RECIPE. Aug 22, 2011

Where Have You Bean Zucchini Muffins

Something has been really bothering me lately. It’s this idea that food has to be filled with processed chemicals or sugar to be any good. People don’t say this the way I just did, but it’s what is translated when I offer them a muffin, tell them it’s healthy and they crinkle their nose. Healthy is now a negative term? It is when it is used to describe food. We have been so overwhelmed with sugar, processed flours and additives that when something crosses our lips that lacks these attributes we feel like it’s lacking what we need for it to taste “good”. The more I cook with simple ingredients, removing unnecessary sugar or processed foods from our diet the more I notice the food I am consuming. The nuances leap out and for the first time I can taste what I have worked so hard to create.

Before I climb down from my soap box I must humble myself and admit I still enjoy the occasional Cheez-It or Lucky Charms. Occasional. I don’t believe what I am saying is about self righteous behavior or pointing fingers but a desperate call for balance. So I bring to you a recipe to ease anyone into the “healthy” eating. Something to put into their mouth that will nourish their bodies instead of just fill their stomachs.

I have made several attempts to create my own zucchini muffin recipe and keep it vegan. While each attempt is more delicious and full of healthy benefits, I think this one takes the cake. I had three inspiration sources and they came in the form of a potluck dish, a lot of zucchini and my favorite zucchini bread recipe. At a recent potluck a friend brought muffins made with beans. I researched this new invention and realized you can often substitute beans for oil/butter in most baked muffins/breads/brownies. Score!

The first time I attempted to make a vegan zucchini muffin, I was too intimidated to try to veganize her recipe. I wan’t to start with small steps, baby ones in fact. Over the last few months my confidence has improved and I am here to present you with the king kong of all zucchini muffin recipes. It has protein from the beans, Omega 3 and 6 from the flax seed, fiber from the flours and packed full of zucchini without any sugar. I think the curry powder gives it quite a kick but I would also love to try blueberries.

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease muffin tins. Mix together flour, cinnamon, curry powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium sized bowl. Mix together flax, and maple syrup and let sit 5 minutes. Add mashed beans and vanilla. Combine flour mixture with wet mixture, mixing only until ingredients combined. Fold in zucchini and pecans.

Bake in oven 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center. Allow to cool 5 minutes, remove from pan and continue cooling on rack. Makes 16-18. If you want to make bread, instead of muffins just change the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 40-50 minutes in a medium sized loaf pan.

I usually freeze the extra and let one thaw a few hours before eating or pop in the microwave for a few seconds. This is also a perfect snack for babies and children, especially if you want to sneak in those veggies.