Zucchini, carrot and cranberries. Hmm. An intriguing combination that I thought could turn out well or end badly, but either way, I wanted to try. A co-worker and friend was looking through recipes with me in preparation for a work training event that I planned to bring some goodies to. This one caught both of our eyes, and it had to be tested. I can safely say it turned out well (had it ended badly, it wouldn’t have ended up on the blog)! They also travel well, as they made a 6 hour road trip with us and tasted just fine for breakfast the next day. They pack a good veggie punch that you really don’t notice. It’s also amazing to me how the carrots and zucchini kind of disintegrate when they bake, so you don’t wind up with an oddly-textured muffin. The cranberries give it a little pop of tartness. You could definitely make them with another berry as well (blackberries or raspberries I think would be best). I cut down on the sugar slightly, as usual, especially with toddler breakfasts in mind! This is definitely a recipe where I’d use the full amount of sugar if you’re not like me and like things better on the not-so-sweet side. Because the cranberries are tart and the carrots/zucchini aren’t sweet, you’ll need more sugar than a standard blueberry or apple muffin.
- 2 cups all purpose flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat, 1 cup white all purpose)
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- A pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup regular and 1/4 cup brown sugar– 3/4 cup total)
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- 3/4 cup finely grated carrots (approx 1 medium)
- 3/4 cup finely grated zucchini (approx 1 medium)
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Grease a standard 12 cup muffin pan and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Mix in the grated zucchini and carrots.
4. Fold in the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until combined. Fold in the cranberries.
5. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Rotate the pan mid way through the baking time.
7. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out muffins on their side in the muffin cups, and let cool in the pan. Serve warm or at room temp.