Whole Wheat Zucchini Spice Muffins: Back To School Post #2

Whole Wheat Zucchini Spice MuffinsHere we are again!  More back to school recipes and ideas!

This recipe came about fast and furiously.  Much like the way zucchini grows.  It sneaks up on you unexpectedly and then BAM!  You have a garden full of green bats that could feed a whole vegetarian army.

I was in the mood for a super healthy, plain, spiced zucchini muffin and I didn’t feel like searching through all the recipes in my archives to find one and test it.  So I just started from scratch with a pen and paper.  The first batch was just blegh!  Into the trash it went.  The second batch was much better  and the the third and fourth were perfect.  Boom.  There.  I did it.  Problem solved.  Then I went to the computer and erased all my other zucchini muffin recipes.  Into the virtual trash you go, inferior and less-healthy zucchini muffin recipes!

Recipe development is extremely satisfactory for me.  My husband thinks I’m crazy but doesn’t complain because he gets to take all the UN-perfect batches of food to work.  Like…um…I don’t know, say…the first 10 batches of oatmeal raison cookies that didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to.  Batch number 11 is slated for tomorrow, but thats neither here nor there.  The point is, I love it.  I love it love it love it.  And even though the challenge is against no one by myself, it is one of the things I love most about being in the kitchen.

I of course tackled this recipe with a plan.  I wanted to use honey as the sweetener, use all whole wheat, no dairy, and make it super spiced.  So I did!  I had to tweak the sugar a bit at the beginning as the honey just didn’t have enough umph to hold its own against the spices.  I was however walking around using my best Schwarzenegger voice and repeating the phrase, “I am da zucchini shreddah!” whilst filling bowl after bowl of the veggie ribbons in preparation.  Because cooking should be fun, right?  Or at least filled with 90’s movie references….?  But they turned out great and more batches have already collected in my freezer.  The plan?  Snack on them, eat ’em for breakfast, throw them at my hubby when his blood sugar gets low, and tuck them into my daughters’ school lunches when she starts a new year in a few weeks.  She loves getting muffins in her lunch (pulled right from the freezer, they defrost by lunchtime) as they fill her up perfectly when paired with some fruit salad and low fat string cheese.  I always send her with water to drink since she is getting milk at afternoon break, dinner, and sometimes breakfast.
Whole Wheat Zucchini Spice MuffinsThe kids rolled their eyes to the heavens when I presented them with these this morning.  I took that as a good sign.  Or maybe they were just glad I was done shredding zucchini…

Here are some other great, bake ahead, healthy lunch recipes!

Earth Bread: There is a reason this is one of my most popular recipes.  Its darn good!  Baked as muffins, they are just as yummy to pull from the freezer as these zucchini ones.  Baked in loaf form, it is a great snack or addition to a lunchbox.  But two slices with cream cheese between them, and you have one stellar sandwich!  My daughter’s favorite!

Blueberry Maple Muffins: Healthy and a fruity change of pace!

Apple Carrot Muffins-Gluten Free: These delightful little nuggets are addictive to just about anyone!  Bake them up in a mini-muffin tin and add 3 or 4 pop-able bites to your brown bag!  They also make the ideal afternoon snack!

Homemade Granola Bars: One of these babies can easily sub out for a sandwich.  After you cut them up, wrap them individually in cellophane and throw them all in a gallon zip top freezer bag.  Just pull from the freezer and toss in your lunch box!

Pumpkin Pie Muffins: These are easily up there in the #1 or #2 spot as the most favorite muffin in our house.  They are simply awesome.  Yes they might remind you of fall.  But make them anytime of year and after one bite, you won’t care.

Oatmeal Raisin Snack Bars: Despite the title of the recipe, they are great as the main attraction in a school lunch.  So healthy and soooo good.

Banana Bran Muffins: I have no words.  These are just so good.  A freezer with a bag or two of these inside makes for a happy household!

Also, if you follow Brittany’s Pantry on Facebook, you heard about the Muffin Caper in our house.  This all happened while I was trying to photograph this recipe!
Whole Wheat Zucchini Spice Muffins Whole Wheat Zucchini Spice Muffins Whole Wheat Zucchini Spice Muffins Whole Wheat Zucchini Spice MuffinsCutest thief ever if you ask me!

One Year Ago: Summer Salmon
Two Years Ago: Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Baked Pasta W/Summer Veggies
Three Years Ago: The BEST Margaritas, June Bugs, Herbal Iced Tea, BBQ Pulled Pork

Whole Wheat Zucchini Spice Muffins

In a large bowl, combine:
1/3 c canola oil
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c honey
1/4 c brown sugar or raw sugar
2 eggs
2 c shredded zucchini, lightly packed
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
Mix till thoroughly combined.  Fold in:
1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour or whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder

Gently fold dry ingredients until just combined.  Don’t over mix!  Portion into 1 dozen paper lined, or sprayed muffin cups.  Bake at 350 for 20-22 minutes, or until lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool slightly and enjoy. If freezing, cool completely before sealing.