It’s summer and that means a lot of awesome produce is available (and local produce to boot!).
The problem lies in “getting it all in”. If you’re not sure what that means,let me explain.
Let’s talk weather for a second. Let me compare this to that really awesome, gloriously sunny Sunday in the summer where you don’t have to work and you want to spend every minute of the day outdoors. But you have to do some things/chores indoors because, heck, you are a responsible person. Buuutttt, it’s going to be February before you know it so you should take advantage of the great outdoors.
Now, when we talk produce, we look at things like zucchini in much the same way as that glorious Sunday. Zucchini, which are abundant and cheap now (and if you have a garden, you know there are enough zucchini to give one away to every person you know), are everywhere and readily available. But, in about 2 months, suddenly, there will be no more in your garden and they will once again take their place on that lonely grocery store shelf coming from as far away as Mexico.
That being said, let’s take advantage of this very versatile, abundant veggie. We will make a bunch of things with zuccini (like this chocolate zucchini bread), but in the meantime, start with these really easy zucchini muffins!
3 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c apple sauce (if you don’t have this, just double the amount of oil)
2 tsp vanilla
zest of one lemon (save the juice and add it to your cream cheese frosting if you are using it)
2 c brown sugar
1 large zucchini, green or yellow (you will need about 2 1/3-3 c grated)
Cream Cheese Icing (click for the recipe)
1. Preheat your oven to 350 and get your muffin tins ready (spray with cooking spray or line with muffin liners). Take your clean zucchini and grate it (I like to do it in a food processor).
2. In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon); set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat oil, apple sauce and eggs. Once combined, add in vanilla, lemon zest and brown sugar; beat well. Add in flour mixture and just mix for a moment – you should still see flour streaks). Now add the zucchini and mix gently (I like to do this last mixing by hand because over-mixing at this point is what causes muffins and quick breads to become tough).
4. Spoon the batter into muffin tins ( I made some in mini muffin tins and some in regular muffin tins). Bake the mini muffins for about 10-15 minutes and the regular ones for about 20 minutes (they should spring back when touched in the middle).
5. Remove the muffins from the tins and cool on a rack.
6. You can eat them like this (maybe dusted with icing sugar!) or ice them with a really good cream cheese icing).
If you’re icing them, either pipe it onto the top like this or push the piping bag into the middle of the muffin and squeeze to release some of the icing into the middle of the muffin…as you push the icing into the middle, lift out the bag and keep squeezing to pipe a dollop onto the top (you can see what I mean by the first picture at the top of this post)picture . Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy.
Who knew eating your veggies could be so much fun!?!?
Now go out and enjoy that glorious summer day. Your chores will wait because, before you know it, these wonderfully summer days will end (just like the zucchini crop) and you won’t have any great stories to tell….because what good stories come from cleaning a toilet?? :):)