Yes, You CAN Have a Muffin for Breakfast!

Photo Credit:  John Cochran

Photo Credit: John Cochran

By Janis Jibrin, RD

“Healthy” and “muffin” usually don’t belong in the same blog, much less the same sentence. And healthy muffins—made with whole grain, high in fiber, moderate in sugar and calories, containing fruit or vegetables and healthy fat—are certainly not in any of the bakeries, coffee shops or grocery stores I frequent here in Washington DC. (And I’ve looked!)

However, if you’re willing to spend just a little time in the kitchen, you’ll wind up with a muffin so nutritious and delicious it makes it into The Pescetarian Plan. I’m not just talking about the Carrot Muffin already in the book (page 156) but a brand new Zucchini Muffin hot out of Sidra Forman’s kitchen (she’s the chef who developed all the recipes for the The Pescetarian Plan).

Coincidentally, the same week Sidra was putting the finishing touches on the new muffin recipe, a reader wrote in saying she loves the book’s Carrot Muffin but is ready for a new one. Joanne, if you’re reading this blog, this muffin is dedicated to you.


Zucchini Muffin (with gluten-free and vegan options)

Pair muffins with a 12-oz. nonfat, 1% or soy latte for a complete breakfast that’s rich in vegetables, fiber and healthy fat. The gluten-free version will be a bit denser but still delicious.

Makes 6 servings (each serving is 2 small-ish muffins)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


2 eggs beaten (or, to make this vegan, use 2 tablespoons ground flax seed mixed with 6 tablespoons water or use 1/2 cup pureed soft tofu)

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons honey or 3 tablespoons sugar

1 mashed ripe banana

1 ½ cup shredded zucchini (use a hand-held grate or a food processor)

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour (or 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill)

½ cup finely ground almonds or almond meal

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

Dash of sea salt


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a small bowl combine egg or egg substitute, oil, honey or substitute, banana, zucchini, flour, almond, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until just thoroughly combined.

3. Divide into 12 non-stick muffin pans and cook until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

Nutrition stats for one serving, which is two muffins (for the version made with eggs and whole wheat flour; gluten-free and vegan versions are close to these):

Calories: 312
Protein: 9 g
Carbohydrate: 39 g
Dietary Fiber: 5 g
Total Sugars: 13 g
Total Fat: 16 g
Saturated Fat: 2.3 g
Cholesterol: 69 mg
Calcium: 77 mg
Sodium: 193 mg