Monday, October 12, 2009

Harvest Spice Muffins

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
One batch makes roughly 24 mini muffins AND a dozen regular muffins.

1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed of excess moisture
2 cups shredded carrots
1 shredded apple (a good baking apple--whichever is your favorite)
Zest of one orange, finely chopped
One handful chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds...whatever you like)
1 1/3 cups flour
2/3 whole wheat flour
1/4 wheat germ
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 quick dashes ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla

Toss the zucchini, carrots, apple, orange zest and nuts until just mixed.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugars, wheat germ, spices, baking soda and salt.

In a third bowl, combine the eggs, applesauce and vanilla.

Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients. The batter will be gooey and thick. Once it's blended, fold in the veggies/fruits/nuts.

Grease or line your muffin tins and then fill them 2/3 full. Bake mini muffins for about 15 minutes, regular muffins for 20-25 minutes. Cool them in the pans for a good ten minutes before you pop 'em out and let them cool the rest of the way on a wire rack. Once cooled, cover them and store them in the fridge (or freeze them for an easy grab-and-go snack to take on an adventure).


These are delicious and loaded with healthiness. I shredded the zucchini first and let it sit in a colander while I mixed everything else, squeezing it from time to time to help get all the water out (juicy little squash, that zuke). When it was time to bake, I split my batter in two. With the first half, I made mini muffins for the Biggest Girl. With the second half, I stirred in some chopped pecans and made some regular-size muffins for Mr. Mallard to take to work (I'll pilfer the mini muffins, since there's no way one toddler can tackle 24 mini muffins, right?). If I had been making them for myself, I would have added a reasonable amount of raisins, currants or dried cranberries, but I am the only one in the house that will eat raisins (or any raisin-like thing), so I left them out. You could also go vegan with this recipe by substituting 1 cup mashed, ripe banana plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder for the eggs (or use a pre-packaged egg subsitute, but those kind of freak me out). I haven't done this, yet, but I think the banana would blend really well with all the other flavors.

...and the food photography attempts are getting better. It's tougher than it seems!

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