Zucchini Spice Muffins

I can’t complain about the abundance of zucchini. It’s healthy, versatile, and growing like tentacles out of every garden in the region. But, holy smokes… It’s a lot of zucchini. I had zucchini with my eggs this morning. Lunch is a minestrone soup, practically half zucchini. Whenever I bake with zucchini and use the food processor to shred it, I go ahead and shred another to pack away in the freezer.

I made two batches of these muffins, one with pineapple added and one without. I cut the sugar in half from the original recipe, so I thought the pineapple would compensate a bit and also make it more appealing to my little pineapple girl. They have quite a bit of spice and smell like ethereal autumn when baking, but the final result isn’t overwhelming. With the walnuts and moist batter, it’s an entirely pleasing muffin. If you’re not keen on pineapple, try raisins. Or as I prefer, just let the spice sing by itself.

Zucchini Spice Muffins
Adapted from Allrecipes

Ingredients:
2 cups shredded zucchini
2/3 cup boiling water
1 chai tea bag
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3/4 cup pineapple tidbits (half a 20 oz can, drained) (optional)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a standard sized 12 cup muffin pan or a large sized 6 cup muffin pan. Put the tea bag in the boiling water and set aside. Into a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the eggs and beat well. Remove the tea bag from the hot water and slowly pour the tea into the butter/sugar mixture, whisking very well to avoid cooking the eggs! Add the zucchini and mix again. Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Fold in the pineapple and nuts. Spoon into the prepared muffin pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes (35-40 for large muffins) in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack. These will keep for 3 days in an airtight container, if you can manage to keep them around that long.

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