Friday, August 12, 2011

Mmm....Mmm....Mmm....Muffins!

1,000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles is one of my favorite cookbooks.  If you think vegetarian food is boring then you NEED this book!  I stumbled across it at a used bookstore and to this day I can't figure out who would actually want to get rid of it.  There are simply too many wonderful recipes to name.  One of my favorites is her recipe for Zucchini Bread.  Most Zucchini breads are very dense and moist but this recipe is a fluffier, drier (without being too dry) version.  Unfortunately, I can't give you the recipe.  I'm sure that would be violating some copyright law or something.  What I CAN do is show you how I have adapted it.  Although her recipe is FABULOUS, I try to always do things a little healthier or a little "cleaner" if you will.  (If you aren't sure what Clean Eating is then you should check out my earlier post on Clean Cookies).  Please note that I like to make Zucchini muffins rather than bread because my kids love them (horray for veggies) and they are easier that way.  But you can still use my recipe to make bread if desired.  Obviously, just use a 9x5 bread pan instead of muffin tins.
I set out to change the original recipe up just a little and ended up changing it almost completely.  Thank you Carol, wherever you are, for being the springboard to my inspiration...

Zucchini Muffins Cleaned Up a Bit
  
Ingredients:
  • 1.5 cups All-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
  • 1.5 cups Whole Wheat flour (I use King Arthur)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup raw cane/turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best but....whatever)
  • 2 medium zucchini, freshly grated
  • 1-2 tbsp ground cinnamon (depending on how much you like cinnamon)
Instructions:
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 F.  If using muffin tins, either generously grease and flour them or use papers.  Even if you use papers I still recommend spraying the insides with some non-stick cooking spray.  This version tends to stick (from using applesauce instead of oil)
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients: both flours, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, then beat in the cane sugar
Notice the Turbinado sugar is larger and has a brownish tint?
  • Next, beat in the applesauce
  • Next comes the lemon juice.  Normally, I use a wooden juicer for fresh lemons and then strain them using a small mesh seive.  I was watching Everday Italian one day and saw Giada just squeeze the lemon and drain it with her hand.  I wanted to look cool like Giada and tried it out this time.  Well, lets just say I got lemon juice in my eyes and seeds in my batter.  Not cool!  So, juice at your own risk!
Definitely doesn't look as cool as Giada doing it
  • Next mix in the grated zucchini.  I like to use a giant box grater to do mine.  
  • Lastly, turn the mixer down to low and slowly add the dry ingredients.  Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter into each section of the muffin pan.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the muffins comes out clean.
Makes about 2 dozen muffins
  • As tempting as it is....let cool completely before eating.  It sticks to the paper less that way!

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