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Lemon, Poppyseed, Zucchini Power Muffins

Lemon, Poppyseed, Zucchini Power Muffins

These sweet lemony delights taste like a muffin and satisfy like an energy bar.  The ingredient list looks strange (beans, oats, zucchini and lemon, really?) but they taste awesome and they’re packed with nutrition.  They’re full of protein, fiber and a good dose of vitamins and minerals.  They’re also gluten free, relatively low fat and did I mention, they taste really good?  I’ve been testing them out on family and friends and they’ve been a hit with adults and kids alike – no one can believe that something this healthy can taste so good!

Lemon, Poppyseed, Zucchini Muffins

Yields 12-15 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tablespoon poppyseeds
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon (approx. ¼ cup)
  • 1 (15) oz can of beans, drained (any white beans is good, canned beans can be substituted with 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup zucchini, shredded (approx. 1 medium)

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.  Line muffin tin(s) with muffin liners.
  • Shred zucchini on the rough side of a box grater and set aside.
  • Pour oats into blender or food processor and blend until they form a coarse flour.
  • Pour the oat flour into a large bowl.  Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, zest and poppyseeds.
  • In a food processor or blender puree the beans, lemon juice and olive oil until smooth and creamy.
  • Add sugar, egg, and vanilla to the bean mixture and blend until smooth.
  • Take the shredded zucchini and pour off any water that accumulated at the bottom of the dish, then add the zucchini to the blender and pulse a few times to incorporate.
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the oat mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Spoon or pour the batter into prepared muffin tins.  These muffins only rise a tiny bit so fill the liners almost to the top.
  • Bake about 18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • They will keep for a couple days at room temperature or in the fridge for about a week.

Note:

  • Alternatives – These muffins are sweet enough that if you topped them with frosting (I’m thinking cream cheese or buttercream) they’d make a nice cupcake.  The batter can even be used to make an unusual cookie.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spoon 2 inch circles of batter onto the sheet.  Bake for 12-14 minutes.  The cookies will be very soft and cake-like.
  • Gluten free – if you have a gluten sensitivity, make sure the oats you use are gluten free.  They usually are, but some brands have additives that contain gluten.
  • Update – I made these again this week but didn’t have any zucchini.  Instead I substituted an equal amount of shredded carrots and they tasted great!  The carrots added an extra bit of sweetness and worked just as well (if not better) than the original recipe.  I wonder what other veggies I could try…
  • Another update – I decided to push the envelope a little further and made this recipe with spinach instead of zucchini.  I thawed a box of frozen spinach and pureed it in the blender at the same time as the beans.  The muffins tasted really good (no noticeable spinach flavor) and turned a fun green color.  This might weird out some adults, but made them much more enticing to my 2 year old!  I liked the color so much I’m gonna try beets next time to make pink muffins!
If you liked this recipe and want more healthy desserts that involve baking with beans, here are some additional recipes you might want to try:

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fmckinlay/6309087391/

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