We are still working on getting through the numerous monster zucchini that came out of our zucchini forest this summer.
After a fall at a church young women camp, I spent most of the summer in this:
I had spent a good portion of spring digging out old dirt and hauling in new topsoil to help rejuvenate our garden. The new soil made a huge difference and we ended up with zucchini plants that were almost as tall as me. I realize that at 5’2”, that is not a huge accomplishment, but for zucchini, I thought that was pretty impressive. Our garden is planted on a tiered hill, which was impossible for me to navigate in my new fashionable summer footwear. The plants were so tall that I had a really hard time getting my kids to wade through the jungle looking for squash. For some reason ratatouille and zucchini fritters (some of my favorites) were not a huge motivation for them to risk life and limb in the outback. However, when I switched to making zucchini brownies, pumpkin zucchini muffins and these chocolate zucchini muffins, I found I had ample volunteers!
And when they came across this little guy hiding out in the cucumber plants, they spent a good portion of the rest of the summer searching for living, crawling things in the garden.
If you still have zucchini that you are working your way through, these muffins, spiked with Nutella and chocolate chips, make for a great breakfast (especially for a couple dozen awesome teenagers at 6am!) or a much appreciated lunchbox addition.
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Nutella
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk or kefir (or sour milk**)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom or nutmeg
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line regular muffin pans with paper or foil cups. Or use large Reynolds Foil 3 1/2” baking cups (these are self-standing-just arrange on a baking sheet).
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, oil, Nutella, brown sugar, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in zucchini.
In a separate bowl, use a whisk to mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and cardamom or nutmeg. Add mixed dry ingredients to wet ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon into muffin cups (fill about 3/4 full).
For regular muffins: Bake 15-18 minutes.
For large muffins: Bake 20-25 minutes.
Yield: About 36 regular muffins or 20 large muffins (made with 3 1/2” baking cups)
**To make sour milk: place 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar in a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Add milk to 1/2 cup line. Let sit 5 minutes