Tag Archives: zucchini bread

Carrot-Zucchini Muffins

Carrot-Zucchini MuffinsIโ€™m such an optimist when it comes to meal planning. I start every week with the best of intentions, picking up a ton of fresh produce. Tomatoes and avocados go quickly around here, being tossed with pesto or mashed into guacamole or served on toast. Greens go with fried eggs or are made into a huge salad with any odds and ends I have in the fridge. But no matter what I do, something gets forgotten.

Carrot-Zucchini MuffinsLast week, it was nearly a pound of carrots and a few zucchini. I made some into hash browns (recipe coming soon!), but I can only eat so many of those in a week. Instead of letting good produce sit in the fridge for another day or two, I turned to my go-to Zucchini Bread recipe.

Carrot-Zucchini MuffinsIn addition to being delicious, these Carrot-Zucchini Muffins are a little more nutritious than your average breakfast pastry. For one, they’re made with shredded carrots and zucchini–thereโ€™s a full 1/4 cup of vegetables in every serving!

Carrot-Zucchini MuffinsThe batter can certainly be made with only all-purpose flour, but I like to use half whole wheat flour here. Where using all whole wheat flour has the potential to make things dry and crumbly if not handled properly, using it in a 50/50 ratio with all-purpose keeps everything nice and soft. The resulting muffins have a nutty whole grain flavor and fluffy interiors–the best of both worlds.  

Carrot-Zucchini MuffinsCarrot-Zucchini Muffins are pretty low in sugar, coming in at less than a tablespoon per serving. While adding a few more tablespoons of sugar could certainly amp up the flavor, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg basically do the same thing without adding to the calorie count.

Carrot-Zucchini MuffinsIf you’re looking to get some extra vegetables into your family this summer, this is one easy way to do it. These muffins have all that carrot and zucchini, a bit of whole grain, and with such minimal sugar, seconds are encouraged. Also, they freeze like a dream–just pop a frozen muffin in the microwave for 45 seconds or so. Served alongside a glass of Cold Brew, eating your vegetables has never been so delicious.Carrot-Zucchini Muffins

Carrot-Zucchini Muffins
makes 12 standard Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil (I use canola)
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots, not packed (about 3 medium carrots)
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, not packed (about 2 medium zucchini)

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, or grease well. Set aside.

In a medium-large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla. Whisk in dry ingredients in two installments, mixing just until combined. Fold in shredded carrots and zucchini. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Tap full pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles.

Bake 5 minutes before reducing the heat to 350F for another 12-14 minutes. Muffins are ready when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.

To freeze, place cooled muffins on a baking sheet and freeze for 2 hours. Transfer to a labeled freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to three months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight or microwave for 45 seconds-1 minute.

Carrot-Zucchini Muffins

Advertisements

Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini Bread

 Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini BreadIsn’t it funny how our tastes evolve as we age? Things that we were horrified by years ago become our favorites out of the blue, leaving us with no idea of when or why our opinions changed. Sometimes we don’t even notice that we’ve changed at all.

For instance, my mother ordered a slice of zucchini bread once on a family vacation eighteen years ago. We were in who-knows-where Pennsylvania at the crack of dawn, eating breakfast at a picnic table outside a white clapboard coffee shop. I have no memory of what I ordered, but I remember being taken aback when my mom sat down with that bread. 

Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini BreadIt was like I didn’t even know her anymore. Who was this woman, and why was she trying to ruin breakfast with vegetables? She offered me a bite and I recoiled in horror (internally, at least). Don’t get me wrong, I liked vegetables, but in my thirteen year-old mind, there was something utterly wrong about eating bread loaded with squash. 

Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini BreadBut times have changed. Here I am eighteen years later, writing a blog post about zucchini bread. I don’t know when I moved over to the dark green side, but I’m now a card-carrying member. I mean, what’s not to love about soft, sweet, cinnamon-scented quick bread? It’s perfect for breakfast or a snack or dessert. Sure, there’s zucchini in there, but aside from a few green flecks, it’s not even noticeable. It’s only there for moisture. And you could use buttermilk or sour cream or yogurt for that anytime of year, but when the produce aisles are exploding with ripe, reasonably-priced zucchini, why not take full advantage?!

This zucchini bread recipe is a total classic and would be great with a cup of chopped nuts stirred into the batter, but today, let’s get a little crazy and fill our quick bread with a tunnel of melted cinnamon-sugar. Yes, you read that correctly. This isn’t any old zucchini bread–this is Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini Bread! 

Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini BreadSo how do you get all that cinnamon-sugar goodness inside your quickbread? Well, it’s surprisingly easy. Once the simple no-mixer-required batter is stirred together, half of it is poured into the bottom of a loaf pan, then blanketed in cinnamon-sugar before the rest of the batter is layered on top. As the zucchini bread bakes, the cinnamon-sugar layer melts and moves as the bread rises. Once the loaf is completely cool, you can slice it up and see a little swirl of sweet cinnamon goodness throughout ๐Ÿ˜ 

Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini BreadOh yes, this Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini Bread is something that even little thirteen year-old me could get excited about. And who wouldn’t? It’s moist, sweet, lightly spiced quick bread swirled with melted cinnamon-sugar, and it comes with a small serving of vegetables that you can’t even taste. It’s the dream. 

Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini Bread Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini Bread
makes one 9×5″ loaf

For the pan:
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil

Cinnamon Swirl:*
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Zucchini Bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil (I use canola)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini, not packed (about 1 1/2 large zucchini)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease the pan. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together flour and oil. Use a pastry brush to paint the entire inside of a 9×5″ loaf pan. Pour out any excess. Set aside.

Prepare the cinnamon swirl. In a separate small bowl, use a fork to whisk together granulated sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Make the zucchini bread. In a medium-large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar. The mixture will be clumpy, like wet sand. Add eggs one-by-one, whisking to combine after each addition. Stir in vanilla, followed by shredded zucchini. Add dry ingredients, and stir just until combined (no more than 20-25 strokes).

Transfer half the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with all of the cinnamon swirl mixture. Top with the remaining batter, spreading to cover the cinnamon-sugar layer. Lightly tap the pan on the counter to release any large air bubbles. Bake 40-50 minutes, tenting with foil at the 20 minute mark. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs.

Let zucchini bread cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Once the bread is cool, run a small thin knife around the edges of the pan before inverting to release. Slice and serve.

Store bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.

Note:

If you don’t wish to use the cinnamon swirl, add an extra teaspoon of cinnamon to the zucchini bread batter.

Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini Bread