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The Veggie Dilemma by Jennifer Perillo

DSC01901-2.JPGWhat 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.

Zucchini Muffins
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.

To find out more about Jennifer Perillo, visit our Role Mommy experts page.

Posted in: Blog, Cooking with Jennifer Perillo on 07/20/2009

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