Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mandy's Bytes: "Nuts to Your Fruit" Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini bread is one of my favorite baked goods, it's usually on the healthy side, while still being a borderline dessert food. Cami and I whipped up this recipe in loaves a while back and I thought that it would make delicious muffins for a quick breakfast snack.

"Nuts to Your Fruit" Zucchini Muffins:
2 cups grated zucchini is about 1 and a half medium zucchinis
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 20oz can crushed pinapple, drained
- 1 cup dried cranberries  - 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Next you'll need to grate the zucchini
No shredded fingers here!
using the large holes of a cheese grater, be careful not to grate your fingers. I managed to escape unharmed this time around.

Which is more than I can say for Cami, but we'll get to that later.

Next you'll want to combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Whisk all these ingredients together and set aside, for now.

Be mindful when measuring your flour to lightly scoop flour into the measuring cup with a spoon and level the top. You never want to scoop with the measuring cup or shake it to level, the bread will turn out very heavy, and not very tasty.

Then you'll need to beat the eggs with a mixer on medium until they are foamy. To the foamy eggs add the grated zucchini, sugar, oil, and vanilla.
 Blend these ingredients until well mixed, then add in the pineapple. Mix it until well distributed in the batter.

This is where things got a little crazy for us. Due to Cami having a bit of a disagreement with the pineapple can, I don't have any pretty pictures of adding the pineapple.

Remember kids: cans are sharp.
Or of adding the dry ingredients you whisked together earllier and mixing until just combined (which is the next step by the way). Instead I have only the photo evidence of Cami's battle wound. The kitchen is a dangerous place.

All that's left now is to add the cranberries and pecans into the batter. Now you don't have to use cranberries and pecans, you can use any kind of dried fruit or nut you like. Fold your fruits and nuts into the batter until they are evenly dispersed.
Fill those babies up to the top!

You have another choice at this point, you can make muffins, like we did. Just put muffin papers in two standard size muffin tins, this batch will make about 24 muffins. Fill the cups with 1/3 a cup of batter, it doesn't rise much so it's okay for them to be on the full side.

Or you can make two loaves using 9x5 inch loaf pans. Spray the pans with cooking spray and split the batter evenly between them.

Either way you're going to bake them at 325 degrees for 50 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
I pity the fool who don't let 'em cool!

Now you may be tempted at this point to devour these as soon at they are cool enough to touch, you must resist!  You have to let them cool completely or you will find yourself trying to claw the remains of a disemboweled muffin out of the wrapper. This is messy, and only lets you enjoy about 60% of the muffin.

Once they've cooled though they are a delicious treat to eat for breakfast. Or for eating three of while you blog....  Enjoy!

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