Blueberry-Zucchini Muffins or Quick Bread

It’s always exciting to pick the first couple of ZUCCHINI that have matured in the garden or marvel at the bright green logs piled high on the farmers’ market table. Zucchini tend to grow quickly and flourish, and since they are rather bland in taste and texture, they don’t have the same sex-appeal on our plates as say, snappy green beans, and definitely don’t hold the same passion as an heirloom tomato. It can be difficult to use zucchini as fast as they accumulate in the kitchen. After a few weeks of stir-frying or grilling them, zuke often become a ho-hum vegetable among the summer harvest. And when zucchini on the vine are ignored and grow to the size of fat baseball bats, they become tough and dry, as well as lose some of their nutritional content. (Hello Compost Pile!)

Yet because of their rather ‘vanilla’ profile, zucchini are versatile in many recipes. And since they are prolific now, I simply wash, dry, grate them, and pack in bags or containers for the freezer (no need to blanch first). Frozen grated zucchini are a wonderful addition to fall and winter soups, pancakes, and baked goods (even cookies!).

*Very Low in calorie, only 20
*Good source of vitamin C, containing 30-35% of the recommended daily intake

BLUEBERRIES of course are very popular with our summer palates as they offer bright, refreshing bursts of flavor, and are top dogs for good health. When fresh, local blueberries are in abundance, find a Pick-Your-Own place near you {} and freeze several bags. Come the dark, cold weather, you’ll be glad you did!

*Low in calorie, just 80
*Rich in vitamin C
*Good source of Dietary Fiber – 3.5+ grams
*Very High in Antioxidants which may help lessen the inflammatory process associated with chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
*Excellent source of Manganese—important for developing bone, and converting proteins,
carbohydrates and fats into energy

So with some tender bright green zucchini on hand, and the blueberries I picked this week from our bushes, I adapted this recipe from Ellen Ecker Ogden, author of The Complete Kitchen Garden 

While modifying the ingredients to boost the fiber content and reduce the amount of both saturated fat and sugar, my tasters ranked them high. I hope you will too!

Blueberry-Zucchini Muffins & Quick Bread

• Two 9×5” Loaf Pans, or
• 2 Dozen Muffins, or
• One 9×5” Loaf Pan & 1 Dozen Muffins

3 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour (such as King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill)
1 teaspoon ground Vietnamese Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Sea Salt

2/3 cup Organic Canola Oil
½ cup packed Dark Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Cane Sugar
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon pure Vanilla extract
½ ‘generous’ cup plain Yogurt

2 Cups grated Zucchini from 1 medium zuke
2 Cups fresh Blueberries (frozen in winter)
1 generous Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Zest, minced

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Wash outside of zucchini and pat dry. Grate zucchini and let drain in colander.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder
and salt. Blend well with wire whisk.
4. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add oil and sugars; beat well with wire whisk.
5. Add eggs to sugar mixture, one at a time, whisking after each addition.
6. To this, add yogurt and vanilla and beat all together well.
7. Gradually fold flour mixture into this with rubber spatula, being careful not to
beat or over mix.
8. Gently fold zucchini, berries, and lemon zest into batter.
9. Divide batter into well-oiled bread and/or muffin pans.

Bake muffins for 20 minutes and bread for 35-40 minutes or until top springs back from fingertip press.