Gluten-free zucchini muffins
There are a couple of problems with the whole idea of using zucchini in baked goods.
1) It's a vegetable, and it freaks my partner out that they would be a key ingredient in a cake-like product.
2) Zucchinis are a summer thing, and baking is NOT a summer thing. No one likes a kitchen that is all hot.
Still, we were recently faced with the challenge of how to use a rogue zucchini from the garden that somehow grew to be 2 feet long without us noticing. One person advised that we just chuck it into the compost. A number of folks advised savory dishes. More people suggested zucchini bread. Frankly the zucchini is big enough for multiple uses. I decided to start with a sweet baked option.
1) I needed it to be muffinable and to have paper muffin cups on hand, since we don't have dedicated gluten-free bread baking pans. (Not that they can't get clean enough to use for gluten-free baking, but you never know. Plus I hate to wash dishes and the baking cups method reduces the labor.)
2) I needed to have all the ingredients already
3) I needed to be able to believe that it had some redeeming nutritional qualities. Zucchini IS a vegetable, and I entered all the ingredients into a website to determine that there are only 115 calories per muffin, so I guess that qualifies.
As just about everyone else in the world does, I found a couple of recipes on line, then mashed together the characteristics I liked to come up with the recipe. It had eggs and raisins and cinnamon, 3 1/2 cups of grated zucchini, and I used sunflower seeds because I didn't have any other suitable nuts. I think I've revealed in the past that I am not much of a baker. I should also confess that I did something a little devil-may-care: I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free flour blend AND xanthan gum AND coconut oil for the first time ever in a baking project while making up the recipe as I went along. My sciency brain knows not to confound with too many variables, but what the heck. I was hopeful when the batter came out pretty tasty, though more coconutty than I expected. (duh, right?). Jenn DOES NOT like coconut, but it's a texture thing more than a taste thing. But all that zucchini might do a good coconut imitation, so I'm thinking it would not be to her liking.
I mixed it up. What I'm assuming was an effect of the xanthan gum was a weird gluey texture, sort of what I imagine would happen if I put Elmers glue into the mix. I glopped it into the baking cups. I put it in the oven at 350 degrees for half an hour. Out came what appeared to be a perfectly normal-looking tin of muffins. Sadly, however, the xanthan glue had firmly attached the muffin to the paper, making it impossible to peal a muffin and have it retain a muffin shape. At least a third of the muffin stuck and stayed with the paper. Not to be deterred, I ate what I could with my fingers, then took a fork to the paper to scrape off what more I could. Jenn tried one, knowing that it had zucchini but not coconut oil. Her report? "It tastes like a muffin." Can't argue, right?
But still, I can't in good conscience share my recipe amalgamation since the outcome were seriously-stuck-to-the-paper muffins. Here are links to the three main recipes I referred to when putting it together:
Any advice for the stuck-to-the-paper problem?
6/23/2012 04:37:07 pm
You exaggerate. That zucchini wasn't 2' long! It was only 18" long. Perfectly normal.
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