Thursday, August 29, 2013

Banana-zucchini muffins

So, have you used up all your zucchini yet? (Snort)

Yeah, I know: bad joke. Mine is still coming in from the garden and I don't know how many more baggies of shredded zucchini my freezer can hold. I still have one in there from last year, for cripes sake.

But if you also happen to have a past-its-eating-prime banana hanging around, today is your lucky day.

If not for the pathetic banana on the counter, I would likely have made my summer harvest zucchini bread this week. But frugality (read: cheapness) got the better of me: I was determined to use up the banana and the zucchini -- and not by throwing either one into the compost bin. My challenge to myself was to find a way to use them both in one recipe.

Lucky for you, I scored. And scored big.

You know how yummy banana bread is? And you know how much you love zucchini bread? Yeah? Well, now combine them together, add some flax seed meal to make it good for you and -- voila! -- you've got The Ninj's favorite new breakfast: banana-zucchini muffins.

The best thing about these banana-zucchini muffins is that they are incredibly moist, without any added oil -- and not that rubbery, oh-you-clearly-added-applesauce-instead-of-oil-to-make-it-healthy moistness. We enjoy them au naturel (which makes them handily portable), but they are also wicked with a little butter or fruit butter schmeared on them.

And they freeze well, too.

I've yet to try making this recipe as a loaf, rather than muffins, but I have no doubt it will work perfectly, with no more than an increase in the cooking time. If you try it that way, be sure to let me know how it goes for you.

What are your favorite ways to use zucchini and bananas? Do you ever combine them? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

Banana-Zucchini Muffins (adapted from Martha Stewart)
Note: This recipe makes about 18 normal-sized muffins.

3/4 cup skim milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur)
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1 mashed banana

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and vanilla and set aside. In another larger bowl, whisk together the next 7 ingredients (flour through cinnamon). Add the zucchini and the banana and toss until well-coated and well-distributed in the mixture.

Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until just combined. Spoon into prepared muffin cups / tins and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until tester inserted comes out clean. Cool in pans for about another 20-30 minutes.

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