a festive and tasty baked good. Applesauce is substituted for the vegetable oil in order to further reduce fat and calories, to make this a sweet holiday indulgence you can feel good about.

Zucchini Gingerbread Muffins

(Makes 22 muffins)


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¾ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 6 tbsp. egg whites (or two large egg whites)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3 cups all purpose flour


  1. Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, molasses, greek yogurt, applesauce and eggs until thoroughly combined.
  3. Stir in the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gently mix in the shredded zucchini, and stir in the flour.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins using a ¼ cup scoop.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the loaves are browned and springy to the touch, about 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean. Allow to cool in pans for about 10 minutes before removing to finish cooling on racks.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving: 125 calories, 0 g total fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 27 g carbohydrate, 14 g sugar, 1 g fiber, and 188 mg sodium.

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