Thursday, August 18th, 2011
I’ve realized that my recent blog entries (except for this lovely pie) have centered around fruit or something reasonably healthy. Honestly, it’s just where my head is most of the time! I know that healthier baking isn’t for everyone, but most of the time it’s definitely for me. If I can indulge my baking habit with foods that nourish my body well, that makes it all the more enjoyable for me!
These zucchini muffins fall perfectly within those parameters. Zucchini bread is a classic summer treat, whether your zucchini is the result of a homegrown bumper crop or simply the rock-bottom prices on squash this time of year. It’s something I dearly love to eat, and healthy-ing it up a bit means I get to eat it more often. I win!
I love adding chocolate chips to my zucchini muffins and bread (and most other things), but Ryan’s less chocolate obsessed and prefers add-ins like dried fruit and nuts, which gave me the idea to go two different ways with this batch. I divided the batter in half, adding chocolate and unsweetened coconut to one half, and dried cranberries and sunflower seeds to the other half.
I can’t decide which version of these muffins I like more! Both are sweet and moist and, against my better judgement, I kind of love the nutty earthiness of the cranberry-sunflower seed variety. Make some of each kind or pick the one that suits your fancy — you can’t go wrong with these.
Adapted from Simple Bites
Makes 20-22 muffins (or 10 giant ones)
Because I wanted to make some of each variety of muffins, I divided the batter in half and used 1/4 cup of each add-in. Feel free to go this route or add in other tasty things — use what you’ve got! If you prefer a loaf, use a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan and six muffin cups, and bake the loaf for about 50 minutes.
For the muffin batter:
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup plain yogurt*
1/3 cup buttermilk**
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups finely grated zucchini
For the add-ins:
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, or
1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 muffin tins with papers and lightly spray the papers.
In a medium bowl, sift together flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy; beat in eggs, yogurt, buttermilk, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Combine well. Stir in grated zucchini. Fold flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in add-ins.
Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool about 5 minutes in the pans. Remove muffins from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
*I used vanilla yogurt and omitted the vanilla extract.
**I used soy milk, but you could also use regular milk with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice added.