One of my 2016 New Year’s resolutions is not to waste food. Once a week I clean out the fridge and always feel super guilty as I throw away a whole bunch of once-perfectly-good food. Old leftovers I never felt inspired to eat, forgotten heads of lettuce that didn’t meet their true destiny, and of course, those darned fruits I always buy in the hopes that this week, I’ll actually make good on my promise to eat more fruit. It all stops now! So far I have actually done a pretty good job of using up what’s in the fridge. Although I’m still not eating much fruit…. but that’s a topic for another day.
Yesterday I had a single zucchini lingering in the veggie drawer so I knew I had to take action to save the little guy. I turned to my list of recipes to conquer for my #OSGcookbook challenge, and noticed one I had never given much thought to before; zucchini muffins. It’s not that I thought zucchini in a baked good would be yucky, it’s just that I didn’t expect it to really wow me. Boy was I wrong! That’s one of the cool things about pushing yourself to use up all your leftovers. Sometimes it leads to creative concoctions you wouldn’t have tried otherwise!
I started by grating the zook, hoping it would give me the required 1 1/4 cups, and it did!
Next I followed the same five steps I pretty much always follow when baking vegan:
- Whip up flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)
- Combine dry ingredients
- Combine wet ingredients
- Add wet ingredients to dry ones*** (Secret trick to follow)
- Stir in the add-ins
When a recipe calls for stirring in chopped nuts, chocolate chips, etc., I have a little trick. As you stir the wet ingredients with the dry, stop about half way into the stirring process, when you still see a fair amount of dry ingredients streaking through. Like this:
Now mix in your add-ins; in this case, the zucchini, chocolate chips, and walnuts. With all baked goods, and especially muffins, you want to avoid over-mixing the batter. Over-mixing can result in dense, chewy dough – and not in a yummy, chewy, brownie kind of way, more of an old leather way 😛 Take my word for it. So by stirring in your add-ins when the batter is half mixed, you are reducing the total amount of mixing. Brilliant!
This was the point when I started getting really excited about these little zucchini muffins. Call me crazy, but I thought the green shreds of zucchini against the chocolaty brown batter looked really pretty! And the cocoa smell was divine. Another thing I like about vegan baking – you can safely eat the raw batter!
I greased the muffin cups with a little canola oil and filled them up. There was a lot of batter! Each cup was pretty much full to the top. Into the oven they go!
And voila! I quickly devoured one straight from the oven. Wow was it ever good! I put a little coconut-oil spread on my muffin and it was heavenly. I kept a few in an air-tight container, and froze the rest in a freezer bag. Usually a dozen muffins will last my husband and I about two weeks, during which we just defrost two or three at a time so they keep fresh. Something tells me these are going to disappear a little more quickly though…
Well, recipe #40 is checked off the list and I am licking my smiling lips. I can’t wait to have another wayward zucchini to rescue!
For the full recipe, I highly recommend buying Liddon’s cookbook, Oh She Glows, or clicking here to check out the recipe on her blog.