Friday, August 13, 2010

Something To Do With All Those Damn Zucchini

For the last few weeks I have been suffocating under a zucchini avalanche. I'm getting 6 or 7 pounds of the stuff in my CSA, and coworkers are giving us shopping bags full of it. My neighbors have set up a table next to their mailbox where they leave piles of summer squash, free for the taking. Zucchini is a delicious source of fiber and of vitamins A and C, but this month it's coming on too strong. Give me a chance to miss you, zucchini, before showing up on my doorstep by the dozen.

I've dried and frozen most of my excess zucchini; it will show up later in soup. Another way to store zucchini is to bake it into bread which can be frozen and enjoyed all winter long. I had serious misgivings about adapting a traditional zucchini bread recipe. In my experience, gluten-free quickbreads sink in the middle and get gluey. Mini-loaves and muffins require less support; when you're baking without gluten, a high ratio of surface area to insides is best.

I worked with Gluten-Free Mommy's recipe for Carrot-Zucchini Muffins, which is itself an adaptation of Martha Stewart's Spiced Carrot Muffins. The crumb topping comes from FatFree Vegan Kitchen. Substituting vegan ingredients was easy; I also adjusted the spices and added walnuts. I used Ener-G egg replacer because I was feeling risk averse, but if you try these with flax or another egg substitute, let me know how they turn out, okay? I made one batch with sorghum flour and another with millet. I prefer the millet because it is slightly less sweet, but both work well, so use whichever is in your pantry.

Now for the exciting part: you can make the batter now and have zucchini muffins fresh from the oven in January. I learned this trick from Martha: spoon the batter into lined muffin cups and place it in the freezer. Once the batter is frozen, remove the cups and store them vapor-proof freezer bags until ready to use. When you want fresh muffins, there's no need to thaw the batter—just increase the baking time by 10-12 minutes. I've got plenty of these babies ready to go in my freezer.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins

Dry Ingredients:
⅔ cup sorghum or millet flour
⅔ cup tapioca flour
⅔ cup brown rice flour
¾ cup of granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons of baking powder
¾ teaspoon of baking soda
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1⁄8 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1½ teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer
2 tablespoons warm water
5 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2½ cups zucchini, grated or shredded

Crumb Topping (optional):
2 teaspoons vegan margarine
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon brown rice flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare muffin tins with liners. In a small bowl, use a fork to mix crumb topping ingredients (if using) and set aside.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. Distribute batter evenly among 18 muffin cups. Sprinkle crumb topping.

Bake for 20-22 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave muffins in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes before eating, or they will stick to the liners.

Makes 18 small muffins.

10 comments:

  1. Zucchini muffins are one of my favorites! I don't have nearly as much zucchini as you do, but I feel like I'm running out of things to do with it too.

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  2. I am planning to make a pie with a zucchini as big as a basebal club. This post might have changed my mind...the muffins look really perfect!

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  3. WOW! Those look moist, flavorful, and delicious. A perfect way to pack in some extra zucchini. Seriously gorgeous!

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  4. Ooh, I love zucchini bread, so I'll have to make these!

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  5. Boy, do I wish I had your problem! (This particular one, anyway, since I don't know what if any other problems you have and therefore don't know if I'd want them, too!) :-) We didn't put in a garden this year, and I have a lot of things I'm wanting/needing zucchini for - including some fat free (but not gluten -free) zucchini/carrot/pear muffins we love. But do you think I can beg, borrow or steal any zucchini? I don't know if the grasshopper plague here is responsible, but usually people are thrusting armloads of zucchini at us, too - and we've been given a grand total of THREE so far (and two of them were itty-bitty!) And I refuse to buy any - not at the height of zucchini season - just on principle. Too bad you can't email me a few through the internet tubes! ;-) Your muffins look scrumptious, by the way, and that's a neat trick about freezing the batter! You're finding all kinds of time-saving tips in preparation for the days of pursuing your new hobby of wiping up spittle, aren't you! ;-)

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  6. They look great and I love the idea of freezing them pre-baking! I might make these for next week's bake sale :)

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  7. These look wonderful! I have eaten zucchini bread at restaurants before but haven't ever attempted making it myself. This might just be motivation enough to get a move on that. Your muffins look quite tasty indeed! =)

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  8. I LOVE zucchini bread/muffins. These look delightful. I have been wanting to explore more in the gluten-free world, too.

    That freezing idea is BRILLIANT! I love that!

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  9. UGH I have plenty of zukes! Your recipe is just the kind I would have come up if I were coming up with one - woo this means I don't have to come up with the recipe.
    Question though I use eggs so can I just sub the egg for the egg replacer?

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  10. Hi Barb,

    Subbing an egg for the egg replacer would probably work. I don't see why not! I hope you enjoy the muffins. I actually just baked a half dozen this morning from batter I froze in August. They were still yummy!

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