Citrus Zucchini Muffins

August disappeared with the blink of an eye. At the beginning, I was lying in the sun, reading a book, and everything since then has been a bit of a blur. I've been traveling again; this time I spent a week in California and another driving up the coast to Seattle. I'll share the pictures with you once I get settled back in. With school starting this week and fall just around the corner, it all feels too soon. 

For now, I'm going to enjoy the end of summer harvest and hold on to the last of the warm summer days.

Citrus Zucchini Muffins
Citrus Zucchini Muffins

The garden at my parent's home grows two vegetables very wellzucchini and rhubarb. Due to a shady tree, the onions stay small, the cucumbers are few, and the cherry tomatoes are nonexistent, but those two vegetables grow so quickly and so large that it is easy to believe they are trying to make up for the other's flaws. My parents kindly let me use whichever vegetables I please, but even I can't find a use for all of the zucchini. 

If you want to lend a helping  hand, do let me know.

Citrus Zucchini Muffins

Though plentiful in the Upper Midwest, I still have not made my mind up about zucchini. While I could take or leave most savory dishes (except this one), bread is where this vegetable shines. Every year I make loaves of zucchini bread and every year I want to share the same recipe with you again because I love it so. While zucchini bread is wonderful with cinnamon, spices, and chocolate chips, this year I challenged myself to find a new way to enjoy it.

With citrus zest for bright flavor and chopped almonds for a hearty bite, zucchini found another way to capture my heart.

Citrus Zucchini Muffins
Citrus Zucchini Muffins

Citrus Zucchini Muffins make for a wonderful end-of-summer breakfast. The muffins are loaded with lemon and orange, a touch of nutmeg, and almonds to make them filling. The muffins are great with a spread of butter, a spoonful of jam, or simply left plain. These muffins surprised me with how much I enjoyed them. The flavors may be simple, but the experience is certainly not.

One Year Ago: Date Flapjacks, Nordic Pancake Cake, and Vanilla Ice Cream Cake
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Cherry Cake, Coconut Scones, Roasted Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream, and Almond Butter Cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream
Three Years Ago: Blueberry Hand Pies, Black Bean Salsa, Harry Potter Treats, and Cauldron Cakes
Four Years Ago: Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread, Whole Wheat Wild Blueberry Muffins, and Bittersweet Chocolate Pear Cake

Citrus Zucchini Muffins

Yields 1 dozen muffins

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar 
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup (118 ml) vegetable oil 
Juice of 1/2 orange
1 large egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 cup (about 180 grams) grated zucchini, lightly packed 
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour 
1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup (113 grams) whole almonds, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with baking cups.

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, lemon zest, and orange zest until fragrant. Whisk in the egg, vegetable oil, orange juice, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the grated zucchini. Mix in the nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the flour, mixing until the batter becomes uniform. Mix in the chopped almonds.

Fill baking cups 3/4 full and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the muffins cool briefly before eating. Serve plain or with a spread of jam.

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