Sunday, September 1, 2013

Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins

My zucchini consumption is no longer keeping up with my zucchini crop. I currently have eight zucchini in the fridge and at least a half dozen on the vine that are sure to join them shortly. But no shortage of ingredients means no shortage of recipes to share! I'll be honest, I've been putting off making zucchini bread/muffins because that's the first recipe that people typically go for, but it was time to take on this classic. I find that there's far too little distinction between cupcakes and muffins these days, so when I bake my own, I make the lightly sweetened, whole grain variety. The problem with a lot of whole grain baking is that the end product is too dense, but using whole wheat pastry flour remedies that problem entirely. Baked goods turn out light and tender while maintaining the nutty flavor of the whole wheat flour, so there're little reason to use anything else for baking most of the time. Applesauce, banana, and honey create a subtle, nuanced sweetness, keeping the muffins especially moist along with milk and heart-healthy olive oil. I used this recipe to make six jumbo muffins instead of the original ten to twelve (I have what you might describe delicately as a hearty appetite), but with no unvirtuous ingredients and great flavor, I see no reason not to eat with aplomb. I've included the original baking instructions, but if you choose to make the larger variety as well, begin checking for doneness starting at five to ten minutes after the baking time specified (ovens will vary). With luxury of a long holiday weekend, it's the perfect opportunity to take the time to bake up a hearty breakfast to linger over, enjoying each delicious, nutritious bite and savoring your well-earned break.

Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins
adapted from Greatist
makes 10 to 12 regular-size muffins or 6 jumbo muffins

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or regular whole-wheat flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup milk (of your choice)
1 banana, mashed
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the apple sauce, olive oil, milk, banana, and honey.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Fold in the zucchini.

4. Fill lightly greased or lined muffin cups, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops have browned. The insides will be exceptionally moist!

5. Let the muffins cool to firm up, or eat them while they are ultra-tender and warm!

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