zucchinichocolate

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (Healthier)

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These were a pleasant surprise tonight! While I’ve never made anything quite like this before, I mainly just wanted to use up some zucchini that I had frozen last fall (see “What To Do With Zucchini“).  We are attempting a No Spend Challenge for the month of February, with the intent to use a lot of the food currently taking up space in our pantry and freezer.

The hint of cloves/cinnamon make this recipe work very well! This is definitely a keeper.  If muffins aren’t your preference, this would also make a good chocolate zucchini loaf, or bundt cake.  Just increase the cooking time to ~55 minutes.

zucchinichocolate2

 This was a new (to me) recipe, slightly modified to suit the ingredients I had (and didn’t).  I actually didn’t have any honey on hand, so (right or wrong) I substituted a mix of white sugar and water.  I’ve also been experimenting recently trying to substitute palm sugar in place of brown sugar, just for kicks- I will say I think it worked here.

PREP TIME: 15 min    COOK TIME: 40 min   TOTAL TIME: 55 min    YIELD: 8
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (or mix 3/4 tsp of white vinegar with regular milk, and allow 3-5 minutes to sour)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 cups approx shredded zucchini (if frozen, be sure to thaw and drain excess liquid)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In large bowl combine oil, yogurt, honey, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk and mix until well blended.
  3. In separate bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add dry ingredient mixture gradually to wet ingredients, mix.
  5. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips until just combined.
  6. Pour into greased muffin tins, bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean.
zucchinipaty2

Zucchini Patties

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I don’t know what I was thinking planting 5 zucchini plants.  Anyway, I ended up with an abundance of zucchini.  See my previous post about shredding/freezing for future use.

Not really knowing what else to do with it, I went looking for a few new recipes when I came across this one.  Definitely too good not to share.

These zucchini patties were QUITE good. Great for a meatless meal, if that’s your thing.  Or just great period.  They were very easy to make as well.

I highly recommend serving with pasta and marinara sauce.

PREP TIME: 15 min   COOK TIME: 30 min    TOTAL TIME: 45 min   YIELD: 12
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups shredded/drained zucchini
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmasean cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated mozza cheese
  • 2 tbsp oil (vegtable, or olive)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together zucchini, eggs, onion, garlic, flour, bread crumbs, and cheeses.
  3. Turn on frying pan to medium heat, add small amount of oil to pan.  Form patties (warning, the mixture will be a bit messy) and drop into pan.
  4. Brown on both sides, and transfer to baking sheet.  Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve, enjoy!
zucchinishred

What To Do With Zucchini

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I’m still trying to figure that out.  I’m also still trying to figure out quite how I ended up with 3 massive zucchinis, seemingly overnight.  Toby (to the left) assists for scaling purposes.

So in the mean time, while I research new ways to use zucchini, I decided to shred and freeze these 3 beasts.

Firstly, break out the food processor.  If you don’t have a food processor?  Go and get one.  Because shredding this quantity by hand would be quite the work out.  Then chop it up in manageable sizes, and shred away.

Then empty the food processor into a colander lined with cheese cloth.  This will allow a lot of the juice to drain off before freezing.  Squeeze out that cheese cloth, and voila!  zucchini shreds.  I was quite shocked at the amount of zucchini juice that came from these, it was around 7 cups!

Lastly, measure convenient portion sizes (I used 2 cups), and put into sandwich bags.  Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bags, and label/pack in a larger freezer bag.

Now to figure out what to use these for…