What’s Cooking Good Looking? Zucchini Carrot Apple Muffins

People who love to eat are always the best people.” ~Julia Child

All prepped and ready to start baking muffins

Sharing food is like sharing love, and giving food presents can be a perfect expression of that love for friends and family.

The finished muffins are moist, packed with flavour

This zucchini, carrot and apple recipe is a great and nutritious way to show you care, as well as help get fruit and vegetables into my friends’ kids! There’s no way they can say they hate eating their vegetables in this form! Delicious and devious!

Fruit and vegetables disguised inside muffins

It’s difficult to go wrong, when baking these fruit and veg muffins, as long as you pre-heat your oven and let them cook through, until the centre allows an inserted toothpick to come out cleanly.

Up to 24 standard-sized muffins

The list of ingredients makes 24 equally sized muffins. The batter is pretty robust, so it’s also suited to making 12 muffins and one loaf, if you don’t have two muffin trays. However, it’s worth noting that the loaf will take longer than the individual muffins to bake (add on at least an extra 7 to 8 minutes for the loaf and line the whole tin with parchment paper).

Or enough for 12 muffins and a large loaf!

You’ll need to shop for the following ingredients:


For 24 regular-sized muffins:

  • 1½ cups shredded zucchini

  • 1½ cups grated carrot

  • 2 chopped red apples

  • ½ cup raisins

  • ½ cup hot water (enough to cover/rehydrate raisins)

  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind

  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup coconut flour

  • 1¼ cups raw turbinado sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon or mixed spice

  • 3 eggs (room temperature)

  • ¾ cups melted coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Pre-heat your oven to 375º. Then, grease your muffin trays and place a circular disc of parchment paper in the bottom of each muffin section – this helps to turn the muffins out more easily. Pour a little boiling water over your raisins to rehydrate (they should absorb all of the water, while you prep the remaining ingredients).


Line up your ingredients for the muffins

In a large mixing bowl, add the zucchini, carrot, apple, raisins, nuts and lemon rind. In a smaller mixing bowl, lightly blend the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon or mixed spice.

Dry ingredients and 'wet' ingredients are separated

In your food processor, combine the eggs, oil and vanilla, then blend in the dry ingredients and beat for 2 minutes, or until smooth. If the batter appears too thick, add half of the apple, to add moisture and blend for another 30 seconds.

Add the batter and give all of the ingredients a good mix

Pour the batter into the large mixing bowl with your fruit, zucchini and nuts - mix vigorously by hand with a wooden spoon. Combine all the ingredients well, and then spoon into the muffin trays, approximately two-thirds full.

Greased/lined muffin trays should be filled two-thirds full

Place the muffin trays in the middle of the oven for 18-20 minutes (if you’re using loaf tins, then bake for 28-30 minutes).

Delicious zucchini carrot apple muffins

The bake is finished, once the muffins have risen and turn a deep bronzed colour. A toothpick test should come out clean. Your muffins will be cooked through, but still moist and delicious.

Let the muffins cool before removing from the muffin pan

Leave to cool for at least 5-10 minutes, before turning out your muffins onto a wire cooling rack - mind your fingers!

Be sure to taste the muffins first ;)

Eat cold or slightly warm, either plain or with butter. You could even enjoy with some vanilla frosting from your favourite organic recipe… You could cheat with store-bought frosting, but making your own is such fun, and always more wholesome!


Happy baking & eating!


Tips:


· Choose organic ingredients, whenever possible.

· Use any kind of all-purpose flour, if you aren’t catering to food allergies.

· Substitute coconut oil for regular unsalted butter, if you prefer, but coconut oil is great for the metabolism, and a fantastic source of nutrients.

· Cut the parchment paper into small discs for the bottom of each muffin – this will help turn them out more easily.

· Cover the muffins, during part of the bake, with foil, if you feel the bake needs longer, so they don’t burn.

· The best way to check if your muffins are done, after the toothpick test is to taste one, before you turn off the oven.


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