My little cutie came down with the flu (despite getting a flu shot), so plans are on hold for the day
The combination of being up most of the night, and Nicky sleeping more by day means that I’ve had some time for baking therapy. I will get to some enlightened chocolate recipes for Valentine’s Day soon (the truffles are coming, the truffles are coming!), but in my current state, it’s all about comfort baking. Few things are better
I wanted (needed!) something consoling and uncomplicated. The answer was simple: muffins, the most democratic of baked goods. Muffins are amenable to both state-of-the-art and cubby-hole kitchens. Cooks who have studied cooking for years find as much joy in whipping up a batch of muffins as completely green cooks, and fussy toddlers, cranky teenagers and weary adults are comforted by them.
Most muffin recipes are variations of a four-step process: combine the wet ingredients, combine the dry ingredients, combine the wet with the dry, and bake. While I love the classics, today’s muffins are a departure. Forget the dry and the wet. In fact, forget the flour and eggs, too! These muffins are made entirely in the blender with a combination of oats, pepitas, and zucchini. They are so easy and delicious, you may be reluctant to turn back to traditional muffins for some time.
One quick tip about these muffins, and all muffins in general:
As a young girl with a “more-is-always-more” zeal, I would invariably fill muffin cups to overflowing. I liked the way all of the muffin tops glommed together into a united mass; the rest of my family was less enthusiastic. So unless otherwise stated, fill muffin cups only two-thirds to three-fourths full with batter to prevent muffin lava. Begin checking if done at the minimum time given in the recipe. The muffins are done when the center springs back when lightly touched and when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
To savor these vanilla & nutmeg-scented, nutrient-packed muffins on an early February morning is a mini celebration. Unfortunately, they are wonderful, which means it will be difficult to eat just one
Well, that’s it for now, I’ve a 6 am class in the morning; for now, there’s a pillow calling my name!
- 2 cups rolled oats (use certified GF oats for gluten-free)
- ½ cup raw pepitas
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1-1/4 cups apple juice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- Optional: ⅓ cup raisins or miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease or spray 10 cups of a standard size muffin tin.
- In a blender or food processor, process the oats, pepitas, syrup, vanilla, salt, nutmeg and apple juice until blended. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in baking soda and zucchini (and optional raisins) until well-blended. Divide evenly between prepared muffin cups, smoothing tops.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes and then remove from tin. Serve warm or cool completely.