Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Carrot And Zucchini Vegetable Muffins The Kids (and parents) Will Love!

     Zucchini and carrot muffins.  WHAT?  Some people think that vegetables and sweets don't go together...personally, my favorite cake of all time is carrot cake.  I even had carrot cake as my wedding cake!  My son loves it, too, and even stole my last piece out of the refrigerator and ate it before I knew what he was doing:)  He is the reason I started making these vegetable muffins when he was only a year old (a little over 2 years ago).  It has never been a struggle to get him to eat his vegetable, but I wanted to try and get more creative in the way they were served to him.  Sometimes we have zucchini or chayote "pancakes."  Sometimes it's pea and corn stuffed spinach wraps.  My favorite, though, are these muffins.
     One of the things I love about these muffins is...THEY ARE ONLY 150 CALORIES EACH!!!  There is only 1/4 cup of sugar in the entire recipe, which means only 1 tsp per muffin.  They get extra sweetness from the vegetables...especially the carrots.  While they were in the oven today, baking to golden perfection, my son sat in front of the oven waiting for them to finish so he could have one.  They are THAT good.

You will need:
1/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or apple sauce)
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour (I always use wheat flour)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 1/4 cup shredded zucchini

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees...

In a small bowl, combine egg, milk, oil, and vanilla.  Whisk together until well combined but not frothy.  In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour through salt in above list) and mix well.

Once the dry ingredients are combined, fold in the vegetables, making sure to coat well with the flour mixture.

Once all the vegetables are coated, pour the milk mixture in all at once and stir to combine.  The mixture will be very thick, but that is how it's supposed to be!  When everything is all combined, line muffin tins with muffin liners, or lightly spray with cooking spray then sprinkle with flour so the batter doesn't stick and/or burn.  Spoon the batter into the muffin tins until almost full.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes (until an inserted toothpick comes out clean).

     Once the muffins are finished baking and are a golden brown, remove the muffin tin from the oven and allow the muffins to cool for just a few minutes.  After a few minutes, remove the muffins from the tin and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
     As I mentioned before, these muffins are not really sweet, but have an incredible flavor to them.  If you would like a little more sweetness to them you can sprinkle some sugar on the tops right before baking.  My favorite way to sweeten them up a bit, though, is to add a little bit of honey to one right before I eat it...on top or sliced and smeared in the middle:)

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