The Veggie Dilemma by Jennifer Perillo
What mom doesn't worry about her kids getting their daily dose of vegetables? Even foodie moms will confess most things green are an uphill battle. I have found one really delicious way to get my six-year-old (and her friends) interested in zucchini. I decided to batter 'em up with some muffins. They're perfect for breakfast, but make for a filling snack too. Zucchini is a great source of vitamin C, fiber and folate (read: brain food), and the recipe below is light on sugar.
While you're at it, get the kids involved. Older ones can grate the squash, and measuring the ingredients is a tasty math lesson. Little ones will have fun pouring them into a mixing bowl and stirring the batter. And mom, lead by example by popping one, wrapped of course, into your own purse or briefcase for a healthy mid-afternoon treat.
Makes 12 muffins or 2 loaf breads
This recipe also bakes up great as a loaf bread. Just increase the cooking time to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If you have a food processor with a shredder blade attachment, it's a snap to prepare the zucchini.
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1 ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
½ teaspoon lemon zest
3 cups shredded zucchini (about two medium squash)
3 large eggs
¼ cup canola oil
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan with cooking spray; set aside.
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, allspice, cinnamon, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the zucchini, lemon zest and half of the walnuts (if using) and stir to combine.
3. In a separate small bowl, lightly beat the eggs, canola oil and melted butter. Pour over flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until mixed well with the dry ingredients (it will look more like a dough than a batter).
4. Spoon into prepared muffin tin and sprinkle tops with remaining walnuts. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
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