Friday, August 19, 2011

Whole Wheat Zucchini and Carrot Muffins

Here is an awesome way to use up some of the zucchini laying around your house.  These muffins are packed with whole wheat and fresh veggies that make them just sweet enough.  At under 200 calories a muffin, you can feel good about what you are eating.  They are filling enough for a breakfast and are good on the go.  If I bake at home I know exactly what I'm eating...and I like that.  Not to mention you can save tons of money and calories by avoiding the bakery!

I experimented with the recipe which used a stick of butter and no carrots.  I started by substituting canola oil and greek yogurt for the butter and used a bit of whole wheat flour instead of only white flour.  Canola oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats (the heart healthy kind) which trumps over using butter, which is mostly saturated fat (the kind that clogs your arteries).  The muffins came out extremely moist and full of flavor, and I didn't miss the butter one bit.  Making simple substutions while baking can change the texture of the baked good, but allows me to induldge a bit more frequently without regret.

Whole Wheat Zucchini and Carrot Muffins
Makes ~18 muffins

2.5 cups white flour
3/4 cup of whole wheat flour
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of grated carrots
2 cups of grated zucchini
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place baking cups in the muffin pan and spray wth non-stick cooking spray.

Place flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir to combine; set aside.
Place egg, sugar, vanilla, yogurt, oil a medium bowl. Mix well. Add to flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Stir in carrots, zucchini, raisins and nuts. Divide batter among muffin cups.
Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until browned and toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition facts: 1 muffin with walnuts and raisins
195 calories,  4 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 11 g sugar, 8 g fat, 2 g fiber, 50 mg of sodium

You can freeze these muffins (just place in baggies and place in the freezer) for up to 2 months! 

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