Tag Archives: Zucchini

Muffin Thursday: Zucchini and Berries

IMG_0750This recipe is similar to the Zucchini Double Berry recipe I posted in July of 2013. But if you click HERE you’ll see this is quiet the different recipe.


  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 cups Vegetable Oil
  • 3 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Orange Extract
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1 3/4 cups White Sugar
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 cup grated Zucchini
  • 1/2 cup whole Blueberries
  • 1/2 cup mashed Blackberries
  • 1/2 cup Slivered Almonds
Batter in the extra-large muffin cups, ready to go into the oven.

Batter in the extra-large muffin cups, ready to go into the oven.


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prep 12 extra-large muffin cups by spraying with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl beat the Eggs then add the Vegetable Oil, Vanilla and Orange Extract.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the Flour, Sugar, Salt, Baking Powder and Baking Soda.
  4. Mix the dry into the wet and stir until well incorporated.
  5. Fold in the Zucchini, Blueberries, Blackberries and Almonds.
  6. Divide evenly into the muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes until tops of muffins are golden brown and the muffins pass the toothpick test.
Ready to eat.

Ready to eat.

My tester Bill called these “really delicious” and gave them his stamp of approval. They are sweet, as one would expect from a muffin with that much sugar and fruit. I think they will keep and travel well because they seem to be firm and not too moist.

Give them a try. I think you will be pleased.


Muffin “Monday” — Zucchini Fig Almond

Zucchini Fig Almond muffins from the ritaLOVEStoWRITE test kitchen

Zucchini Fig Almond muffins from the ritaLOVEStoWRITE test kitchen


  • 2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp Lemon Peal
  • 1 cup shredded Zucchini (fresh or frozen/thawed)
  • 2 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup Fat-Free Milk
  • 1/3 cup Fig
  • 1/4 cup  Almond Slivers
  • Water to smooth the tops of the muffins
A note on the Zucchini — So Sunday was a  lovely day here in Northern Maryland and I finally got out into the garden to do some rehab and bit of planting. Being an optimistic kind of human, I planted Zucchini — yes, I’m one of those people who thinks you “can NEVER have too much Zucchini.” So I started a packet of seeds, knowing full well that I’ll get Zuke in my weekly box from the farmer co-op come summer. With this in mind I went to the freezer to free it of some of last year’s crop. I let a bag thaw over night than (after cracking the ziplock seal) gave it an assist in the microwave for a minute. Then (over the sink) I pierced the bottom of the bag in several sections and squeezed the water out. I got 1 cup of compacted Zucchini.
Frozen Zucchini. On the left is an unthawed bag straight from the freezer. On the Right is a thawed bag that has been drained of excess water.

Frozen Zucchini. On the left is an unthawed bag straight from the freezer. On the Right is a thawed bag  drained of excess water.



1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and Prep muffin cups with cooking spray. (I used 12 medium-sized muffin cups).

2. In a large bowl, mix the Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Cardamom, Sugar and Lemon Peal,

3. In a medium bowl, combine the Zucchini, Lemon Zest, Canola Oil, Egg and Milk and stir well.

4. Add the wet to dry and mix until combined.

5. Chop up the Fig into small segments. Cut off the tops of the figs. Cut fig in quarters length wise, then dice.

Important Fig Cutting Diagram.

Important Fig Cutting Diagram.

6. Add the Fig and Almonds to the batter

7. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups. With a wet spoon smooth out the muffins.


8. Bake for 20 minutes or until muffins pass the toothpick test.

These babies would pass any test.

These babies would pass any test. Bring it on tooth pick.

9. Cool on a wire rack.

These came out perfectly. Dense, but not gummy. Crunchy at the top. Just sweet enough, but not overly so.  I think they’ll keep and travel well because they weren’t moist. But they weren’t so dry that you’d need to add butter or apple sauce to enjoy them. Yum.

While last week’s Strawberry Peach Minis were a bit on the dessert-y side,  these darlings fit nicely into the breakfast category. Taster Kathy agrees. She thought the muffins were healthy and hearty and really liked the fig and almond addition to the zucchini. She added that they were “Just delicious.”



Beauty shot.

Beauty shot.




Muffin Monday: S’mores & Mandarin Orange Choc. Chip

Special Snow Day: Nutella Zucchini

Muffin Monday Top Blog Honor

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Muffin Monday: Apple Zucchini Muffins

WHAT? Today’s not Monday! Its OK. Don’t touch that dial. You haven’t fallen into a muffin time warp. I just got swamped by freelance yesterday and, although I did MAKE these yummy muffins yesterday, I didn’t get around to posting about it until today.

This recipe is Texas sized so it makes 24 muffins. (Plenty for a package or two for the nieces in college down in the Lone Star State.)

Mom-Mom Approved Apple Zucchini Muffins

Mom-Mom Approved Apple Zucchini Muffins


  • 2 cups finely chopped  Apple
  • 2 cup grated Zucchini
  • 2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 3 cups regular Flour
  • 1 cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 cups Milk (or Milk plus Zucchini juice to equal 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Almond
  • 2 Egg


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep muffin cups by spraying with cooking spray and dusting with flour.

2. Chop the Apples and grate the Zucchini. DRAIN the Zucchini! Its October and the Zucchini available at the farmer’s market is roughly the size of a preemie baby. I picked up two for a buck a piece on Saturday. Half of one of those mega Zukes was enough to yield the 2 cups I needed for this recipe, but the larger gourd meant much more fluid. So I put the whole grated batch in a sieve to remove the liquid. BONUS! I was able to cut down on the amount of milk by combining it with the Zucchini liquid. Plus the Zucchini liquid is an awesome bright green color that just makes me happy.

Zucchini juice green -- why isn't there a Crayola Crayon in this color?

Zucchini juice green — why isn’t there a Crayola Crayon in this color?

3. Combine the Apples and Zucchini with the Cinnamon and set aside.

4. In a medium bowl combine the regular Flour, the Buckwheat Flour, the Baking Powder and the Salt.

5. In a large bowl melt the Butter.

6. Add the Sugar to the Butter and mix. Add the Vanilla and Almond.

7. Add  the Eggs one at a time to the Butter/Sugar mix.

8. Add the MIlk/Zucchini to the liquid.

9. Working in thirds combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix until combined, but don’t over beat.

10. Add the Apples and Zucchini.

11. Divide the batter evenly into 24 muffin cups.


12. Bake for 30 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and prove done when tested with a toothpick.

13. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes then remove from pan. Enjoy warm or cool.


Mom-Mom S. was over for the weekend and she gave these muffins an unqualified stamp of approval. She particularly liked the hint of almond that the extract gave the muffins.  I like the little sweet kick you get when you bite into an apple morsel. We had them “right from the oven” with tea and they were delightful. But they are mighty good at room temperature too.


The apples were also from the farmer’s market. I picked these up at the Manor Produce stand. The good folks at Manor Produce were able to guide me through the orchard of offerings on the table to the best apples for baking. (And they were right). They also had THE best fresh pressed apple cider.

Ahhh Fall. How I love thee.

Muffin Monday: Blackberry Beet Choc. Chip

on tray

[Props go to Megan at HuggingTrees&ShellingPeas who got me started on this particular flavor odyssey with her own Chocolate Beet Muffin recipe. I made some changes here for my twist on her recipe, but you should check out Megan’s original recipe (available at the link above) and make a batch of both muffins for a Chocolate Beet Muffin show down.]


  • 1 Cup Blackberries
  • 1/2 Cup Beets, grated
  • 1 Cup Zucchini, grated
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup ground Almonds
  • 4.5 tsp Baking Soda
  • .25 tsp Cinnamon
  • .25 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1.5 C Brown Sugar
  • 4 TBLS Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 Cup Apple Sauce
  • 1 Cup Crisco, softened
  • 3/4 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips (Plus additional Mini Chocolate Chips for garnish)


1. Preheat oven to 350. Prep Muffin tin or Muffin Cups with spray.

2. Grate the Beets. Grate the Zucchini. Hand mash the Blackberries and remove the tough core.

Grated Beets and Zucchini and finger mashed/pitted Blackberries.

Grated Beets and Zucchini and finger mashed/pitted Blackberries.

3. Grind the Almonds in a nut mill, food processor or blender.

4. In a large bowl combine the Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, Cinnamon, Garam Masala, Brown Sugar and Cocoa Powder

5. In a smaller bowl combine the Almond Milk, Apple Sauce, and creamed Crisco.

6. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

7. Gently stir in the Beets, Zucchini, Blackberries and Chocolate Chips.

8. Divide evenly into 21-24 muffin cups. Top with a half-dozen extra mini Chocolate chips on each muffin.

Ready to go into the oven

Ready to go into the oven

9. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the muffins pass the toothpick test. Remove from the oven and let cool in the muffin tin/cups for 15 minutes.

Given that there is 1.5 cups of brown sugar and quite a bit of chocolate in this recipe, I was surprised that these muffins weren’t sweeter. They aren’t. That’s not to say that they aren’t good. Just not on the sweet side.
I had my test muffin plain. One of my testers opted to try his with a bit of ice cream. That serving suggestion seemed to go over well, so if you are looking for a dessert muffin… add a bit of ice cream. However… I really tried to stay away from the diary on this one (Almond milk instead of cow’s milk; Crisco instead of butter; no eggs) adding ice cream kind of makes that a moot point.

These muffins are light and moist. While the Zucchini and Beets disappear once baked the Blackberry texture remains.


Muffin Monday: Beet & Fennel Muffins


I know, I know… it sounds like I should be making soup, not muffins, but this combination of special ingredients when paired with our old friends  Zucchini, Almond and  Blueberry made for a nice flavor profile in this week’s Muffin Monday selection.


  •  1 1/2 cup whole wheat Flour
  • 3/4 cup whole Almonds
  • 1 TBSP Baking Power
  • 1 cup Non Fat Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Stick MELTED Butter
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Grated Beets
  • 1 cup Grated Zucchini
  • 1/3 cup chopped Fennel Fronds
  • 2/3 cup slightly mashed Blueberries.



1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the muffin cups by spraying with cooking spray.

2. Grate the Beets and Zucchini. Finely chop the Fennel Fronds.  Gently mash the Blueberries with a fork. Set aside.

3. In a blender process the Almonds until they are finely ground..

4. In a large bowl combine the Flour, ground Almonds and Baking Powder.

5. In the blender (because why dirty another bowl when you’re gonna have to clean that blender anyway) pour the Milk, Vanilla, Eggs, melted Butter and Sugar. Blend until smooth.

6. Add the liquid to the dry and mix well.

7. Gently fold the chopped/grated vegetables and the mashed Blueberries into the batter.

8. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups (this recipe made enough batter to generously fill the standard 12 muffin tin plus two  extra muffin cups).


9. Bake for 35 minutes until the tops are brown and the muffins pass the toothpick test. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes.

The blueberries and sugar give these veggie intense muffins plenty of sweetness. Tester Maggie S. calls them “Delicious and filling.” There’s a nice firm muffin top and the inside is flaky and light. The texture, says Maggie, is “Perfect.”  Fellow tester Andrew S. agreed, he loved the texture. As for the taste? “The aftertaste was interesting” he said, ” — kind of savory after the sweetness of the berries. And” he added “zucchini is always a good thing.”

Beets, like zucchini, seem to lose themselves in the delightfulness of muffindom. None of us could really point to the muffins and say “Hey, you put beets in there, didn’t you?” The muffins just taste yummy. As for the fennel there is a hint of fennel’s licorice flavor, but it is far from overwhelming.


Want more Muffin Monday recipes? Go to the Search field at the top of the blog and type in ‘Muffin Monday.’


Farm Fresh Challenge: Fava Flavor

Yes! Fava Beans were featured in this week’s CSA box from Calvert’s Gift Farm.  They are a little labor intensive, but the taste factor is worth it.

box shot

Bounty from the box. This today I’ll used zucchini (far left), basil (leff), fava beans (top), onion (bottom), garlic (2:00). We also got broccoli, cukes, lettuce and eggs.

Welcome to another edition of Farm Fresh Challenge / Chopped Parkton.

[Not associated with the real Chopped, the Food Network or Tim Allen.]

[Not associated with the real Chopped, the Food Network or Ted Allen.]


2 lb Fava Beans

1 Large Zucchini (or 3 small Zucchini)

1 medium Onion

1 Garlic



Olive Oil


Garlic Salt


Paper Towels


Grated Italian Cheese

1lb Beef Cubes


1. Fava Beans are kind of a pain to prepare, so stick with me. First bring a large pot of water to boil. Shell the outer pod of the Favas and discard the husk. Put the beans in the hot water to par boil them for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until they are cool enough to handle.

Fava bean with par boiled shell still in place.

Fava bean with par boiled shell still in place.

You aren’t done yet. Peal off the outer shell to reveal the inner bean. This lighter green Fava Bean is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Top -- Fava good Bottom -- Fava bad (well Fava still in the outer shell, and it will TASTE bad if you eat it.)

Top — Fava good
Bottom — Fava bad (well Fava still in the outer shell, and it will TASTE bad if you eat it.)

2. Dry out the pot and add 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil. Heat to hight.

3. Dice Onion and mince Garlic. Add to the Olive Oil. When the Onions are translucent toss in the Fava Beans. Sautée for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer all the ingredients to a bowl lined with a paper towel.

4. Mash and squeeze in the juice of a half a lemon and mix. Cover to keep in heat.

Sautéed Zucchini

1. Cut the Zucchini into strips 4″  x 1/2″ x 1/2″. Add to the already hot oil in the pan (add more oil if necessary.) Sprinkle with Salt, Pepper and Garlic Salt. Cook each side of the Zucchini Strips for 3 minutes.

zucchini sauteing

Transfer to paper towel lined plate and pat with additional paper towels to remove excess oil. Transfer to a bowl and top with Italian Cheese. Repeat with all but 1 cup of remaining Zucchini. Cover bowl to retain heat.

2. Set remaining Zucchini aside to serve uncooked.

Sautéed Beef

1. Carefully place the Beef Cubes into the hot oil. Sautée for a few minutes on each side until brown. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and pat dry to remove excess oil.

2. Plate quickly before he beef gets cold.

mealThe final dish has Zucchini two ways (Sautéed with Italian Cheese and raw), Sautéed Beef, and Fava Mash.

This was delicious, but frankly I’ll never cook Zucchini this way again. Too much trouble and too much oil for me. The Beef with the Fava Bean was fabulous.

Muffin Monday! Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Almond Muffins


Welcome to the second edition of MUFFIN MONDAY on ritaLOVEStoWRITE! I got a lot of good feed back on last week’s blog so it looks like this muffin thing might be a go. See my disclaimer on last week’s Muffin Monday blog.


Here’s my vegan (I think) recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Almond Muffins.  Let me know what you think…




Chocolate Zucchini Almond Muffins






  • 2 Cups of Flour




  • 1/2 cup of Truvia (or 1 cup of sugar)




  • 2 Teaspoons of Baking SODA




  • 4 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil




  • 8 Tablespoons of Cocoa




  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla




  • 1 Teaspoon of Almond Extract


[Image courtesy: SmellLikeFoodInHere.com]

[Image courtesy: SmellsLikeFoodInHere.com]



  • 4 Teaspoons of Vinegar




  • 2 Cups of Water





  • 1  Zucchini, grated




  • 1/2 cup of Sliced Almonds






Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.


Step One: Put the flour, Truvia/sugar, baking soda, vegetable oil, cocoa, vanilla and almond extract and mix. The interaction between the vinegar and the baking soda is what makes these muffins rise — it’s muffin magic!




Step Two: Add the water and the zucchini, and mix. The batter will be on the liquid-y side.




Step Three: Prepare the muffin cups (this recipe will make 18 muffins.) Put “muffin pants” into the tin and spray lightly with cooking spray.




Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups. They should be almost full.


Step Four: Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top the muffins.




Place into hot oven and bake for 25 -30 minutes until a tooth pick stuck into the center of the muffin comes out clean. These are VERY moist muffins. It couldn’t hurt to bake them an extra 5 minutes.


Let cool and enjoy.




My expert college muffin testers agree, these muffins are well worth the effort. They give them two thumbs up. Ms. Lehmann says : “They are delicious and the most fluffy things I have ever eaten.” While Ms. Schmidt simply replied “Yummmmmmmmmy!” ..and was curious when I might be sending more. Ahhh girls– there’s always next week. 🙂




Question to my Vegan friends… did I do it? Do these qualify as Vegan Friendly? No diary or animal  by-product. I think I’m safe, but I need a bona fide Vegan to give me the blessing.


If you’ve got a recipe you’d like to share (with me and with the followers of this blog) please send me an email at ritaLOVEStoWRITE@gmail.com.


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