This is the legendary time of year when gardeners scramble to find something to do with all of their zucchini, and their friends and neighbours learn not to ask how the garden is doing, for fear they’ll be offered some of the bounty. We’ve been on both the giving and receiving ends in the past, and this year we found ourselves with a glut of beautiful golden zucchini. After hanging a bag of zucchini on the doorknob of our upstairs neighbours and finding a few other voluntary recipients, I turned to baking since none of us actually loves zucchini all that much (too bad it’s so darn satisfying to grow!). Much like banana muffins, I believe that zucchini muffins do not need to be full of sugar or fat to be delicious. The natural wetness of the zucchini (which can make for soggy stir fries) means that the muffins bake up light and moist even with just 1/4 cup of oil. These have been a hit with everyone in our house, and even passed the taste test with a friend’s kid who can usually detect even the faintest trace of whole wheat flour.
My current go-to blog for healthful baking is Dinner With Julie, and it provided a great starting point. In a post about a rather decadent few days, Julie buried a great recipe for zucchini loaf (or in my case, muffins). As usual, I tweaked her recipe a bit to reduce the sugar, and I also include some dried fruit. I’ve tried the recipe with apricots, craisins and raisins, and all are delicious. I’ve also discovered that I prefer walnuts to pecans in this recipe. I think this recipe would also work well with carrots in the winter, or if you really have a lot of extra zucchini, you could freeze some in 2-cup batches.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 cups somewhat packed grated unpeeled green or golden zucchini (about 1 medium-large zucchini)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup dried fruit (chopped if large like apricots)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs, and then whisk in the milk, oil and lemon zest, and add to the flour mixture along with the grated zucchini, walnuts and dried fruit. Stir with a wooden spoon just until combined. Don’t worry about getting all the lumps out.
Blob batter in 12 muffins cups lined with parchment paper cups, until golden and springy to the touch, about 18 minutes. Remove from muffin tins after about 3 minutes, and cool on wire rack.