Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini Muffins

Do you ever stand in line at a coffee shop and get tempted by the bountiful displays of baked goods only to end up leaving with some crazy awesome donut/danish/cookie/muffin you didn’t plan on getting?  I guess one of the blessings/curses of being gluten-free is that I can’t ever succumb to my desire for those delish gluten-filled goodies.  So to compensate, I try to satisfy my cravings by baking.

Now I fully admit that gluten-free baking can be a challenge, however, when I come across an easy and fool-proof version, I have to share. This muffin is adapted from Erin McKenna’s Babycakes cookbook and it was moist, delicious, chocolate-y and gluten/guilt-free.  So good, that it makes me forget all about those high-priced gluten-filled sugary sweets in the coffee shops.  Great for my wallet and my body.

Just remember everything in moderation – too many muffins will lead to ‘Muffin Top” which “is a… slang term used to describe the phenomenon of overhanging fat when it spills over the waistline of pants or skirts in a manner that resembles the top of a muffin spilling over its paper casing.’  Thanks to Wikipedia for that informative and graphic definition.

zucchini muffin close up

 

Zucchini Muffins

Now I fully admit that gluten-free baking can be a challenge, however, when I come across an easy and fool-proof version, I have to share. This muffin is adapted from Erin McKenna's Babycakes cookbook and it was moist, delicious, chocolate-y and gluten/guilt-free. So good, that it makes me forget all about those high-priced gluten-filled sugary sweets in the coffee shops. Great for my wallet and my body.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Bob's Red Mill, cake, chocolate, corn-free, cupcakes, dairy-free, gluten-free, muffin, nut-free, soy-free, yeast-free
Servings: 12
Author: ness

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour
  • ½ cup flax meal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¾ cup agave nectar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened soy milk (or non-dairy milk alternative)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup mini gluten-free vegan chocolate chips (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and cinnamon. Add oil, agave, soy milk, and vanilla to dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Using a plastic spatula, gently fold in zucchini and chocolate chips (if using) just until evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Do not over mix.
  • Pour half cup of batter into each prepared liner, almost filling it. Bake the muffins on the centre rack for 25 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees after 15 minutes. To check doneness, a wooden toothpick will come out clean after being inserted into the centre of a muffin.
  • Let the muffins stand in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store muffins in airtight container in the fridge or freeze.
Adapted from Babycakes by Erin McKenna
Chocolate Pear Muffins

Chocolate Pear Muffins

I propose that ‘high coffee’ be the new ‘high tea.’ On new year’s day, my parents treated my hubby, sister, and me to a lovely high tea.  Full of delightful pastries, finger sammies, and fancy teas, it was a luxurious and decadent way to ring in the new year.  Honestly, I was slightly hungover and as much as I love tea, I could have really used a huge cup of coffee to help perk me up. That’s when D proposed that ‘high coffee’ should be a thing.  And I couldn’t agree more.

GF mega chunk chocolate

So we decided to host a ‘High Coffee’ at our place for some good friends and put out a massive spread. I admit I went a little overboard. The great thing about hosting a high coffee/tea/brunch is that you can totally do a combo of store-bought and homemade treats and keep it low effort/cost and stress-free. It’s generally more relaxing to have brunch at home where instead of trying to flag down a waiter for coffee refills, you can just keep the caffeine and mimosas flowing. And at our place, we always serve mimosas for brunch. Why? Because brunch is great and all, but mimosas make it a better brunch.

pear can
cubed pears

Also, if my guests are gluten-eaters, I tend to do more gluten-y items than gluten-free. I just adapt whatever I’m serving to suit my own dietary restrictions. So I just made gluten versions of the chive cream cheese/cucumber/chicken open-face sammies by swapping the bread for a gluten-free rice tortilla.  Same for the smoked salmon cream cheese Montreal bagel. Also, swapped cream cheese for dairy-free Tofutti version. Easy pea-sy dairy-free cream cheese-y.

muffin batter w pears chocolate
batter in muffin cups

I also try to get as much of the prep done the day before. So, plan plan plan. Prep the veggies, condiments, fruit platters, set the table, and have a list of what you need to do the day of. This makes it a breeze to put together and allows you the time and energy to actually relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour.  These muffins were baked a day ahead and so were the mini potato crusted quiches we served. So next time you’re thinking of hosting a brunch, try delightful finger sammies, and sweet bite-sized treats.  And try these tasty chocolate pear muffins that are healthy and will help minimize the chances of getting a muffin top.

High Coffee

‘High Coffee’ spread. Did I mention this is for only 4 people? I say ‘Let them eat cake (and muffins)!’

Chocolate Pear Muffins

These muffins were baked a day ahead and so were the mini potato crusted quiches we served. So next time you're thinking of hosting a brunch, try delightful finger sammies, and sweet bite-sized treats.  And try these tasty chocolate pear muffins that are healthy and will help minimize the chances of getting a muffin top.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Bob's Red Mill, chocolate, coconut, corn-free, cupcakes, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, muffin, nut-free, soy-free, yeast-free
Servings: 12 muffins
Author: ness

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups bob’s red mill GF all purpose baking flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil (melted or canola oil)
  • 2/3 cup agave nectar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened soy or rice milk
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pears cut into 1/2” cubes
  • ½ dark cup chocolate chips (gluten free, vegan)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthum gum, and salt. Add the oil, agave, milk, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir until batter is smooth. Add the pears and chocolate chunks and stir to combine.
  • Pour 1/3 cup batter into each muffin tin cup. Bake on the center rack for 22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The muffins are done when a wooden toothpick or skewer inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean.
  • Let muffins stand for 15 minutes in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Adapted from BabyCakes by Erin McKenna
Strawberry Tea Cake

Strawberry Tea Cake

I love lots of things, but my shortlist includes my hubby, family/friends/dog Pucci, shoes, animal prints, and cake.  Seriously, there are few cakes I have encountered in my life that I have not devoured and loved.  Frozen Sarah Lee cakes as a kid, mom’s homemade apple cake, fancy restaurant chocolate cake… you get it.  So now that I’m gluten-free, my cake eating is limited to basically cake I make myself.  And too much cake = too much muffin top.  Since summer is around the corner (actually it’s here already in Scottsdale), I better make a figure-friendly cake without fatty oils and butters like this strawberry cake.  With this cake, I get to indulge in its berry cakey goodness without the guilt of say a cake from anywhere else.

sliced strawberries on cutting board

This recipe is adapted from the muffin recipe on the back of Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix bag and is super easy to make.  Important note: do not over mix the batter or you will end up with strawberry bricks.  Be really delicate with the batter and only stir until ingredients are just combined.

pamelas mix in bowl
strawberry cake batter in pan

I layered the strawberries between the batter but if you don’t feel like it, you can just mix the berries in the with batter and bake in the pan – it’s equally delicious and cuts down the prep time.  And you can make this cake with any berries you like or even throw in some nuts for a little protein and crunch.

strawberry batter in tins
stawberry cakes on rack
plated strawberry cake

Strawberry Tea Cake (egg-free)

This recipe is adapted from the muffin recipe on the back of Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix bag and is super easy to make. Important note: do not over mix the batter or you will end up with strawberry bricks. Be really delicate with the batter and only stir until ingredients are just combined.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: berries, cake, corn-free, egg-free, fruits, gluten-free, muffin, Pamela GF Mix, soy-free, yeast-free
Servings: 2 mini cakes
Author: ness

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

  • Two 2"x5" mini loaf pans (store bought disposables are great too)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/4 cup Pamela's Gluten Free Baking & Pancake Mix*
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg replacer (I use Ener-G brand)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sliced organic strawberries

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients except strawberries. Gently mix together until just combined. Line loaf pans with parchment paper. Scoop one quarter of the batter into each of the tins and smooth to cover bottom. Place a single layer of sliced berries over batter. Divide remaining batter between cakes and smooth. Place a layer of berries down the middle. Bake for 30 - 32 minutes. Place on racks to cool.
*Note about Pamela's Gluten Free Baking & Pancake Mix: this product contains cultured buttermilk and almond meal. so not dairy or nut-free. This stuff is also kind of amazing for whipping up just about anything and it's my go to pantry item.

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