Olive Oil Zucchini Muffins
Happy summer, finally! It’s time to get outside, get active, and figure out how to eat the hundreds of zucchini spilling out of home gardens everywhere. Here is one delicious solution! These zucchini muffins are moist, flavorful, and full of energy to power you through long summer days. A bit different from your average muffin, these guys are made with olive oil instead of butter or vegetable oil. Olive oil, while usually thought of as a savory food, is actually wonderful in sweets. While it is not sweet on it’s own, it has many great characteristics that blend perfectly with sweet flavors. Olive oil has fruity and earthy notes, and of course is quite rich, which adds delicious depth and complexity to the average dessert or baked good.
Olive oil is one of the best food sources of monounsaturated fats. This type of fat is excellent for promoting heart health and decreasing the risk of heart disease as has been shown to reduce levels of not so great LDL cholesterol. Olive oil is also a good source of vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant to fight free radicals like the one that naturally occur as a result of exercise. The Mediterranean diet is rich in this type of oil, and it is thought that the great long term health benefits of this eating pattern are at least partly due to the health promoting properties of olive oil.
Bake up a batch of these muffins to share with friends and family, or just to prep ahead delicious and instant fuel for the week ahead. Hope you enjoy!
Olive Oil Zucchini Muffins
Makes 10 muffins
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup sugar
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup zucchini, grated with liquid
1-½ cups white whole wheat flour
¼ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
½ tsp. cinnamon
Heat oven to 350’F.
Whisk together in a bowl the egg, olive oil, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder and soda.
Mix in grated zucchini and any liquids from grating.
Add the flour and mix until just incorporated.
Spray a muffin tin with pan spray or place cupcake liners in the tin. Evenly portion batter to make 10 muffins.
Mix together the brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon to make the topping. Sprinkle evenly on top of each muffin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until very golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool to room temperature in the pan.
Notes: This recipe is adapted from a zucchini bread recipe from the great smittenkitchen.com. White whole wheat flour is a nice way to add extra fiber and nutrition to these muffins. White or a combination of about half white and half whole wheat flour can be used here instead if desired. I like to grate the zucchini on the smaller holes of a cheese grater for a more delicate look and texture in the muffins. The topping is not essential, but definitely is the way to go I think.