I made these Harvest Carrot and Zucchini Muffins to use up the last of the zucchini that was lurking in my fridge. Zucchini is one of those vegetables that grows quickly and easily during the warm summer months and, if you happen to put one plant in your garden, you’ll soon have more zucchini than you know what to do with. I usually make a few batches of zucchini bread or cake over the summer, but as we get towards the end of the summer, I reach the end of my zucchini supply and these muffins were baked to give them a send off until next spring (although I know that you can still buy zucchini at most markets – seemingly year round in some places).
The muffins are made with shredded carrots and zucchini, in roughly equal amounts. I used a very fine grater to get small, uniform shreds. If you happen to have a little more carrot or a little more zucchini, you don’t have to stick to the half-and-half ratio as long as you end up with the same amount of shredded vegetable in the end. The muffins are also made with brown sugar, applesauce and a little bit of spice. I used unsweetened/natural in my muffins and it added a lot of moisture to the muffins, as well as a hint of sweet apple flavor. The applesauce also worked well with the spices I chose, and helped to tie all the flavors of the muffins to the fall season.
I topped my muffins with a sprinkle of coarse sugar just before baking to give them a crispy, sweet top. The finished muffins are very moist and tender, with a soft crumb. They’re not too sweet, although you can taste the brown sugar along with a hint of the cinnamon and allspice that went into the batter. These are excellent when served with a little bit of salted butter, but they’re tasty on their own, too. Store any leftovers in an airtight container, where they’ll keep for a day or so. For longer storage, consider freezing them in ziploc bags.
Harvest Carrot and Zucchini Muffins
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 cup brown sguar
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
2/3 cup shredded zucchini
2/3 cup shredded carrots
coarse sugar, for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice.
In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and egg until well-combined. Whisk in vegetable oil, applesauce, zucchini and carrots and continue to whisk until vegetables are well distributed. Add in the flour mixture and whisk just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.
Top muffins with a little coarse sugar before baking, if desired.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean and the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed.
Turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool completely.