Friday, September 6, 2013

Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini Muffins
Adapted from Simply Recipes

I have to agree that these are the best zucchini muffins ever. What I love about these muffins, they are pack full of zucchini. They also have a lot of walnuts and raisins that adds sweetness, crunch and texture to these muffins. Just as I do with most recipes, I modified a few ingredients to suit my healthy way of eating, like replacing all-purpose flour with WHITE whole wheat flour and replacing butter with EXTRA LIGHT olive oil. I like my zucchini bread spiced up tasting like a pumpkin bread or a carrot cake, so I added a few more ground spices to this recipe. I seem to detect an unpleasant "metallic" aftertaste from the amount of baking soda the original recipe called for so I reduced the amount of baking soda and replaced the difference with baking powder which worked out perfectly.

3 cups WHITE whole wheat flour (12.6 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups slightly packed grated fresh unpeeled zucchini (about 13.7 to 14.1 ounces from about two large-size zucchini)*

1-1/3 cups unrefined natural cane sugar (8.9 ounces)
2 extra-large eggs, beaten (3.8 to 4.0 ounces)**
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup EXTRA LIGHT olive oil or expeller-pressed canola oil (3.4 ounces)
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (4.0 ounces)

1 cup dark raisins (5.0 ounces)

*ZUCCHINI: If you don't have enough zucchini, no worries. Just add enough grated peeled carrots for the difference in weight.
**EGGS: You don't have extra large eggs, just add enough EXTRA LIGHT olive oil to make up the difference in weight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position two oven racks to the upper third and lower third of the oven. Spray 15 muffin cups with nonstick baking spray (2 muffin pans). Set aside.

In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Whisk everything together until thoroughly blended. Set aside.

Grate the unpeeled zucchini using the large holes of a box grater. DO NOT need to squeeze dry the grated zucchini. Set aside.

In a separate large-size mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy. Sugar will somewhat dissolved, but not completely. Whisk in the olive oil until blended.

Using a pastry fork, stir in the grated zucchini. Then add in all the flour mixture. Gently stir/fold the flour mixture with the pastry fork until almost combined.

Using a rubber spatula, fold in the walnuts and raisins until thoroughly combined, but do not over mix.

Divide batter among 15 muffin cups. Place the muffin pan that is entirely filled in the upper third rack and the other pan that is partially filled in the lower third rack. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let muffins cool in the pan for about 5 minutes; then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Best to store muffins in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. The muffins will become more moist as it sits out at room temperature of more than one day. Reheat muffins in the microwave for 15 seconds.

Yield 15 muffins, approximately 291 calories per muffin