Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mrs. B's best Zucchini Nut Muffins

The obscenely ginormous, huge, zucchinis from somewhere in Iowa.

Yesterday, when I came back from co-hosting a seminar, my husband met me at the door.
'I have a surprise for you', he announced grandly. 'You've never seen anything like this before!' he claimed and with a flourish presented me with these huge, green objects. 'Have you ever seen zucchini like this before?'

I had to admit I had not. I didn't even know they could get that big. Even the smaller of the two is larger than any zucchini I've ever seen.

Apparently our neighbor had been blessed by someone they knew with cucumbers and zucchini. They knew what to do with the cukes but had no idea what to do with the zukes. But, bless her heart, she knows I love to cook and that I love veggies. What she didn't know was that I particularly adore zucchini.  The kids of course wanted zucchini muffins.

No problema!

I would really recommend clicking on this picture to see the muffin larger as it doesn't really show it as well in the smaller picture.

My son won't touch zucchini unless it's converted in Zucchini Nut Muffins. I found the recipe in a Taste of Home magazine many years ago, adapted it to suit our palate and it's been a family favorite since then. When my son was a toddler at daycare I gave them this recipe. The first time they made this recipe the kids plowed through the first batch of muffins so fast they had to quickly whip up another batch.

Feel free to add or exchange ingredients. This is the recipe they way we changed it from the original.

Mrs. B's best Zucchini Nut Muffins

2 cups un-bleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
3/4 cup plain sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup applesauce (we use unsweetened)
2 cups packed, shredded zucchini
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup golden raisins (we don't use that because the kids don't like them)
2 tablespoons Demerara sugar or Washed Raw Cane Sugar for sprinkling (this will give you a crunchy texture on top - big yum! factor)

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Combine sugar and eggs in a bowl; blend at medium speed for 2 minutes. Gradually add the oil; beating constantly for 3 minutes. Add the applesauce, vanilla extract and shredded zucchini and blend well. Stir in the chopped walnuts. Now, if you want a more pronounced walnut taste, toast them first until fragrant.

In a separate bowl mix the flours, salt, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and ground flax seed. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until well combined but not overmixed.

Pour batter into 24 lined muffin cups or non-stick muffin tins and sprinkle with the Demerara sugar; bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

(You could substitute a half cup of craisins for the nuts and add some quick cooking oats to up the health-factor)