Zucchini Apple Carrot Mini Muffins
I love my kids. But kids are exhausting. They just are. They don't mean to be, but they just need you. They need you to wipe their noses, their butts, their mouths. Every orifice needs a wipe ten times a day. They need to ask you questions, and they ask and ask, until you surrender an answer. It doesn't matter if you're on the phone, making dinner, or wiping them. And then it's bed time.... And you get about an hour of quiet. And quiet has never sounded so good. It's a moment to think about how you're going to pay the bills, how you're going to find a new job, and what in the world are you going to feed them tomorrow!? Thank goodness for the...well..goodness in these Zucchini Apple Carrot Mini Muffins!
This question haunts be every night. I try to make meals ahead for our weeknight dinners, but breakfast is my husband's territory. He gets up first, so he takes on dolling out their first meal of the day during the week. When I have the energy, I try to make things ahead so that all he has to do is heat it up. Oatmeal is a staple, but so are toaster waffles and cold cereal. It's hard to get a balanced meal when there's so little time between brushing your teeth and getting out the door.
My son has had an issue with his A1C. It has been a hard year, but along with lowering his sugar intake (ironic, I know...) his doctor suggested more vegetables in his diet. He's already a good eater. He eats a lot of vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and kale to name a few. But I mentioned to his doctor that the one vegetable that I can't get him to eat is zucchini. She looked at me like I was crazy and said verbatim, "then you're not doing a good enough job." OOOF. That hurt. Really? She wasn't saying it to be mean. She's a great doctor, just a bit blunt. She suggested being more creative and to try grating it and putting it into meatloaf or tomato sauce. Genius! Why haven't I thought to do that? I tried it, and it totally worked! My kids and even my dad didn't even realize it was in there. So I kept thinking...
When I was a kid, my mom use grow her own zucchini to make the best zucchini chocolate cake. No one had ever guessed it had zucchini in it! So I did some research and found a great recipe from The Kitchn. So I tweaked it to lower the sugar, added more veg and made them mini. Who wouldn't love a cute mini muffin in the morning!? Plus, you can eat more than one!
The recipe is really easy. Don't let the number of ingredients intimidate you. It just looks like a lot. The muffin is moist and tender with tiny specks of green and orange from the veggies. It's spiced with sweet cinnamon and fragrant cardamom. I honestly didn't realize how much I liked cardamom till I tried this muffin. It just gives it a little something more than just a straight cinnamon flavor. Then you get tiny chunks of sweet and tart apple and a but of crunch from the oat topping. It's truly a treat in the morning.
My daughter may pick off the oats on top (she loves oatmeal, but not on top of her muffin... go figure!?) But both kids adore this recipe. And I feel better because it has whole wheat and some veggies too!
Zucchini Carrot Apple Mini Muffins
*adapted from Apple Zucchini muffins from the Kitchn
Yields: 24 mini muffins
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat white flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup finely grated zucchini, squeezed and drained
- 1/2 cup finely grated carrot, squeezed and drained
- 1/2 cup finely diced apple (approx 1 small apple)
Oat Crumble (optional)
- 1/2 cup quick oats (I used rolled oats and it turned out just as good!)
- 2 tbsp butter, softened
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease mini muffin tin with non stick spray.
- Mix All the Dry ingredients together in a large bow. (Flour- Salt)
- In a separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients (sugar- buttermilk)
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix with a rubber spatula till it's just well combined. Do not over mix as it may make the muffin tough.
- Fold in the zucchini, carrot and apple.
- Divide batter evenly into the muffin tin. I like to use a medium sized cookie scoop to make this step faster.
- Mix the oat crumble ingredients together with a fork or fingertips.
- Sprinkle the oat mixture on the tops of the muffins and push them in slightly to make it stick.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely
- Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.