I’ve got a new Friday night tradition. Well, almost: I’ve got a new every-other-Friday tradition. Every other Friday, as I do homework and wait patiently for M to arrive from D.C., I take a short break to bake. And what am I baking, you ask? Muffins. Lots and lots of muffins.
This ritual goes back to my first CR baking post—vegan carrot raisin muffins—back in October, and it has held its own in the months since. As it turns out, M is a big muffin fan, which is convenient, because muffins are undoubtedly my favorite type of baked good. They’re also the most convenient, at least IMO: they’re basically a breakfast food, but they can also double nicely as snacks and sweet treats. So M and I can nibble on a muffin or two at midnight when he gets in, but most of all we can look forward to enjoying them with a smoothie for breakfast. These muffins get more love from me than most, because they’re packed with veggies. Zucchini muffins are a terrific way to sneak some green veggies into a tasty treat. They’re an ideal food for kids, or even for adults who have a tough time tolerating vegetables.
The abundance of vegetables doesn’t, however, mean that these muffins are tasteless. Chopped dates lend a wonderful touch of natural sweetness, and cinnamon and ginger add spice and flavor. So while you can feel glad that the muffins are made with whole grains (I used whole wheat pastry flour; a gluten-free baking mix would work nicely, too, and so would all-purpose) and a green vegetable, but you can also feel certain that they’ll impress.
Nice added bonus? Zucchini and applesauce add a lot of natural moisture, so the oil in this recipe only amounts to four tablespoons.
Vegan Zucchini Date Muffins (vegan, soy free, can be gluten-free if you substitute GF flour)
Yields 12 muffins
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (sub all purpose GF flour, or regular all purpose flour)
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup coconut or olive oil
1/4 cup almond milk
1/3 cup sucanat or sugar (this will make the muffins moderately sweet; use 1/2 cup for sweeter muffins, but keep in mind that the dates will add sweetness too)
1 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
2/3 cup chopped dates, tossed in a little flour so that they don’t clump together
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Mix all dry ingredients (save sugar) in a large bowl.
3) Whisk together applesauce, oil, milk, and sucanat, and pour them into the dry ingredients.
4) Fold ingredients together till just mixed, and then fold in the zucchini and dates.
5) Pour batter into muffin tins and bake until golden brown — about 12-15 minutes.
Few midnight snacks taste better than these—especially if you happen to share one with someone special, who’s just coming in from the cold.
On that note, a new week begins. Tune in tomorrow for a special NEDA week post!