I have very stringent criteria when it comes to muffin recipes – because I like to always have muffins on hand in my freezer as a wholesome snack for my whole family, I’ll generally only make ones that are actually healthy. So when I’m looking at recipes, I look for whole grains (no refined flour if possible), moderate sugar (approximately 1/2 cup for a 12 muffin recipe), and moderate fat (1/2 cup or less for a 12 muffin recipe, and oil instead of butter if possible).
I think these criteria are perfectly reasonable, but apparently I’m in the minority because it’s very hard to find recipes that meet all of them. Which is why I was excited when I came across a recipe for zucchini muffins on a food blog I just discovered called Kalyn’s Kitchen. I made some slight changes to the original – replaced an agave and splenda blend with all agave, and used a combo of walnuts and cranberries instead of pecans. I also used whole wheat pastry flour instead of white whole wheat flour, and put them in the oven hoping that they would actually taste good.
I think I may have found the perfect wholesome muffin. Not only did last night’s creation meet all of my basic criteria, but they also included a fruit, veggie, and a nut with healthy omega-3’s. Oh, and they tasted delicious – moist, sweet, and flavorful. Hubby even declared them one of his favorites. Could you ask for anything more in a breakfast or snack?
Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins
adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup Agave nectar
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (I got this from 2 small zucchini, about 2/3 pound total)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
good pinch of salt
1 cup mix-ins (I used half chopped walnuts, half dried cranberries; pecans are suggested in the original recipe)
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a mini-muffin tin with oil or line with papers.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Grate zucchini by hand or using a food processor, then gently squeeze grated zucchini to remove some of the water. Measure 1 1/2 cups (packed) zucchini for this recipe, and if you have extra, freeze it for another time.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat egg, then mix in vanilla and agave. Stir in the grated zucchini, then the oil. Sprinkle baking soda and salt over the top of this and mix in.
Stir dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture, then fold in mix-ins.
Scoop into muffin tins (I was able to get 20 mini-muffins, but you could stretch it to a full 24 minis or 12 standard muffins). Bake 15-20 minutes for mini-muffins (probably 25-30 for standard, although I didn’t try this), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Note that agave makes baked goods brown quite a bit, so make sure they are cooked through when you take them out. Let muffins cool a few minutes in the muffin tin, then remove and cool a few minutes more.
Makes approximately 20-24 mini-muffins