Elena attends family day care which means we need to provide all of her food each day. It’s quite a challenging brief – interesting, gluten-free, dairy-free, healthy food which will keep well in her lunch box, for a one year old without too many teeth.
Sometimes I include a few mini zucchini muffins – they go down very well. When I first started searching the internet for a recipe, I was appalled at how much sugar some of the recipes contained.
My aim for these muffins was for them to be low-sugar, yet vaguely sweet, and vegetable-filled. I’ve come up with these muffins which are actually quite yummy. You can also add sultanas for extra interest and sweetness but I don’t think they need them. I don’t add nuts to these muffins because child care is nut-free.
These muffins need not be gluten-free if you have no dietary restrictions – see note below.
Gluten-free, dairy-free zucchini muffins
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup soft brown sugar (or a little less if you like)
3 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups White Wings gluten-free flour
1 tsp psyllium husks* (optional)
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Beat eggs until light and foamy; add vegetable oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla. Mix lightly but well.
Mix together the remaining dry ingredients, except nuts.
Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, stir until just combined. Add nuts.
Spoon the batter into lightly oiled muffin tins (or muffin tins lined with patty cases), filling 3/4 of the muffin cup.
Bake at 175°C for about 12 minutes or until done. To check if they are done, insert a clean toothpick, skewer or wooden matchstick into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, they’re done. I find these muffins don’t brown much because of their low sugar content.
Cool and serve. The muffins can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days, eaten warm from the oven, or wrapped and frozen.
Makes approximately 48 mini muffins.
* Psyllium husks are a source of dietary fibre and can be purchased from health food stores. I add a teaspoon or so to all my gluten-free baking as I find it helps retain moisture and makes cakes and other baked goods less crumbly.
If you have no dietary restrictions you can use wheaten plain or wholemeal flour. If you use wheat flour, there is no need to include the psyllium husks.
Now my freezer is a little better stocked for our crazy baby arrival period.