When you harvest something like 10 BIG zucchini a week you either waste the food or get creative. This has been a real challenge to my creativity. I have tried everything I can think of, read about, or heard! One of my favorites is the muffins.
I like muffins. They are a neat little snack package stuffed full of good flavors. If you do them right, they are full of good nutrition.
Up till now, I have been able to make great sugar-free muffins. I have made tasty gluten-free muffins. I have even made passable vegan muffins. But all three at one time has been a lot of trial and error! Over the last week I have done a series of experiments trying to create an edible sugar-free, gluten-free vegan muffin!
The results have been mixed! One terrible, one embarrassing, a couple passable and finally one that I actually like. I have had family and friends be my tasters. Or at least I did after the first try where I took one bite and tossed the rest into the trash. UGH! The biggest problem was getting them moist but still cooked through. Seemed like they were either too wet or too dry. The other problems were making sure they were not too sweet or too oily and that the spices were balanced.
I just kept tinkering. I am happy to report that each try got a little better. Finally I created a batch that is actually better than edible. Here it is!
Zucchini Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free Vegan Muffins
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- In a medium size bowl (which will contain all your wet (liquid) ingredients) substitute the equivalent of 2 eggs
- Combine 2 Tablespoons of fine ground flax seeds with 6 Tablespoons of water.
- Optional: use 2 Tablespoons of tapioca eggs instead of the flax-seed mixture
- Let the flax-seed mixture sit for 5 minutes
- While the egg mixture is sitting get another medium-sized bowl and combine the dry ingredients:
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup of hemp seeds
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- Optional: use 1 1/2 cup brown rice flour; you want 1 1/2 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup dried shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup dried raisinsor blueberries
- Optional: use any combination of dried fruit and nuts
- 1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
- 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons of spices – combine cinnamon, nutmeg and clove and/or pumpkin pie spice
- Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly
- In the wet ingredient bowl combine these ingredients:
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup grape seed oil
- Optional: use 1/2 cup of olive oil or any other oil you have
- 1/3 cup of sugar-free, fruit preserves (for more info keep reading)
- 1 Teaspoon of vanilla
- Stir wet ingredients vigorously until they are well blended then add:
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 1/4 cup grated apple
- Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ones stirring constantly until all ingredients are completely combined
- Spoon the mixture into muffin pans – either 1 pan configured for 6 large muffins or 1 pan configured for 12 small muffins
- Use either non-stick muffin pans, lightly grease regular muffin pans, or line the pans with paper muffin liners
- Bake at 350. Check after 15 minutes to see that the tops are brown and that the muffins are cooked through. Test by inserting a knife into a muffin; if it comes out clean the muffin is done. I found that the following times worked well:
- 25-30 minutes for 6 large muffin pan
- 15-20 minutes for 12 small muffin pan
My original recipe called for 3/4 cup of sugar. No way! I tried several things to substitute for the sugar – agave, honey and maple syrup. All too sweet! Then I figured out is that 1/3 cup of fruit preserves where the fruit is sweetened with white grape fruit juice could work. It adds both sweetness and a little moisture.
I tried both the St. Dalfour Wild Blueberry Fruit Spread and the Trader Joe’s Organic Superfruit Spread. The St. Dalfour brand is expensive ($3.69 a jar) and the less expensive Trader Joe’s spread ($2.99/jar) works great. I am willing to bet that just about any organic, sugar-free fruit spread would work. Just check the label to make sure that there are no “natural flavors” added.
NOW, I am inspired! I want to create a high-protein, low-calorie and lower-carb version of this muffin to use as a snack I can carry in my purse. I will keep you updated.
And just so you know, there is no way that am I going to add fat-free to the requirements! If you can figure it out, let me know!