First Harvest

In our garden, without fail, the first crop ready for harvest is zucchini.  Those of you who grow it, or have grown it, know that it comes fast and furious.  Keeping up with it is always a challenge, and this year I’ve been working with a close friend and my in-laws to come up and seek out lots of ways to use it up so we don’t waste it.  The favorite, in my own house, is zucchini bread (or in today’s case, muffins).  My hubby is not a vegetable eater, and although these are a sweet muffin, I have talked myself into believing that the fact that he will eat these means that he’s getting a bit of a veggie serving!

It seems as though nearly everyone has a recipe for zucchini bread.  Some are passed down from generation to generation, some are found in the millions of amazing cookbooks out there, and some are like mine.  They start with a classic recipe and evolve, over time, into one that is my own, through experimentation and substitution.  As it stands today, my recipe feels like a good blend of a sweet and tasty treat and a wholesome and healthy muffin.

The Pink Peppermint Zucchini Muffin

I AM sharing the recipe!  I DO expect you to try it! I EXPECT lots of feedback…so get crackin’ people!

Pink Peppermint’s Zucchini Muffins (or bread, or mini muffins, or muffin tops….you get the picture)

*Preheat your oven — 350 degrees

Ingredients:

3 c. shredded zucchini (use a box grater or a food processor AND the more fresh the zucchini, the higher the water  content…you may have to put your shredded zucchini in a clean, dry kitchen towel and squeeze the excess water out)

1 2/3 c. granulated sugar

1/3 c. vegetable oil

1/3 c. applesauce

2 t. vanilla extract (please, please, please use the GOOD stuff…it’s worth it)

4 large eggs

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

2 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

1 t. ground cinnamon (good cinnamon is imperative as well…saigon cinnamon is the best)

1/2 t. baking powder

The Method:

Prepare your chosen pan accordingly…when I use this to make muffins, I use paper muffin cups because it just makes for easier clean up.  Have you ever had to scrub a muffin pan?  NOT FUN!

*I mix this up in Miss Kitty (my Kitchen Aid mixer), but you can do it by hand if you aren’t lucky enough to have your own Miss Kitty.

Mix zucchini, sugar, oil, applesauce, vanilla and eggs until blended.

Add additional ingredients one at a time, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next.  (It helps you to avoid lumpy batter.)

Pour batter into your pan and bake at 350 degrees. For muffins, I use a large cookie scoop to portion out the batter. If you’re making muffins, they take about 15 minutes (just check with a toothpick and make sure that it comes out clean). For mini loaves, you’re looking at 25-30 minutes.  For a full-size loaf pan, you’ll need to let it bake for about 60 minutes.

Cool on a rack (although it’s so hard to let them cool without sampling one! Go ahead and eat one if you can’t resist the urge — great with butter or your favorite jam).

Store in an airtight container.  These are fine at room temperature for 4-5 days…if they stick around that long.  They also freeze really well.  If you decide to freeze them, wrap them first in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil OR double bag them in freezer bags.

Remember….I expect you guys to bake these!  Let me know what you think when you do!

Get baking, people....these are DELISH!!!!

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One thought on “First Harvest

  1. It cracks me up to hear you say “use the good stuff”. My first experience of using “the good stuff” was when I made spaghetti sauce with fresh herbs. Mario eat your heart out. I’ve laso learned not to add them until almost the end. I think you and I both realized the difference at about the same time. Yes, good oregeno is better than the cheap stuff. Why, becasue you find leaves in it not just twigs and weeds. Alton has a lot to say on good cinnamon as he does black pepper. I can remember going to the dollar store and being so thriled I had found cumin. Argh, spit. Since my income is much differnet than it was back in the day I just save awhile and still buy the good stuff. If we need to go without toilet paper we still have many phone books but NOT the good spices or herbs, oils, etc. Priorities people Priorities.

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