Healthy Courgette Muffins
I'm always keeping my eye open for healthy toddler-friendly recipes (especially anything that incorporates veggies) and I tend to alter recipes that are not so healthy. Courgettes are prolific at this time of year and we had a few to use from our garden so I altered a recipe given to me by my MIL and made these for Roman yesterday. I have played around with this recipe before and I can tell you that they freeze well and are so handy for grabbing out of the freezer when you are heading out the door, for a snack or for lunch. I made these dairy-free and they can be gluten-free with your choice of flours.
3 cups grated courgette
2/3 cup vegetable oil (I use rice bran) or melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup runny honey (or your choice of sweetener)
2 eggs beaten
3 tsp vanilla extract or essence
3 cups flour (your choice - see note below)
2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg (or mixed spice)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional - see note below)
1 cup sultanas or raisins
Preheat your oven to 170-180 degrees (I use fan bake).
Combine beaten eggs, vanilla, and honey in one bowl (or a large measuring jug) then, combine courgette and oil in a larger bowl, before mixing both together.
In a separate large bowl, sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and mix it altogether with the pinch of salt.
Lastly, pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients (flour etc), give it a brief mix before folding in the walnuts and sultanas/raisins. Don't over mix - only until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into greased (I use an oil spray) muffin tins. I make one set of mini muffins and one of standard size. Bake for around 2o minutes (just keep an eye on them and the mini muffins will probably be ready sooner).
Sweetener ideas (besides honey): I have used coconut sugar and maple syrup (real maple syrup) with success. Another idea I want to try is date puree, as dates are also a source of iron and a great natural sweetener.
Flour: I used 1 cup of a mixture of flours that are supposed to be healthy (coconut, spelt and buckwheat), 1 cup of wholemeal and then 1 cup of standard white flour. I try to keep white flour to a minimum in our diet so that's why I experiment with all these other flours. I have also used stoneground flour in the past and that has been fine.
Walnuts: I chop these up small but you could leave these out altogether or replace with sunflower or pumpkin seeds.