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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thursday Recipe - Zucchini Muffins

It's that time of year again. No not Christmas or back-to-school. Zucchini drive-by season! Lock your car windows! Hide behind closed drapes! Keep your children indoors! Monster zucchini have been seen in YOUR neighborhood!

I don't mind zucchini season. I can't grow the stuff. I know, zucchini is a weed. ANYONE can grow zucchini. Not me. Every time I plant it, it dies. I have a black thumb of death when it comes to plants. Except for one African violet that thrives on neglect and a mutant Christmas cactus. My yard is green because we let the weeds fill in the bare spots. And my kids take care of the yard, not me. My daughter plants the garden because any seed she touches will sprout and become a beautiful, healthy plant.

So I gratefully accept those baseball bat sized zucchinis and enjoy them. I've made two giant batches of these muffins in the last week. Most of them landed in the freezer for packing in lunches in two weeks, because yes, it is back-to-school season, too. These are moist and tasty, packed with vegetable goodness, low in fat, and lower in sugar than most recipes. Try them out. They're easy and good for you.

Healthy Zucchini Muffins (based loosely on a Betty Crocker recipe)

1/3 c. softened butter
1 1/3 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. milk or milk substitute
3 1/2 c. grated zucchini
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 1/2 c. oatmeal

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and milk. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add flour, oatmeal, and zucchini. Stir just until mixed.

Line 24-36 muffin cups with paper liners. Scoop batter into each cup, filling each one about 2/3 full. (I used an ice cream scoop - perfect size and very little mess!) Bake at 350° for 18 - 22 minutes, until muffins are set and lightly browned on the edges or until a toothpick comes out clean. They will be moist and a little bit gooey. Let cool IN THE TINS for at least 30 minutes. Remove to a rack to finish cooling.

Enjoy with cream cheese or butter or just plain.
Wrap well and freeze for up to three months.

My (tripled) batches made about 7 dozen muffins, so you should get at least 24 per batch. If you scoop them smaller, you will get up to 36.