Sunday, September 8, 2013

Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins

It's not often that I have enough time to bake breakfast and sit down and eat it in the morning, but that's just what I did with my day off on Labor Day. Most of my morning was spent on labors of love in the kitchen, with my oven occupied for hours, and these were the perfect fuel to keep me going. Zucchini muffins were the obvious choice for my breakfast baking, given my ample crop, and these came with the highest recommendation from a coworker - her nine-year-old son ate five of them in one day. As usual, I added my own spin to the recipe, swapping out all-purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour, using the more intensely flavored dark brown sugar in lieu of the light, and reducing the amount. The banana-dark brown sugar combination adds a subtle bananas foster note to the recipe, backed up the rich (and omega-3 dense!) flax meal. Gorgeous green flecks of zucchini permeate each bite, suspended deliciously in a tender whole wheat pastry flour matrix. I froze a good portion of these muffins for weeks of breakfasts at the ready, which I know I'll be eager to scarf done when my zucchini crop has completely dwindled away.

Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins
adapted from Martha Stewart
makes 12 muffins

Nonstick cooking spray
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 to 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar (to taste)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (from 1 large zucchini)
1/3 cup mashed ripe banana (from 1 large banana)
3/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat 12 standard muffin cups with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, flaxseed, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add zucchini and banana and stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, egg, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined (do not overmix).

2. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let muffins cool completely in pan on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.

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