Zucchini Banana Flax Muffins

Today is a big day. I have been dreading this day for weeks. I’ve been having nightmares, which for my poor husband means crazy sleep walking. What could be so bad, you ask?

It’s driving test day.

I have been putting off doing this for a long time. Not that I’m a bad driver (although my driving record from my earlier days may beg to differ), but I am quite terrified of being tested, and I also hate the idea of paying all that money, and not passing. Not to mention, who is this stranger that I am letting into my vehicle? Will I come back alive? (I’m sure this also goes through the minds of those who give the driving tests as well, but at this point, I’m more worried about my own safety). Thankfully, this test is just to get rid of my N, so if I do fail, I still get to drive away, and continue driving, apparently being a menace to society (muahahaha).

It’s at times like this that I wish I was as adorable and charming as  Anna. This is how her driving test went:

Instructor: Please parallel park here.
Anna: Oh, I never really do that in my normal driving, so I don’t think that’s necessary (insert eyelash batting).
Instructor: Ok, that sounds reasonable. How about a back-in parking job?
Anna: Oh, I just pull in usually. Is that ok? (insert winning smile)
Instructor: No problem. Pulling in sounds fabulous.  I don’t know why I even brought up backing in.
Instructor: Anna, you aren’t driving the speed limit, I’m concerned.
Anna: Oh don’t worry, I never drive the speed limit in my regular driving. (I think this one took eyelash batting paired with the winning smile.)
Instructor: Ok, as long as that’s true, I would love to pass you.

So, you see? Instead of practicing my driving skills, I should’ve been working on the power of persuasion – apparently a much more important skill when it comes to passing driving tests ;).

Anyways, as with any big day, starting with a great breakfast is crucial, and these muffins are definitely a great breakfast. They are tasty, healthy, and will keep you full until lunch time. Maybe I should also use them to bribe my tester :). They are also a great way to use up some of the scads of zucchini you may have, if you are one of those who planted zucchini in your garden this year, and got WAY more than you bargained for.

Zucchini Banana Flax Muffins

Zucchini Banana Flax Muffins
Total time
A moist, healthy muffin that can easily be made regular or gluten free (see note for gluten free adaptation).
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups grated zucchini
  • 1 mashed ripe banana
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 12 muffin cups with papers or spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, flaxseed, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together zucchini and mashed bananas. Add to flour mixture and stir to combine.
  4. In medium bowl (or the zucchini bowl you just emptied to save on dishes!), whisk together milk, egg and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir gently until combined (do not overmix or muffins will be tough).
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20-23 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Store in airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days, or freeze in an airtight container and reheat as needed.
Gluten free: substitute all purpose gluten free flour and 1 ½ tsp xantham gum for the regular flour.

*Adapted from Everyday Food Magazine (Sept. 2011) 



  1. Michelle says

    I just made these and they taste great and my kids love them but they fell and I’m wondering why… I did make two changes. First I used all whole wheat pastry flour and no white flour. Second, I used the old milk/vinegar substitute for the buttermilk. Would either of these cause them to fall? I even increased the temperature for the second pan after reading suggestions on other websites and they still fell.

    • says

      The milk/vinegar substitute wouldn’t do it, I do that all the time :) I have no experience with whole wheat pastry flour, but I’m guessing that was the culprit…pastry flour is meant for lighter, flakier pastries, and these muffins have a fair bit of moisture in them that would likely weigh it down. Glad you could at least still eat them though!

  2. says

    Hurray, I have all the ingredients necessary to make these muffins, except buttermilk and I can walk to the store for that (or do some kind of substitute). I read somewhere that buttermilk can be frozen which is good thing since I never use it all and end up throwing some out.

    Zucchini, Banana and Flaxseed Muffins have got to be so-o healthy. Like raych, however, I’d probably eat all twelve!

    To heck with batting eyelashes (at my age, they’re too light and thin for anyone to notice anymore). Take’m muffins!

  3. says

    I call shenanigans. There’s no such thing as a muffin that ‘keeps you full until lunchtime,’ unless it’s ‘the muffin that you eat at 11:30’ or ‘the muffin that you eat 12 of.’

    That said, I would probably eat 12 of these.


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