by Olena

Chocolate Protein Oatmeal Muffins

by Olena

5 from 1 reviews

Chocolate Protein Oatmeal Muffins Recipe moistened with zucchini, a tad sweetened with maple syrup and made high protein with plant based protein powder. |

Basically, breakfast for “lazy” healthy people who love chocolate and protein. I fit in. And I guarantee you will love these protein oatmeal muffins – simple ingredients, one bowl and can be enjoyed on the go. They are also: freezer friendly, double batch necessary, playground/hockey game snack, purse-able, high in protein, fiber and chocolate. Zucchini make the cups moist and bananas add natural sweetness. No added sugar here. My kids, who hate zucchini, went crazy for these and still haven’t realized it was there. In fact, that’s an awesomeness of this vegetable – nobody can taste it but loves the final results and low calorie content. 

Chocolate Protein Oatmeal Muffins Recipe moistened with zucchini, a tad sweetened with maple syrup and made high protein with plant based protein powder. |

Ever since I realized how many carbs are in a bowl of oatmeal and how many grams of protein are not, my life has changed. Well, my breakfasts for sure. There has been no grandma’s oatmeal with milk, butter and sugar in my house for ages, that’s for sure. But there is also no more oats with hot water and almond milk either. Gone, bye-bye. Instead I’ve been having quick oats with boiled water, Vega protein powder, flax meal and topped with berries. Simple and a nutritional powerhouse. I do get sick and tired of it though, and I’m not a huge breakfast maker or egg lover. So, my breakfasts have to be prepped in advance.

Chocolate Protein Oatmeal Muffins Recipe moistened with zucchini, a tad sweetened with maple syrup and made high protein with plant based protein powder. |

I really loved my banana oat protein muffins and from the # of positive comments I could tell you loved them too. It is zucchini season now and I had an idea of making chocolate zucchini muffins since last year. Muffins didn’t happen yet but these oatmeal cups are even better – you don’t have to worry about working with flour and a couple of bowls. Instead, I used quick oats and soaked them for a bit while shredding zucchini and mashing the bananas.

Chocolate Protein Oatmeal Muffins Recipe moistened with zucchini, a tad sweetened with maple syrup and made high protein with plant based protein powder. |

I also have to tell you about vegan baking. I’M IN LOVE! I just can’t get over the fact how tasty and “normal” baked goods come out with flax seed egg replacer and coconut oil. You don’t need eggs or butter. That is so yesterday. I’m kidding but we all could eat less animal products for sure. Especially when delicious food can be made without them. So, I bought this 1 lb of organic flax seed meal for like $4 and our grocery bill went down. I get my fiber and healthy fat, and no panic to run out of eggs.

I used Vega protein powder and I can’t get enough of it! It is plant based and sweetened with stevia. I don’t care if it’s not organic. I would have to see a therapist if I ever had to part with it! It’s not cheap but after trying tens of other plant based proteins, it’s the only one I can drink mixed with water. With protein powder you get what you pay for. I also haven’t tested these cups with whey protein. It sends my hormones through the roof. I’m sure Alex has enough of me the way I am. So, if you do try, please let me know.

Chocolate Protein Oatmeal Muffins Recipe moistened with zucchini, a tad sweetened with maple syrup and made high protein with plant based protein powder. |

It is important to let the cups cool down for 30 minutes before taking out of the tin. Protein oatmeal muffins will be a bit fragile within the first hour and might appear under baked but they are not. The cups also appeared taller in the oven and more settled once cooled down. This happens to all baked goods with plant based protein powder. I made these muffins 3 times, so no worries about the recipe not working out if you follow it. In the summer, I usually wait for cooler days or bake early in the morning.

Looking for more protein packed snacks? Try my banana protein muffins or chocolate chip protein cookies.


Chocolate Zucchini Protein Oatmeal Cups On the Go

5 from 1 reviews

Chocolate Protein Oatmeal Muffins Recipe moistened with zucchini, a tad sweetened with maple syrup and made high protein with plant based protein powder.

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x


  • 3 tbsp flax seed, ground
  • 6 tbsp water, warm
  • 1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 + 3/4 cups quick oats (use gluten free if desired)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tbsp brewed coffee (optional)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 large overripe bananas, mashed (3/4 cup after mashing)
  • 2 cups zucchini, shredded (unpacked)
  • 3/4 cup plant based protein powder, vanilla (I used Vega)
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder (cocoa powder is OK)
  • 1 tsp baking powder, aluminum free
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Chocolate chips or chocolate chunks (I used Enjoy Life), for decoration (optional)
  • Cooking spray (I use Misto)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray non-stick muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flax seed and water. Let sit for a minute. Add almond milk and oats, and stir to combine. Next, you can start adding other liquids as you get them ready. This will allow the oats to soak up the liquids thus yielding softer muffins and reducing baking time. Add maple syrup or honey, coffee (brew or use instant), coconut oil (melt). Mash the bananas, grate zucchini and add them to the bowl. Stir well.
  3. Add protein powder, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda and stir gently to combine. At this point the batter should be quite thick – so a spatula can stand in it. These cups are not a delicate dessert, therefore using one bowl works perfectly fine.
  4. Fill each tin full with batter and top with a chocolate chunk or chips (if desired). Bake for 25 – 27 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes (!) in a muffin tin and then transfer to a cooling rack. The cups will be a bit fragile within the first hour and might appear under baked but they are not. Serve warm or cold.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.


olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

27 comments on “Chocolate Protein Oatmeal Muffins

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  1. I love these!! Could you make these with 1 egg and just not use the water and flax meal? It’s currently an ice storm where I am and don’t want to leave the house! Haha thanks 🙂 🙂

  2. Made these today looked am smelled amazing but they were a complete disaster 🙁 they were completly raw in the middle i did think they looked that way but after you mention they would look that way after cooking i left them to cool to find out after they were raw in thr middle i used ground almonds instead of flax seed just because that what i had open to use up, still let it soak up the water witch it did and a green zucchini as we didnt have a yellow ones and conveted 375f in to c so not sure what went wrong ??

    1. Hi Emma. Flax seed absorbs water and acts as a binder in this recipe, in place of an egg. Almonds’ absorbency ability is zero which you used and on top added even more water. That is why your cups were a mess.

  3. Love love love this site! First recipe I tried was a complete HIT! Just wondering if I can do without for this recipe? Or sub out for something?

    1. Thank you very much and glad you like what you see. Do you mean w/o protein powder? I haven’t tried but if you are more or less experienced in baking, you could try sub it with almond flour and add a bit more sweetener to taste.

  4. Right now we have an overabundance of zucchini via our CSA. Decided I should bake something that could be portioned out and put in the freezer to use for breakfasts or snacks. These are great! I adapted a few things because of what I had on hand. I used chocolate Muscle Milk 100 instead of almond milk. Added 1/4 cup of chia seeds, 1/4 cup of shredded, no sugar added coconut, a large handful of chopped pecans, and cinnamon. I also decided to leave out the honey/maple syrup because I thought they might be a bit too sweet for my taste. And I used bodylogix Vanilla Whey. They came out great! Delicious!

  5. I am a private Chef with clients who eat healthy, clean and mostly Paleo meals. They have requested these again and again! I am making them tomorrow for myself and will use Whey protein and let you know how they turned out. I also added Hemp Hearts which was delicious.

    1. Wow, interesting. Maybe I should start cooking for people?!:) Hemp hearts are awesome, they just came out with organic ones. Whey is thinner than plant based protein so might add extra flour or oats.

      1. Btw, I have introduced them to your site and given you full credit for the recipe! Tried your bars too and they were a hit as well, thank you. I’m new to baking.

  6. Hello again! 🙂 I have another question. I noticed that a lot of the baking recipes require protein powder. Is there a substitute that I could use if I do not have or do not use protein powders?
    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Rada. Protein powders I use in my recipes are usually flavoured, so if you substitute it with anything, even flour, you will lose in taste. Also protein powders have different absorbing qualities, even among of them, not to mention the substitution. Baking is very precise. So, unfortunately I have to say no. Substituting the powder would be a new recipe development.:)

  7. These look amazing! I can’t wait to try them. One question- did you wring out the shredded zucchini in a towel? Or did you leave all the moisture in them?

    1. No squeezing the liquid required. Zucchini’s moisture will make the cups moist.:) I usually specify if I squeeze anything or not LOL. Enjoy! I wish it wasn’t boiling hot right now so I could bake. Protein bars it is for me then. Oh well, I don’t complain – the beach days are awesome.

      1. I can’t wait to try these muffins! I see you mention that you eat protein bars while it’s hot out. I’ve been experimenting with some protein bar recipes and wondered if you had any.

        1. Hi Denise. My favourite homemade protein bar recipe is this one. Honestly, I do not make my own bars often. Lack of time and it is hard to make them low in sugar and carbs at home. I buy non-GMO VEGA and Simply Protein bars – they are plant-based and low in sugar.

    1. I forgot to mention the banana LOL. I was seriously going crazy naming this recipe. Oh, well. Funny how all of our cooking revolves around kids. Thanks for tweeting.:)

  8. I can never use the flavored protein powders. I steer clear of the artifiical sugars, and I am highly intolerant to stevia. Have you ever heard of anyone else who is? It makes me sick for days, even just the tiniest amount. But some plain whey protein powder in these would work as well. I also love baking with flax and coconut oil. And you’re right- it saves on the grocery bill, and they are two ingredients that I always have on hand.

    1. No, I haven’t heard of anyone allergic to stevia but at same time I do not know many people who consume it.:) I haven’t baked with whey forever. One thing I remember for sure it’s more absorbant than plant based protein. Baked goods with whey rise better. I have made a ton of muffins and quick breads with plant based protein and they are very moist inside, not that fluffy. Delicious but not as airy which is OK.:) Let me know if you try these with whey.

  9. Ditto on the laziest healthy person ever, I’m with you! I eat super healthy, just don’t want to work too hard at it. I love how you snuck in the zucchini on your kids in these uber healthy muffins. All is fair in love and muffins!

    What a great breakfast idea, I’m so sick of eggs! I make myself eat eggs every morning even though I’m not the biggest fan because they’re healthy, time to switch it up with a little chocolate muffin love. I appreciate how you didn’t add any sugar too.

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