I developed the recipe for these tasty, crispy muffins as a way to use up a collection of enormous late-season zucchini. The idea was to create something on the healthy side, not sweet, that would freeze well and use up lots of zucch!
There is quite a bit of cheese in these, but it takes the place of butter, so it’s not crazy indulgent. Using half whole wheat flour ups the healthfulness and improves the texture. The zucchini can produce a lot of moisture and the whole wheat flour stands up to that without getting soggy.
A food processor will make this recipe a lot easier. Without one, all the grating will take a while.
I like to make the muffins fairly small, so that they thaw quickly. Pop a couple into the toaster oven and in a few minutes you’ll have a delicious mini-meal (and the kitchen will smell wonderfully cozy)!
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat or whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup chopped scallions (if it’s past scallion season in your garden, any green onion top will do)
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini, with tough ends, any mushy centers, and seeds removed
6 ounces of mixed half-and-half gouda and cheddar cheese, grated in a food processor – about a cup plus a few tablespoons
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously butter a muffin pan.
Mix the flours, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the egg, oil, buttermilk, and zucchini. Add a cup of the cheese, reserving a few tablespoons. Mix just until combined. Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin pan, and sprinkle the reserved cheese across the tops of the muffins. I sometimes skip the middle hole in my pan, which cooks muffins more slowly than the others.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins look deliciously brown. Once they come out of the oven, it can help to run a knife carefully around each muffin to ensure that it will come out cleanly. While they are still warm, I like to take them out of the pan (a spoon can help if they’re sticking) and let them cool fully on a wire rack. This keeps the whole outside crisp.
Once fully cool, they can be frozen.