Those who know me know I’m a lousy cook. Give me water and I can somehow set it on fire.
But baking? Baking I’m a little better at. Not good enough to be a regular for my daughter’s preschool bake sale, but I’ve managed to stumble upon success for a few foods, including my Zucchini Muffins.
I can send these muffins to school in Cordy’s lunchbag and Cordy thinks they’re a special dessert. She doesn’t care that they have whole wheat flour or zucchini in them – she just thinks they’re yummy. (Hey Jamie Oliver – your Food Revolution is starting a new chapter right here!)
I like that I can guarantee there’s no corn syrup, food dyes or other artificial food products in these muffins, which is way more than I can guarantee of the food served up at our local schools. Also, I love that even though Cordy and Mira watch me make them, they don’t even realize they’re eating vegetables!
You’ll never see me sharing a lot of recipes here, but I will share this one, because I think it’s pretty damn tasty. Also, while I may call it “my” recipe, it’s actually a slightly modified version of a zucchini bread recipe on AllRecipes.com. But a few friends on Facebook asked for the recipe, so I figured it was easier to post it in one spot than to send out several e-mails.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour *
* change to 3 cups whole wheat flour if you prefer
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
* substitute nutmeg or other spice here if you have a cinnamon allergy (my girls have mostly outgrown their intolerance to it)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup natural applesauce (no sugar added)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar *
* you can use all white sugar if you like, but I prefer the addition of brown – go with your preference
3 teaspoons vanilla extract (REAL vanilla ONLY)
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts
1. Grease two muffin pans. (I use cooking spray.) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Don’t have a sifter? A whisk works well enough.
3. Beat eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and sugars together in a large bowl. Add sifted dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour or spoon into greased muffin pans, filling each space only 2/3 to 3/4 full to allow for expansion.
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in pan on racks for 20 minutes. Then remove muffins from pan and completely cool.
Cooling them while still in the pan is important. I found if I take them out of the pan too soon, they become hard on the outside.
If you’re going to keep these muffins around for more than a few days (good luck – they go fast here), store them in the fridge. A quick 5-10 sec. microwave zap will warm them up again.
Changes to the original recipe included cutting the oil in half and substituting applesauce for the other half, using whole wheat flour, cutting back on the amount of sugar and using half brown sugar. I’ve tried several variations on the recipe, including substituting 1/2 cup of ground flax seed for 1/2 cup of flour, and nearly every variation has still turned out well. It’s a great recipe to play with and make it your own.
Added bonus: after baking these, your entire house smells delicious for the next 12 hours!
There you go – my one and only attempt at ever sounding like a food blogger. If you make these, be sure to tell me how they turned out for you, and any changes you made to the recipe!