Tasty Muffins Perfect For Breakfast Or An Afternoon Snack

muffPhoto: Courtesy of Yossi Arefi.
Last weekend, when I heard that two of my best pals were heading upstate to their beautiful cabin, I couldn't help but invite myself along for the ride. After a week-long heatwave, it was high time to get out of the city and into the woods to take a dip in the swimming hole and breathe in some fresh air. Luckily, my generous pals didn't mind sharing their special guest, so to thank them for their neverending hospitality (and to ensure I get invited back!), I brought along a little treat.
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I wanted to bring something that would be equally tasty for breakfast before hitting up the nearby farm — and as a snack by the creek later in the afternoon — and these hearty muffins fit the bill. They utilize lots of zucchini, which is so plentiful this time of year. They also have toasted nuts, seeds, and some dried cherries for a nice tart zip, but you can feel free to adjust these extras to suit your personal preferences.
Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins With Nuts And Cherries (adapted from 101cookbooks)
Yields about 24 muffins
Ingredients
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg 3/4 cup olive oil (or canola oil)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons
1 inch piece of ginger, grated with a microplane
3 cups finely shredded zucchini (about 3 medium), squeezed gently to remove excess liquid
1 1/2 cups mixed chopped nuts, toasted (I used half pecans and half walnuts)
1/3 cups poppy seeds
1/2 cup dried cherries roughly chopped
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit and line two 12-cup muffin tins with liners.
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2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then stir in the chopped nuts and poppy seeds, making sure to reserve a few tablespoons to sprinkle on the top of the muffins.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugars, eggs, lemon zest, ginger, and vanilla extract.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently to combine. Fold in the zucchini and cherries.
5. Fill your muffin liners 2/3 full, then sprinkle the reserved nuts over top. Bake until the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

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