Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Zucchini Muffins

Corned beef and cabbage may be the traditional food with which to toast Saint Patrick’s Day, but over the years, I’ve found that people get excited about anything green. While a few drops of food coloring can turn anything from mashed potatoes to Budweiser green, there’s plenty of green to be found naturally - like in zucchini bread!

If you’ve never had zucchini bread, don’t be put off by the idea of making “squash bread”. The zucchini melts into the bread while baking, yielding a lightly sweet, spiced bread that’s extra moist (think carrot cake, but nowhere near as sweet). Plus, you can give yourself a pat on the back for eating more veggies! This recipe calls for walnuts, but these can be substituted for pecans or even green pistachios (hello Saint Patrick’s Day!!) - or they can be omitted altogether if you have a nut allergy.

 Makes 24 muffins (or 2 loaves of bread)

Directions (modified from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook):
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups grated raw zucchini (about 3 medium zucchinis)
1 ½ cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 325º F. In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix the oil and sugar together. Beat each egg in separately, then add vanilla and 2 cups grated zucchini.
  2. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the oil-sugar-zucchini mixture until dough is moistened throughout. Gently fold in 1 cup chopped walnuts.
  3. Pour batter into well-greased muffin tins until each muffin cup is one-half to two-thirds full. Top each muffin with a generous dollop of grated zucchini and a few small walnuts.
  4. Bake for 35-50 minutes; muffins are done when a wooden skewer inserted through the middle comes out clean.
**Note: This recipe will also yield two loaves of bread - use two standard 9-inch loaf pans, and adjust bake time to 50-55 minutes.

These muffins will keep for up to one week, but in the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day, Little Scarlet recommends you eat them straight out of the oven, piping hot with a liberal dose of Ireland’s Kerrygold butter!

2 comments:

  1. Looks good. But I bet my recipe is better than yours mua ha ha. Though I firmly support eating naturally green foods on St. Patty's...with your green beer of course.
    Was it with you that I got that nasty appletini at the leafe that they told me wasn't green because they ran out of food coloring??

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  2. Looks delicious!

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