Cranberry Zucchini Muffins w/ Walnuts
The idea for these muffins was inspired by a local coffee shop around here; they have a lot of unique recipes they use for muffins, coffee cake, scones, etc. I took the idea and ran with it, excited to try making my first batch of muffins completely from scratch (without the help of Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines).
Now, what ingredients to use? Well, I’ve recently been on a zucchini kick, trying it for the first time a few months ago and using it whenever possible since then, so naturally zucchini was the first ingredient to come to mind. The cranberries came next, their tart flavor balancing perfectly with the mild flavor of the zucchini. I felt they needed some crunch to them, so I decided to add nuts; walnuts are my favorite kind of nuts to bake with (and my favorite to eat, besides pistachios), so I added those.
The end product turned out exceptionally well; they were fluffy and tender (as muffins should be) with only a slight whole wheat taste (the whole wheat pastry flour that was added didn’t overwhelm the flavor at all). The combination of flavor between the cranberries and zucchini was really great, and the texture was awesome as well; the cranberries remained somewhat chewy, and the walnuts added a nice crunch as I’d hoped.
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
2 large eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup zucchini, grated
½ cup cranberries, chopped or whole (I used whole dried cranberries)
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
What to do:
Preheat oven to 375ºF; grease muffin tin w/ nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt. In a separate, large bowl, whisk together eggs, both sugars, applesauce, vanilla extract, and zucchini. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, a little bit at a time until everything is combined. Fold in the cranberries and walnuts.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes, rotating in oven halfway through to bake evenly; muffins should be golden brown and spring back when touched.
Cool 10 minutes in muffin tin (on top of a wire rack), then remove muffins from tin and allow to completely cool on a wire rack.
1) The word ‘zucchini’ comes from ‘zucca’ the Italian word for squash.
2) A zucchini has more potassium than a banana.
3) One zucchini has just 25 calories, compared to a baked potato, which has about 130 calories.