Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

These muffins are sooo good. They turn out light and moist. They are packed with zucchini so you don’t have to feel guilty about eating what is essentially breakfast cupcakes. The kids will love them too.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 firmly packed cups of shredded zucchini
1 – 3 tablespoons of milk (if necessary)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line muffin tins with baking cups.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and shredded zucchini. Pour the zucchini mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. If the batter is dry and crumbly, add milk, a tablespoon at a time, until it is smooth. The zucchini will release moisture while the muffins are baking, so you don’t want to add any more milk than necessary.

Divide the batter between 18 muffin cups. You want them to be about 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

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Sweet Potato Muffins

Sweet Potato Muffins

I have a confession to make…I don’t really like sweet potatoes. I should. They are super nutritious and so good for you. They are high in vitamins and minerals. They have powerful antioxidants that have anti-cancer and anti-aging effects. Sweet potatoes are relatively low on the glycemic index and help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Indigenous tribes in New Guinea subside on a diet almost made up entirely of sweet potatoes. Despite all of this, I still don’t like the taste of them.

This was the first week of the fall season for my CSA. This week’s box from Pinckney’s Produce contained a bunch of sweet potatoes. More sweet potatoes than I have probably consumed in my entire life. Oh great. Well, yesterday, I cooked half of the sweet potatoes in the crockpot until they were tender. Once cooked, I peeled and mashed the sweet potatoes for use in a couple of recipes. This morning I used some of the mashed sweet potatoes to make muffins. They were actually a big hit. My family really liked them. They were mild and tender. My 3 year old must have eaten 6 of them all by himself. I have to admit, I don’t have a problem eating sweet potatoes in muffin form. These muffins are delicious.

Sweet Potato Muffins

Makes 18 regular sized muffins

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potato (about 2 medium sweet potatoes)
1 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Spray the muffin tins with cooking spray or line with cupcake liners/baking cups.

In a small bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Next mix in the mashed sweet potatoes and then the milk.

Gradually blend the flour mixture into the sweet potato mixture on low speed until just combined. Divide the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Bake the muffins in a 375° F oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving.


Gluten-Free Coconut Blueberry Muffins

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I am working on eliminating wheat and ultimately, gluten from my diet. I have had thyroid disease for 10 years now. I take medicine every day, but my thyroid issues persist (despite blood test results in the “normal” range) and continue to get worse. I’ve been reading lately that a gluten-free diet can be beneficial for those with thyroid disease. I’m willing to try it. This isn’t my first dance with a gluten-free diet. In my 20’s I went on a gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free diet for a year. I never felt better in my life. I think it will be much easier this go round since  there are so many more gluten-free convenience products available.

The kids and I went to Whole Foods the other night to pick up a few gluten-free things. I got some coconut flour and coconut palm sugar. Came home and got busy pinning coconut flour recipes. After reading through half a dozen coconut muffin recipes, I came up with this one. I think they turned out well. My family wasn’t too impressed. They are not coconut fans. I liked the texture. Not bad for gluten (and grain) free.

Gluten-Free Coconut Blueberry Muffins

3 eggs
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder (Rumford and Clabber Girl brands are both gluten free)
3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil (melted)
pinch of salt
1/4 cup fresh (not frozen) blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a blender, combine the eggs, coconut flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, melted coconut oil, and salt until smooth. Pour batter into a bowl and stir in the blueberries.

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Line 6 regular-sized muffin tins with baking cups and divide the batter equally between them.

Bake the muffins at 400 degrees F for 17 minutes or until done.

Serve muffins warm with butter.


Strawberry Muffins

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The strawberries are starting to ripen here in South Carolina and in a couple of weeks the kids and I will be heading to Cottle Strawberry Farms in the Columbia area for our annual tradition of strawberry picking. Until then, we are getting a pretty good deal on  fresh strawberries from Florida at the Publix. My kids love strawberries and are always open to new ways to consume them. They never turn down muffins.

My 3-year-old helped me mix up this batch of Strawberry Muffins. His help is not always helpful. He tried to add a tablespoon of kosher salt to the muffin batter. Luckily, I was able to grab the bowl before he tipped the measuring spoon. The salt went on the floor, but the muffins were spared. He did manage to add a bit of cinnamon to the batter. At least that addition had delicious results. I added chopped pecans to half of the batter. I think strawberries and pecans compliment each other quite well. This recipe yielded 12 regular sized muffins and 7 mini muffins.

Strawberry Muffins

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray and set aside.

Combine the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine milk, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently stir in the strawberries and pecans (if using).

Divide the batter between muffin tins. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes, until muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. For me, the mini muffins were slightly overdone at 15 minutes and the regular sized muffins were perfect at 17 minutes. Ovens vary, so use your best judgement. Remove the muffins from the oven and let cool.

Strawberry Muffins - dm


Banana Poppy Seed Muffins

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I’ve only recently started buying bananas on a regular basis. My crazy toddler loves them. He’s not always consistent with his banana consumption, though. Some days he will eat two whole bananas and still want more. On other days he will only eat half of a banana and be done. Sometimes he goes weeks without wanting a banana at all. On those weeks, I am often left with a bunch of ripe bananas. Much of the time, I peel and slice the bananas and put them in the freezer. I use the frozen bananas to make smoothies. Right now I have more frozen bananas in the freezer than we can possibly use in the next few weeks.

I’ve been on the lookout for ways to use ripe bananas.  I found this Banana Poppy Seed Muffin recipe in the cookbook, Once Upon a Tart…Soups Salads, Muffins, and More from New York City’s Favorite Bakeshop and Cafe by Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau with Carolynn Carreno (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2003).  I adapted the recipe a bit and the muffins turned out perfect. I loved the texture. Most importantly, my picky kids liked them. I will definitely be making these muffins again.

Banana Poppy Seed Muffins

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup sugar
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray the muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside.

Whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds together in a small bowl and set aside.

In a separate, large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until creamy and fluffy. Add the bananas and continue mixing until the bananas are blended with the butter and sugar. Mix the eggs in one at a time. Next, mix in the milk.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet on low speed until there is no trace of flour left. Do not overmix.

Divide the batter between 12 cups in regular size muffin tin(s). Fill each cup almost to the top.

Place in the oven on the center rack. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.

When done, remove the muffins from the oven and let cool until they are easy to handle. Serve with butter.


Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins sm

I love this blueberry muffin recipe. The muffins are not too sweet and I feel that the addition of the whole wheat flour makes them a little healthier. Sometimes, I add 1 cup of chopped pecans (which recent studies show are very high in antioxidants) along with the blueberries for something a little different.

Blueberry Muffins

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (you do not have to defrost them)
4 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin pans lightly with cooking spray or use paper baking cups and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.  Combine the milk, oil, vanilla, and egg together and then add to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened, but do not over mix. Gently mix in the blueberries.  Fill muffin pans half full with batter. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a little bit of sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes or until done.

Makes approximately 12 large muffins or 24 mini muffins.


Double Corn Muffins

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From October 14, 2005:  I made these last night to go with dinner.  They were very sweet and may be better with/for breakfast rather than with a savory meal.  This recipe makes 24 muffins. I cut the recipe in half.  The batter was very thick and I’m not sure if it was because I halved the recipe (and maybe miscalculated) or if that’s how it was supposed to be.  The corn kernels in the muffins get all chewy and sweet (and stick in your teeth) and tastes really good.

Double Corn Muffins

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup corn or canola oil
3/4 cup white or turbinado sugar
3 T. honey
3 cups flour
1 cup cornmeal
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 2 12-cup muffin pans or line with paper liners.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, oil, sugar, and honey together till fluffy.  In a second bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.  Add to the butter mixture alternately with the milk.  Mix on low speed just till blended.  Stir in the corn.  Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full, and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Best served hot and fresh, with butter and honey.