Delicious and versatile zucchini is starting to make an appearance at farmers markets in my area. I love eating seasonally, so when I explore my assignment for the Secret Recipe Club each month, I always have a list of what fruits and vegetables are in season, so I can hopefully find some recipes that include that produce. Zucchini can be used in so many ways, muffins and breads, casseroles, stir-fries, sauteed, fried, baked, the possibilities are many. Luckily SRC members are a diverse and talented group of bloggers, and I always manage to find a delicious recipe that fits my criteria.
My assignment this month was the blog Mangia, owned and written by the cute as a button Chelsy. A 20-something Texas gal living the healthy life… but with a serious sweet tooth.
Chelsy comes from a big Italian family, hence the blog name Mangia, which means "Eat" in Italian. She has a bachelors degree in Kinesiology, and is a certified personal trainer. Her blog is inspired by her younger sister who has celiac disease, so she decided to challenge herself to recreate some of her sisters favorite dishes, using gluten-free ingredients. Not an easy feat when your cooking Italian! I encourage you to check out her blog to find out more, you can just feel the energy and passion Chelsy puts into her work.
I found quite a few recipes I wanted to try as I browsed her recipe index. Blueberry Peach Crisp, Turkey Sage Meatballs, Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin-Sage Sauce, and Brownie Pie to name just a few. I ultimately settled on her Zucchini Muffins, since I had recently purchased some fresh zucchini from the farmers market, and really wanted a recipe for allergy friendly muffins to add to my recipe box.
And while the last thing I wanted to do was turn on my oven in the 100+ degree temps we were having at the time I made them, my desire of wanting to try one of these yummy looking muffins outweighed my dislike of the heat.
OH-MY-GOSH am I glad I decided on making these muffins. They are soft, moist, delicious and allergy friendly! They contain no eggs, dairy, gluten, or nuts, the four main foods people with allergies have the most problems with. And while you might think there is no way they could hold together without a binding agent such as eggs, I'm here to tell you they do! I did have one small problem when I made them. I had to bake them a lot longer then the directions called for. I'm pretty sure it was because of the water content of the zucchini though. So the next time I make them, I will be putting the zucchini in a dish towel, and squeezing as much of the water out as possible, before adding it to the recipe.
Apple sauce does a great job of taking the place of eggs in this recipe, a trick I first learned about when I was trying to come up with an egg free Salmon Patty recipe. Now these don't rise tall and fluffy like their gluten containing counterparts, but it doesn't affect the taste at all. They are still delicious. I made a few small adaptions to the recipe, but it didn't take away from the original version at all. I used apple sauce instead of apple butter, pure olive oil instead of extra virgin, coconut milk instead of almond, and coconut sugar instead of stevia. All because of taste preferences, or food allergies.
The muffins were just as good the next day, when I served them with fruit and coffee for breakfast.
Allergy Friendly Zucchini Muffins
1 large zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup no-sugar added apple sauce (apple butter may be substituted)
3 tablespoons pure olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
Place the zucchini in a dish towel, and squeeze as much of the water out as possible. Don't skip this step!
In a large mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, apple sauce, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, milk, and sugar, stirring until just incorporated.
In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Stir coconut flour mixture into the zucchini mixture, just until combined.
Spoon batter equally between the 12 muffins cups.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each muffin comes out clean.
Let cool slightly before removing muffins from the liners. Transfer muffins to a cooling rack and allow to finish cooling completely.
Serve topped with a little Coconut Butter if desired. (Coconut butter is also called coconut cream and coconut manna).
Notes: *Don't skip the step of squeezing any excess water from the zucchini, before adding it to the other ingredients. If you do, it will increase the baking time considerably, and may result in the recipe failing.
*Do not over-mix. Stir ingredients just until combined.
*Store muffins in an air-tight container, refrigerated, for up to 5 days. For longer storage, muffins may be frozen.
Thank you for the delicious recipe Chelsy, and helping me add another winner to the Secret Recipe Club's recipe index.