Zucchini Avocado Muffins

This began as an experiment in creating a green muffin. The result was several shades shy of the green I had hoped to achieve, but the taste and the texture: better than I had even hoped. The lesson here is that green is not easy, but I’m still working on it.

The idea followed my recent Facebook post on Beet Soup in a mason jar as a wildly nutritious homemade Christmas gift — Holiday gifts in a mason jara delicious and off-the-grid diversion from the season’s obsession with butter and sugar. Since the beautiful beet-red soup topped with a a little feta  was the perfect combination of Christmas colors, I said to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool to serve this soup (or to give it as a gift) with an equally nutritious and outrageously tasty green muffin that would take the whole Christmas theme up to a whole other level?”  Artificial dyes were out of the question.

I began, of course, with zucchini, substituted avocado for most of the oil, and then chopped in about a quarter of a cup of fresh parsley. Specks of green from the parsley came through in the final product, which might have had a slightly greenish tinge, but was basically just a nice golden color.Zucchini Avocado parsley muffins

I haven’t given up. I had been skittish about tossing in too much parsley in a non-savory muffin, but next time, I’m doubling or tripling the parsley, tossing in green onions and some other herbs and switching over to savory.

Regardless of how that one turns out, this recipe will remain high on my list as a tasty, not-too-sweet muffin that’s perfect for breakfast, as a snack or with a salad or bowl of soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 – 3/4 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 apple finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup avocado mashed with a fork (about 1 large)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 – 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain, Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 chopped walnuts

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Rough chop 2 medium zucchini and add to a food processor. Pulse until zucchini is nearly pureed. Add  1 – 3/4 cups of the chopped zucchini to a mixing bowl. Peel and core one apple. Chop very fine or pulse in the food processor. Add apple to zucchini along with 1/4 cup of chopped parsley leaves.
  • Whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and flax.
  • Peel and remove the pit from one ripe avocado. Mash avocado with a fork and add to a large mixing bowl along with eggs, yogurt and vegetable oil. Fold in zucchini mixture followed by dry ingredients and walnuts.
  • Stir until just combined.
  • Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners or coat with non-stick spray. Divide batter among the 12 cups,  Cook on the center rack at 375 for 25-30 minutes.
  • Let cooked muffins sit for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.