More Than Meets the Eye: Chocolate Muffins

This recipe has a secret:  it's full of a mysterious green vegetable, but people never even notice since they're too busy stuffing their faces full of chocolatey goodness.  Make these in the summer, when you can't swing a cat without hitting a zucchini.  They are truly delicious!  

1.5 cups of sucanat or brown sugar
1/4 cup of butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup of vegetable oil (extra credit for using coconut*, walnut, almond or peanut oil)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup of full fat yogurt or buttermilk
2 cups young zucchini, grated or finely chopped
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2 cups finely ground whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup sifted cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves

Preheat your oven to 350, and line your muffin tins with paper or lightly grease them.  Also, you can make this as a quickbread by greasing a standard loaf pan.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the sucanat, melted butter and your oil of choice.  Pour in the eggs, and mix everything together well.  Stir in your vanilla, yogurt or buttermilk, zucchini and chocolate chips.

In another bowl, stir together the remaining dry ingredients.  Add your liquid ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until combined (no need to overdo it, though).

Spoon the batter into your muffin tin or pan and place in the center of the oven.  Bake smaller muffins for about 20 minutes, large muffins for 35, and a loaf for about an hour.  Test for doneness by lightly pressing the muffin/loaf's surface with your clean finger-- when it springs back up quickly and the sides are pulling away from the pan a bit, it's probably ready!

Try your best to let these cool before eating!

*if you're using coconut oil, try adding about a teaspoon of lime zest.  It adds a nice tropical touch!