We had a friend over this weekend and she was lamenting the fact that her daughter had decided to become a vegetarian yet seemed to reject most vegetarian sources of protein. I know this problem well. We’ve been a vegetarian family since long before the kids were born and none of them have ever had any meat. While I don’t buy into our protein obsessed culture I also don’t think that man (or child) can survive on fruit alone. True to his difficult little form Thomas has always been a discerning
picky eater. Thomas claims that he doesn’t like eggs, beans, or nuts. And he’s allergic to soy. Thank goodness he started to eat cheese and yogurt around his third birthday! Now, we are fairly strict when it comes to eating, we do not play short order cook. Dinner is what is served and no complaints stronger than an “I don’t care for this” or “No, thank you” are allowed. We never force our children to eat anything but we will not cook them something special or “kid friendly” either. Certain children have gone to bed hungry on many occasions because they have refused to eat dinner. That said, I am not a complete asshole – I do want my children to eat and I want them to enjoy food. As anyone with children knows, kids love to snack. We, of course, have ubiquitous fruit available for snacking but fruit just isn’t enough. That’s where muffins come in. We eat a ridiculous amount of muffins – on the order of two dozen a week. Muffins are magic – they have the appealing shape of a cupcake or when we’re feeling fancy – a dinosaur. Muffins freeze well and are portable. Best of all there are all sorts of otherwise rejected foods that my children will eat happily in muffin form. I don’t hide the fact of the offending foods existence in the muffin but rather use it as way to try to convince my children that they actually do like the food in question. I also adore the muffin. I am NOT a morning person, to say the least, and I don’t like eating in the morning. Yet, if I don’t eat I turn into a most unpleasant person to be around. Muffins are my solution. I take a couple of muffins out of the freezer the night before and eat them for “breakfast” the following morning. My favorite muffins, of late, are orange-zucchini-hazelnut. With our garden we have a huge abundance of zucchini. I shred, quite literally, gallons of zucchini each summer and freeze it in 1 cup increments. I then use that zucchini all year long in muffins, breads, and soups. Cheap…and delicious.
Orange-Zucchini-Hazelnut Muffins (or you might prefer to think of them as: Vitamin C! Fiber! Protein! Muffins)
*Makes approximately 18 muffins – we usually make a triple batch and freeze most of the muffins for later.
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- zest of one orange
- 1 cup shredded/grated zucchini
- 1 egg
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup hazelnut meal
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 400 (yes, that hot, muffins and cupcakes should be baked rather hot).
- Place muffin cups (if using) in a muffin pan. Otherwise, lightly grease the muffin pan.
- Mix together first five ingredients (wet ingredients). Set aside.
- Mix together last five ingredients (dry ingredients). Set aside.
- Mix wet ingredients into dry. Do not over mix. All the dry ingredients should be wet, but the batter should still be a bit lumpy.
- Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.
- Bake until golden brown on top and center of muffin “springs back” when pressed lightly in the center
Note: To make life easy and avoid the extra fat from greasing, I do use paper muffin cups. I buy these by the case. After the muffin is consumed the paper cup is compostable! Win.