improv challenge ~ zucchini + brown sugar = good morning muffins...

It has been some time since I have participated in an Improv Challenge now hosted by Kristen @ Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. This months challenge ingredients were zucchini and brown sugar. I have about a dozen quart size bags in the freezer filled with shredded zucchini from my summer garden, so I just needed to find a sweet or savory recipe to try.

Off to the cookbook shelf I went and I settled on the book Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe. They had a recipe called "Good Morning Muffins" that had my name written all over it. It had zucchini, apples, brown sugar, coconut and nuts. It was time to start tweeking it to my liking. I changed out bran with flax meal, pecans for almonds as well as messed with the flour types used. The results were spectacular!!

The muffins were moist and packed with tons of flavor. I loved the combination of apples, zucchini, the unexpected coconut with the warm cinnamon. These were the perfect solution to my "Quick" breakfast quest. Add a hard boiled egg and your all set to go. They last up to a week in the fridge. 


Good Morning Muffins

1/2 cup flax meal
1/2 cup hot water
1 small zucchini grated, about 1.5 cups
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconuts
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped- about 1 cup
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats; not instant or quick cooking
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1.  Position rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a standard 12-cup muffin tin, coat with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners.

2.  In a medium bowl, stir together the flax meal and hot water until the meal is completely moistened.  Add the zucchini, raisins, almonds, coconut, and apple and stir until well mixed.

3.  Using a mixer with a whip attachment, beat together the sugar and eggs on medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture thickens and lightens. On low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil and then the vanilla.  Don't pour the oil in all at once.  Add it slowly so it has time to incorporate into the eggs and doesn't deflate the air in the batter.  Adding it should take about 1 minute.  When the oil and vanilla is incorporated, remove the bowl from the mixer stand.

4.  In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon until well mixed.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and fold carefully just until the wet and dry ingredients are well combined.  Then add the flax mixture and fold again just until well combined.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it evenly and filling the cups to the rim.

5.  Bake for 35-45 minutes our until the muffins are lightly browned on top and spring back when pressed in the middle by fingertip.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan.

adapted from recipe found in Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe