When you aren’t sure what to make to say “thank-you”, muffins seem to do the trick. They aren’t as sweet as cupcakes. They aren’t as dense as a loaf. They are what they are: small, cute and tasty. In Cyprus, there is A LOT of zucchini. It is in season during the summer. In fact, it is October and zucchini is still in season. It is natural that towards the end of zucchini season ones’ enthusiasm for cooking with it begins to shrink. A lot. To the size of an atomic particle. But, the first zucchinis are always amazing! I’m reading recipes, trying new things. By October, the zucchinis that I haven’t given away begin to pile up in my fridge drawer. It’s not their fault of course. It’s mine. So I decided to do something about it.
In Cyprus, I haven’t noticed that people making zucchini bread. I wasn’t sure if it was because the variety of Cyprus zucchini might not lend itself to making bread. Or that people don’t like it. Or that maybe it’s just not something that was traditionally made here. But I thought I’d try. So I made zucchini spice muffins. And they were fantastic.
The muffin is moist, and you get a lovely warm taste that reminds you it is autumn – a combination of the nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom. I made these muffins with coconut oil, which I am cooking a lot with these days. Not only is coconut oil fantastic for you, but it gives your baking an added level of flavour which, in the right recipe, can compliment what you are making. (Or it can turn out really gross). This is one of those occasions where it tastes really good.
You can find coconut oil at your local organic store in Cyprus. It’s not yet readily available in the larger supermarkets, from what I have seen. I am hoping it will be soon. The muffins are not difficult to make. You may need to watch them a little bit in the oven – test them with a toothpick at the end to make sure they are cooked. Otherwise, it’s pretty much mixing the ingredients and pouring them in. So, I hope you enjoy this zucchini recipe. I, for one, don’t mind now if zucchini seasons lasts just a little longer. (OK, maybe just a little longer so I can make more muffins, but then that’s about it for this year.)
2 small eggs (or 1 large)
1/2 cup coconut oil (vegetable oil is OK too)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup finely grated zucchini (squeeze the juice from the grated zucchini)
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 cups flour
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/3 cup roasted walnuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 175c and line a muffin tray with muffin cups.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla until well combined. Stir in the grated zucchini.
3. Mix in the cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Fold in the flour to form a smooth batter.
4. Stir in the orange zest, walnuts and chocolate chips.
5. Bake for between 20 to 28 minutes. Keep an eye on the muffins after twenty minutes so they do not start to burn. Pierce the center of the muffin with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean, if so, then the muffins are ready.