Zucchini Muffins

I think I have mentioned that my parents grow a large garden. It is my dad’s baby more than my mom’s, but she is out there, doing plenty of the watering, weeding and planting. She just doesn’t get into it as much as Dad does. Vegetable gardening is Dad’s passion (one of them) and Mom prefers the flowers, I think.

We can count on coming home with a bounty of vegetables almost any time we visit my parents during the gardening season (which we totally appreciate!). We were at their house a few weekends ago and the zucchini was growing like gangbusters. They had several on the counter, waiting for us to take home, and we found several more in the garden when we walked out for our customary tour. One had grown overnight into baseball bat size, as zucchini tends to do. We took them all, from babies to bats.

I decided that zucchini muffins or bread were in order. I paged through cookbooks and found a recipe I liked. Of course it only called for one cup of zucchini. I needed something that called for pounds of zucchini. But I settled for doubling the recipe.

The muffins were very good, though I was adapting a bread recipe and should have watched them more closely. They got a little brown on the bottoms and were a little dry. But they were tasty and I am going to make them again, maybe today. The bat sized zucchini grated into six cups and a slightly smaller one came out to five. I froze several bags of grated zucchini, ready for recipes. And we have eaten zucchini at least every other night with dinner for the last two weeks. I think we are down to two zucchini in the fridge. Any takers?

Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins
Adapted by The Cook’s Life
From “Country Baking” by Ken Haedrich
Makes 12 muffins, easy to double

The original recipe was for bread, baked in an 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan. Baking time was 50 minutes.

1 2/3 cups white whole wheat flour
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional, I didn’t use it)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup grated zucchini (don’t peel it and don’t squeeze it dry, you want all the moisture)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease 12 muffin cups. Mix the white whole wheat flour, the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs; then add the oil, brown sugar, lemon juice (if using) and vanilla. Mix well, then add the zucchini and mix again.

Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix gently until all the flour is mixed in and there are no dry streaks. Do not beat. Batter will be very thick.

Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until the centers are firm when pressed or a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

Cool the muffins in the pan on a rack for 5-10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool on the rack. The muffins will get moister the next day from the zucchini. Store in an airtight container for a few days or freeze for longer storage.

 Download the recipe here.

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