Zucchini muffs! Like more PLEASE.
They’re big, puffy, and crackly on top, and beautifully moist and deliciously sweet inside, and perfect for all your Monday breakfasts and second breakfasts. And Wednesday lunches and post-lunch snacks and Friday afternoon munchings and Sunday bedtime treats. No one can be everything to everyone all the time except I’m 99% sure these pups can be.
So we were at the cabin for two weeks, and now we’re back! It’s sad to be done with vacation because I love love loooove vacation. Also: sun. My tan lines are out of control and I secretly really like it, because if you ignore the lines it’s just TAN. But all that being said, it feels good to be back in our little love nest of a home.
One thing: the cabin kitchen is about 80 times nicer than our humble yum sweet home kitchen. It features all the best appliance brands with little warning alarms, bells and whistles, and every kind of built-in schnazzery, but somehow I’m still really happy to be back in my tiny + outdated personal cooking space. Me and the orange cabinets and the no dishwasher and the mystery fridge that was rescued out of the depths of the basement… we all do just fine together.
I made these muffins about fourteen million times while we were at the cabin this year because 1) summer joy is watching the sun rise over the lake with a pot of coffee and a plate of fresh muffins by your side, seeeriously, 2) all the zucchinis are here there and everywhere, and 3) I was trying to develop a zucchini muffin recipe to fit my tastes and my new sugar selective thang. Requirement: must still be absolutely delicious.
Healthier muffins? I hate to say it, but they are almost always blech in your mouth. Oat flour, take your gummy, dry, heavy self and go back to where you came from. Through the millions of test muffins that came through the kitchen over the last few weeks, there were a few batches that my sweet family choked down (“No, really, they’re pretty good!” –> that’s called Minnesota nice) and then there were a few batches that made their way down to the lake to fulfill their ultimate destiny as duck food.
High expectations is the name of the game here. I refuse to take part in the eating of muffins that is not a completely spectacular experience, even when they’re made without the regular muffin heroes (shug and flour and butter), hence the fourteen million attempts and good news: the eventual WIN!
When I eat a muffin, I want big puffy tops, moist texture, not too dense and not too light, and light golden brown. And then I get obsessed and keep adding and subtracting and tweaking and sampling the recipe until all my hard work (ahem, muffin-gorging) pays off they turn out just how I want them.
Also known as I get very lucky. Also known as Very Yummy In My Tummy.
These big boys are all that and more. They are everything my food-loving heart wants from a healthier muffin:
- made with whole wheat flour (only half because if you’re being honest with yourself, using all whole wheat flour in muffins Does Not Taste Good but half is very doable and delish)
- moistened with light tasting olive oil (taking a cue from my all-time favorite healthier pumpkin muffins and OMG I just got the excited chills for fall)
- and sweetened with natural sugars (real maple syrup, the kind that comes out of a tree, and raw honey because it’s suuuh guuud)
Did I want to glaze these with the maple glaze from that healthy pumpkin muffin recipe? Yes. Am I completely stumped on how to make a glaze without refined sugars? Yes. Please help me if you know the way. It’s the one sugar thing I can’t seem to figure out.
I’m telepathically willing you all the best zucchini muffin making on this first Monday in August (whoa). Can you hear me in your head? Just listen really close. I’m saying: healthier honey and olive oil zucchini muffins for life.
- 3 cups grated zucchini (I used about 2 whole zucchini)
- 2 beaten eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup olive oil (light or mild tasting)
- ⅔ cup real maple syrup
- ⅓ cup raw honey, softened
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, eggs, vanilla, olive oil, maple syrup, and honey. Stir gently until mixed; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir to combine and make a well in the middle. Pour the wet mixture from step one into the well and stir just a few times until barely combined. Overmixing makes the muffins tough and hard, so I try to limit myself to 15 big around-the-bowl stirs.
- Pour the batter in a muffin tin greased with nonstick cooking spray or lined with paper cups. You should be able to get 6-8 jumbo muffins or 15-16 regular sized muffins. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and the tops spring back when you press on them.
Nutrition facts are for 1 muffin when you make them “regular sized” (15-16 in a batch).
PS. This is completely unrelated to muffins, but you all are home geniuses and I love polling you for your expertise on these things.
We are finally getting around to re-painting and de-gunking our (currently magenta, thank you very much previous owner) front door this week. The door is very old and heavy and extremely beautiful and I l-o-v-e it, other than the very bold, almost-red-but-not color. Unfortunately I think it’s too far gone to remove the paint and try to refinish the wood, at least for our limited DIY selves, so we need to pick a new door color.
Our house is white and our shutters are black, or brown, or just sort of plain, so right now I’m leaning towards a coat of cobalt or navy blue for the door. I have visions of a cute yellow-white wreath tying it all together and being just totally old house meets modern style adorable and picture perfect. Is this a good or horrible idea? Sometimes I can’t decide if I should listen to myself. Anyone done blue and regretted it? Don’t tell me. Except do. I need your house help.