It’s early August, and the time of year when there’s so much superb local fruit & vegetables available, here in eastern Ontario we really are spoiled for choice! Among my many favourites zucchini tops the list and I never seem to tire of it, no matter how it’s prepared. This recipe for Zucchini Olive Oil Muffins adapted from Zucchini Baby Cakes is healthier and heartier, but still moist, tender and full of good taste!
Zucchini really is a kitchen chameleon, versatile, delicious and with a rich nutritional profile; low in calories, a good source of vitamin A & vitamin C, plus potassium and fiber. Whether grated for muffins, or cakes, sliced and sautéed as a side dish, or used as a sophisticated & healthful gluten free noodle alternative in Zucchini Noodle Lasagna, zucchini is a workhorse and star of the kitchen!
To make the muffins healthier I subbed in some oat flour, which meant needing a little more buttermilk (oat flour really soaks it up!) A small amount of fine cornmeal does a lot for breads, so I included some here.
I also wanted to cut down on sugar so added in some grated carrot. Just like in carrot cake, when grated their natural sweetness really permeates whatever you put them in. To show you how much… I cut the sugar in half, going from 1/2 cup each white & brown sugar, to 1/4 cup each, and using 1/4 cup grated carrot. They baked up with just enough sweetness to know it’s there – in other words, perfectly!
While you do need to remove as much liquid as possible from the grated zucchini, twisting it up in clean kitchen towel, the grated carrot can be added as is. I chose to grate it coarsely, as I wanted it to be visible. You can grate it more finely if you wish, the choice is yours.
Fantastic for breakfast, whether you gobble them up at home or take them on the run, they’re also very satisfying with an afternoon tea or coffee (or milk!) break. They’re so moist they’ll stay very soft for 2 days, but freeze those you don’t plan to eat in this time. Wrap them well, first in waxed or parchment paper, then in foil or a plastic food storage bag.
Moist and packed with flavour, Zucchini Olive Oil Muffins take full advantage of, and really highlight the incredible freshness of seasonal, local zucchini.
- 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup oat flour (blitz oats in food processor to make your own)
- 3 tablespoons fine cornmeal
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 2 small or 1 medium)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup buttermilk; add a splash more if the mixture is too dry to come together
- Preheat oven to 400° and put paper liners into a 12 muffin pan.
- In large bowl, whisk together flours, cornmeal, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg & salt. Make a large well in the middle and set aside.
- Grate the zucchini directly onto a clean kitchen towel. Twist it up and squeeze it over the sink to remove as much liquid as possible.
- In medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil and buttermilk. Stir in the grated zucchini.
- Add the wet ingredients (egg mixture) to the well in the dry ingredients (flours etc) gently stirring with a large spatula just until combined. (If it’s too dry, add a splash more buttermilk). Be careful not to over mix - it will lead to dense muffins!
- Fill muffin tins to just below the tops, and bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until golden.
- Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to rack to cool completely.