Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Garden Muffins (or Cake)

Every week I meet with a couple girl friends for "breakfast with the ladies" as my husband likes to call it for some yummy eats and good conversation.  A while back Jen made this wonderful fool-proof 'garden cake' that the toddlers loved.  Who knew there were carrots and zucchini in it?!  Here's the recipe for anyone who wants to adapt their own version.  I swapped out some ingredients that I didn't have on hand and subbed in some other ones, so I guarantee it is "VERY flexible" as Jen told me.

Some of my changes...
Since I was only able to harvest one pathetic little zucchini from my garden, I had to use more carrots.  I also used half oil and half applesauce and then only added 1/2 c. granular sugar since the applesauce would provide a little sweetness and I didn't want my cake too sweet.  Somehow, I ran out of whole wheat flour, so I had to use the good old all-purpose variety.   No flax seed in house, so I added wheat germ instead.  Also, I didn't add any fun stuff like dried fruit or coconut because I didn't want any picky eaters to shy away.  For the topping, I didn't add nuts, but did throw in about 1/4 cup of oats...just because.

Garden Muffins (or Cake)  (as given to me by Jen)

1 large zucchini, grated and patted dry
2 large carrots, grated
1 c. canola oil (or you can sub some or all with applesauce)
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
3/4 c. granular sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix well.

1 3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour or regular whole wheat flour
1/2 c. oat bran or oats
1/4 c. crushed flax seed
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. cloves, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg)
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly and add to zucchini/carrot mixture.

1 c. raisins (or cranberries, chopped dates, or chopped prunes)
1 c. walnuts or pecans
1/4 c. shredded coconut

Fold in the fruit and nut mixture.

Streusel Topping
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 T. butter
1/2 c. chopped pecans (opt.)

Cut butter into mixture, until well combined, then set aside.

Spray muffin pan/bundt pan with cooking spray. Spoon batter into muffin cups and fill 3/4 full or pour into a bundt pan.  Top with streusel topping. Bake at 350 F, 25-30 minutes for muffins or 1 hour for cake.


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