Chocolate Zucchini Muffin Recipe

Early this week, I talked about ways to preserve all of those zucchini and summer squash that overtake our late summer gardens, and today, I’m going to share one of my favorite recipes for using that produce.  Chocolate zucchini muffins are moist, delicious and the perfect treat for Sunday brunch.  They are also a favorite with kids!  Best yet, they are easy to make, regardless of the season.

Ingredients:

1 c. Brown Sugar

1 c. White Sugar

3 c. Flour (I often use 2 c. AP and 1 c. whole wheat)

1/2 c. Baking Cocoa

1 T. Baking Soda

1 t. Baking Powder

1 t. Salt

1 T. Cinnamon

3 Eggs

1 T Vanilla

1 c. Vegetable Oil

2.5 c. Grated Zucchini (If you are using frozen zucchini, let it thaw on the counter before mixing it in.  You may need to adjust the flour and/or cocoa if the zucchini is watery.  I do this all the time, and the muffins still come out great!).

1 Bag Milk Chocolate Chips

Instructions:

1. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  If your cocoa powder is particularly clumpy, run it through a sifter first. 

2. Beat in eggs, vanilla and oil.

3. Fold in zucchini and then stir in chocolate chips.

4. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

5. Enjoy!

The best part about these muffins is that all you need are the muffins.  They are delightfully moist and the chocolate chips remain soft and gooey, even in the prepared muffins. 

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Preserving the Harvest: Putting up Summer Squash and Zucchini

If your garden has been anything like ours, lately, you have been blessed by an onslaught of zucchini, and when I say onslaught, I mean dozens of healthy, beautiful squash.  What do we do with these squash?  We stirfry them with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper; sometimes we add a link or two of chicken sausage to the stir fry, serve it over pasta, and call it dinner; we grill them, sometimes marinated, and sometimes just lightly salted and peppered; but, mostly, when we get way behind, we freeze them.

I freeze summer squash and zucchini primarily for baking, and I often freeze them together.  Working with teenagers who are always hungry, it’s nice to be able to bring in treats that have some (minor) health benefits.  And my favorite of those recipes is chocolate zucchini muffins.  So, you’ll notice in the freezing instructions below,   I freeze our squash in 2.5 c. increments.  It’s all for the recipe, though, so if you have a favorite recipe, freeze in increments that will make your baking/cooking easier!  Squash frozen this way also mixes really well into things like chop suey, shepherd’s pie, and other meat dishes that can really benefit from a vitamin push, especially in the winter!

Materials:

Glad Press & Seal

Freezer Bags

Food Processor or Cheese Grater

Fresh Squash (zucchini, summer squash, or a mixture of both!)

1. I usually pick my squash from the garden the day I’m going to process them.  I do it early before they’ve baked in the sun all day.  I try to aim for medium sized squash, but if you have a baseball bat sitting under one of your zucchini plants, shredding and baking it is the way to go!

2. Bring your squash inside and wash it thoroughly under lukewarm water.  Remove the cap and the end where the blossom was (taking only about an 1/8” of the fruit off with the pieces you are removing).

3. Shred in the food processor.  I use the cheese grater attachment.

4. Measure onto sheets of Press & Seal in the proper increments (2.5 cups for Chocolate Zucchini Muffins!).

5. Form a packet around the squash using your press and seal and press firmly to remove as much air as possible.

6. Pack into freezer bags and freeze until needed!

And later today, I’ll give you the recipe you need to make zucchini lovers out of your friends, family, and children!