Back to School Lunch Ideas: Zucchini & Banana Muffin Recipe

by Jennifer on August 27, 2011

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In less than one week, both of my kids go to school. Two years ago I had a hard time when my daughter started Kindergarten and this year will be even tougher for me.

Why? My youngest is starting Kindergarten.

Now don’t get me wrong: I am sure while the kids are at school, I will learn to enjoy completing a task in one attempt in a reasonable amount of time instead of over a span of 18 hours. Yes, it will be nice to do laundry, vacuum or even shower without interruptions from sweet kiddos in a disagreement.

However, I love having them around me. Eight years ago I never knew how badly I would want to be a stay at home mom or that I ever would. I had a great career. A career that I envisioned since sixth grade and achieved. But dang it, being a stay at home mom would be a limited time opportunity of a lifetime.

With that said, I began this blog 2.5 years ago and a brand was born. Thanks to this blog I have been able to supplement the family income but that has often meant working 10 pm – 4 am and I love that I have had the opportunity (and a Keurig to assist).

I guess some of my struggle is that I know that with both of the kids going to school is the beginning to the end of raising little ones although they will always need their mommy…..even if only to take them to college tours and do their laundry on weekends when they are 25.

Yes, I also have a side of me that is super excited to see what they learn this year and that will be joy-filled when looking at their ‘masterpieces’ with pride.

As they walk away from me next Wednesday, I will feel the tears roll down my cheek and my throat tighten. I will wipe the tears away, take a deep breath and then go mend by heart with a big fat iced latte.

I am the luckiest woman in the world and I know it. I am also lucky to be taking and picking up two fabulous children from school and yet, If I could, I would keep them by my side every dang minute. Except when I have to go potty. A girl needs a little time to herself.

Back to School Zucchini & Banana Muffins (yield 18 muffins)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 salt
2/3 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce, no sugar added
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup grated zucchini, chopped (about 1 medium-sized zucchini)
1 ripe banana, mashed

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Spray the muffin tin with baking spray or use baking cups.

3. Sift the first six ingredients together in large bowl, combine and set aside.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the nectar, sugar, oil, applesauce, eggs and vanilla until combined.

5. Mix zucchini and mashed banana into the wet ingredients.

6. Add dry ingredients to wet and fold to combine.

7. Fill muffin pan. This recipe makes about 18 standard sized muffins. Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes (Test doneness by inserting a toothpick and making sure it comes out ‘clean’).

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Disclosure: This post is Sponsored by Mott’s.

Susan August 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm

This post is so sweet and I can definitely relate. I tear up every year when mine head into school on the first day, and they are in 7th and 2nd grade!

Jennifer August 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Thank You for the support Susan. I feel like I am in a minority on this topic.

Nichol August 27, 2011 at 7:18 pm

I love all the healthy ingredients! I just made some not so good for you ones

becca August 27, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I can relate, sort of. Both boys have been in daycare since I have a working mom, but I still can’t believe Ben is going to be a first grader. Sam is luckily going to his school for preschool so that should help.

The recipe is so close to my banana muffin recipe, i can’t wait to try it….

megan @ whatmegansmaking August 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm

What a sweet post! I don’t have any kids yet, but I can just imagine what you’re feeling. These muffins look so good and so healthy – I’m sure your kids will be glad to come home to some of these!

Betsy August 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I am so bummed I just used the last of my zucchini. Going out tomorrow ASAP to get some so I can make these!

Cookin' Canuck August 27, 2011 at 11:24 pm

It is such a bittersweet thing to send both kids off to school. I feel for you! These muffins are a wonderful treat for lunch boxes or after school snacks.

Nancy@acommunaltable August 28, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Hi Jen,

Well, you may be in the minority on this one, but you are truly fortunate to recognize how fleeting this time with your kids truly is. I just sent my oldest off to college so I can definitely relate to what you are feeling!

Hope everyone has a wonderful start to their school year – and with muffins like these, how couldn’t they??

Jeanette August 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm

The time you have to spend with your kids is short and will go quickly, enjoy it! I also gave up my career to stay home with the kids and it was well worth it. As they get older, they need you around even more (although they might not agree).

Diane {Created by Diane} August 28, 2011 at 4:03 pm

yes, it’s an adjustment letting go so that the little ones can depend on us a bit less and venture out into the world, I love when mine are by my side too 🙂 they are both in middle school this year. The time flies by and then comes the HOMEWORK, yuk!
Hope you kids are already having fun this year meeting new friends and new experiences!

Tres Delicious August 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Oh great! My son adores muffins so much. This zucchini and banana combination will certainly be another one of his favorite flavors.

Betsy August 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm

I just finished making these but made them as mini-muffins. They are awesome!!!! Thank you!

Donalyn September 1, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Great post – It has been a long time since I had to worry about the first day of school, but I do remember the amazing feeling of a day all to myself. Enjoy!

Mara September 10, 2011 at 10:14 pm

If it’s any consolation, I sometimes feel like I have *less* time now that both of mine are in school – they’re needs are more complex and demanding!

Bonnie October 6, 2011 at 9:37 am

LOVE your blog! I, too, am a SAHM and my youngest daughter (4) will be in elementary school in the fall with her middle sister (6). I have an 17 yr old daughter that will turn 18 this summer and I am feeling that *leaving the nest* phase…sigh…. Anyways, I would love to try your recipe but I have never heard of agave nectar this a juice? The recipe sounds wonderful and cannot wait to try!

_Bonnie from Quebec, Canada

Kim - Liv Life March 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I’m SO glad I saw these! My daughter has her first dance competition of the season this weekend and we are always on the lookout for something healthy to keep the girls energy up. These are going with us!! THANK YOU!

thedentons August 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Well…I had 1 banana and 1 zucchini, so I looked for a muffin recipe to use them up and found yours! I started making them, but then realized I only had 2 eggs…so I scaled the recipe to make 12 muffins (kinda eyeballing some of the measurements), used some honey because I don’t have agave, and accidentally switched the quantity of baking soda and baking powder…and they still taste good! :o) Hopefully next time won’t turn into a science experiment! ;o)

Jennifer August 30, 2012 at 6:20 am

Love this!! Seeing as I am a former Scientists, experimentation is my ‘thang’. Thank you for sharing.

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