This is a great way to use up some leftovers if you’ve over-catered the quinoa (or you can head to this recipe if you want to plan a big batch and get a few recipes out of it).  The cooked quinoa, rather than a flour makes for a beautifully moist cake, and is naturally gluten free without having to buy special flours.  Quinoa is a complete protein as well, so a much more nutrient dense option for a cake base, that will be more filling in a lunchbox.  I love that we’ve used not one, but two veggies (three is you count the icing).  Both quinoa and beetroot are a good source of plant based iron, too.  To find out more about how great beetroot is, head to our blog.


Seeing as you have your food processor out anyway, I’d highly recommend you grate your raw beetroot and zucchini straight into the bowl to save a bit of extra mess.


The chocolate avocado icing is basically the Chocolate Avocado Mousse recipe.  The muffins are very decadent by themselves, but to go next level on the treat (and some greens, fibre and healthy fats, yeah Mum!), this icing is a delicious addition, and perfect for parties.


Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins



2 ½ cups leftover cooked white quinoa, cooled

1/4 cup coconut milk (or whatever your preference of milk)

¾ cup melted butter or coconut oil*

¾ cup grated raw beetroot

¼ cup grated raw zucchini

½ cup coconut sugar or maple syrup

½-1 cup cacao powder (depending on how chocolatey you like your muffins)

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

Pinch salt



2 avocados

4 tbsp raw cacao

4 tsp maple syrup

Good pinch of salt



  1. Preheat oven to 180C.  Grease or line a 24-hole mini muffin tray (or use a silicon tray).
  2. Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until it becomes a smooth batter.
  3. Distribute the batter between the muffin holes.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the muffins.
  5. Allow to cool in the tray before removing.  Add icing if you wish.
  6. To make the chocolate avocado icing, blend together the avocado, cacao, maple syrup and salt until the icing is very smooth.  Smooth over each of the cooled muffins.



You can just use a cup of either zucchini or beetroot if you’d prefer, but I like to mix it up.

The butter makes for a more rich flavour and some extra vitamins such as vitamins A and D if you’re using a quality grass fed brand, but coconut oil works perfectly as well for a vegan option.

The muffins freeze well, the icing doesn’t really, so if you have leftover icing, you’ll just have to eat it.  Sorry, not sorry.


Recipe by Bree Jenner – The Simple Lunchbox