With fresh vegetables and whole grain flour, these muffins are healthy enough to serve for breakfast, but yummy enough to taste like dessert!
I invented these muffins last night, because my garden has produced quite the bumper crop of summer squash this year:
The resulting recipe turned out some very healthy, yet delicious muffins! In my pictures, you are seeing mini-muffins with mini chocolate chips (smaller muffins=less mess). But you could easily make them as regular-sized muffins with regular-sized chocolate chips, too!
Here’s the recipe:
Sugar Free Summer Squash Muffins
- 3 cups grated/shredded summer squash
- 1 cup honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
Slice the summer squash and remove their seeded centers. Shred the squash on the fine setting of your cheese grater or food processor. Place the zucchini on a finely woven cotton towel like this:
Next, close the towel around the squash and squeeze out excess liquid, like this:
You should end up with a play-doughy ball of summer squash pulp that looks like this:
Next, add honey, eggs, vanilla, and oil to the squash in a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine.
In a separate, larger bowl, combine the following:
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup white flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup chopped nuts (or mini semi-sweet chocolate chips–which I use because otherwise my kids won’t eat muffins this healthy). Can also add chopped dates, craisins, or raisins.
Combine dry ingredients, then stir in the squash mixture. Next add:
- 1 egg white, beaten until thick and foamy
(Note: this egg white is optional, but I like to add it because it makes the muffins lighter, fluffier, and they puff out more in the pan when I add it).
Drop muffins into tins sprayed with canola oil cooking spray, using an ice cream scoop to ensure uniform sizes (or use a large cookie scoop for regular-sized muffin tins, since in this picture, I was using mini muffin tins)
Bake them at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes (remember: this is for mini muffins. You want 15-20 minutes for regular-sized). These tasty muffins hide the vegetables so well, that all you see is a hint of gold on the inside (unlike zucchini, which leaves green tints in baked goods, thereby alerting my children to their healthy content!)
I made these muffins last night. Now that we have early church, I don’t have time to cook on Sunday mornings, so once the kids are up and dressed, I hand them each a baggie with 3 or 4 mini-muffins on our way out to the car. By the time we get to church, they eat them all gone! What a great way to have a quick–yet healthy!–breakfast.
I’ve already mentioned that I like to grind my own wheat—
But inaddition to my Nutrimill Electric grinder, I also bought a hand-powered grinder to grind my daily wheat when the power goes out (I live in the arctic–it happens every winter at least once!). But I often wonder: once I grind my wheat, how will I bake bread without power?? Sure, I could make tortillas on my grill, but I want BREAD, too!
Today I learned how! I can bake Italian Torta al Testo bread on my barbecue grill, or even in the fireplace! For the recipe, click here!
Problem: we all love whole wheat bread and know that it is healthiest if homemade, but too many homemade whole-wheat loaves look, taste, and feel like bricks!
The Amish have always known the secret: to make a soft whole wheat loaf, you have to use more oil and more sugar. The sugar activates the yeast and makes the dough rise higher, and the oil keeps the bread soft (baguettes, on the other hand, use very little oil). Health nuts who worry about added fat and sugar should weigh the benefits of getting kids to eat whole grain breads that taste good versus kids refusing to eat rock-hard bread that is healthier! 🙂
Also, this recipe requires you to let the dough rise twice, rather than adding processed gluten. Bread manufacturers routinely dump tons of processed gluten into their dough instead of waiting for it to rise (the gluten–aka GLUE–makes the dough go POOF almost instantly) which can cause migraines or make children sensitive even allergic to wheat. But wheat kernels have natural, healthy gluten in them already; you jsut have to let it rise twice for the gluten to “awaken.”
Here’s my recipe:
Super-Soft 100% Whole Wheat Bread (4 loaves)
4 cups warm water
1 and 1/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons yeast
*Combine these ingredients in the bowl of a Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine. Pulse to mix, then let sit for a few minutes until foamy. Then add:
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice (can substitute dough enhancer or lecithin)
12 cups fresh-ground flour
3 teaspoons salt
*Let the Bosch knead all ingredients together for about ten minutes, then place resulting dough into a large bowl, coated with canola cooking spray. Cover with a light dish towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm location. Let it rise until double (30 min-hour depending on room temp), then punch down and let it rise a second time. Then punch the dough down again and shape into four loaves. Let those loaves rise again, then bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.