August 11, 2010

Healthy Zucchini Muffins

I recently found myself in the realm of unsatisfactory breakfasts. This usually means coffee and a mediocre scone or muffin. These pastries all too often are overly sugary or bland. I am a tough critic since making breakfast pastries is a favorite of mine, so I decided to stop being critical and make some breakfasts to take to work. Making muffins eases my objection to buying pastries you can make for two percent of the cost at a coffee shop.

I like to control the amount of sugar mostly - and the fat... well lets say I really miss it when I make a "healthy muffin." I didn't miss it so much this time which is the main reason I'm sharing these. You could also easily add some whole wheat flour for your daily manganese, fiber, tryptophan, and magnesium. Apparently, women who eat more whole grains also weigh less than women who eat refined grains (like a majority of breakfast pastries - or any pastries for that matter). I like the idea of weighing less and still eating these delicious muffins. I'm going to experiment more with the substitution of whole wheat in baked goods, and try making a lunch bread that includes wheat germ and whole wheat.

I like these muffins because they are a little less spice-cakey than most zucchini muffins. I posted about zucchini once before when I started a baking club. They weren't the best recipe, but I like the idea. Just like carrot muffins, when you add a veggie to your muffin, you increase vitamin intake while decreasing the fat. Since these vegetables have such a high water content, you use less fat and don't end up chewing forever on a dry muffin. I'm guessing you will be confused when you read the recipe below and see that I used melted butter instead of gobs of oil (and it's much less butter than this chocolate chip recipe I know) but it makes for a nice crispy crust and the batter yields more than your standard 12 muffins. Sometimes I get annoyed by this, but I got to use my mini loaf pans for the extra... they are just so cute I couldn't get mad at the excessive amount of batter. I also like that you fill up the cups entirely and the muffins bake up beautifully without spilling over the sides. pretty pretty.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I have.

Zucchini Muffins
Adapted from Simply Recipes

3 C packed grated zucchini (you can mix yellow squash too) large grate with skins on works fine
1 stick butter melted and cooled
1 1/3 C sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 C flour
2 rounded tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 C chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a large bowl, beat eggs slightly and add the sugar. Mix thoroughly then add the vanilla and cooled butter (you don't want to scramble your eggs). Mix in the zucchini. Measure in the flour, soda and spices. Give them a swirl and mix into the wet ingredients until there is only a little flour visible. Add the walnuts and mix until evenly dispersed. Grease and fill muffin tin to the tops, or slightly over the top. Bake for close to 30 minutes, or until the muffins spring back slightly when pressed.  

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