Monday, August 22, 2011

Spiced Zucchini Muffins

Anyone else seeing monster zucchini like this one in your gardens or farmers' markets?  I bought this one for a dollar last week!  A dollar!  It's gigantic.  I assume that it was so cheap because the farmers have a harder time unloading the huge ones - maybe people are intimidated by them.  But never fear - now when you're at the market and you see a zucchini the size of your head, you will know what to do with it!

Crystallized ginger!

I found this recipe on 101 Cookbooks.  Heidi Swanson is one of my favorite food bloggers.  She takes the most lovely photos, and her recipes are seasonal and delicious.  They're also all-natural and vegetarian!  I'm on a bit of a muffin kick right now, so I adapted her zucchini bread recipe for healthy, satisfying muffins.  As I said before, it is a great treat to make these over the weekend and then freeze them for quick, hearty weekday breakfasts.

Spiced Zucchini Muffins

adapted from 101 Cookbooks

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups grated zucchini

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oat flour or finely ground old-fashioned oats (you can use the blender or food processor for this)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir together walnuts, lemon, and ginger in a small bowl and set aside.  Cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Add sugars and blend until smooth.  Scrape down sides of bowl and add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.  Add vanilla and blend.  Add zucchini and blend.  Sift together dry ingredients and add to butter mixture in two additions.  Add walnuts, lemon zest, and ginger and mix just until combined.

Grease muffin tins or line with paper liners.  Fill 3/4 full, and bake for 20-25 minutes (for regular-size muffins), or 25-30 minutes (for jumbo muffins), or for 2 loaves, for 45-50 minutes.  The tops should look dry, and a tester inserted in the middle should come out clean.

Cool for a couple of minutes in the pans, and then remove and cool completely on racks.  Spread with cream cheese and enjoy!

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