I realized something today. I like muffins more than cookies. A lot more. I do like cookies. I do. Well, homemade cookies. But I like muffins more. There is something so satisfying about a muffin. When I eat one, I’m not as hungry as I was before I ate it. The same isn’t true about cookies. A muffin can be eaten for breakfast; it works as a mid-morning snack or for that last something to eat before bed. A fresh out of the oven muffin is my favorite. But as I can’t eat the whole dozen in one sitting, I microwave them for 20 seconds which is almost as good. And a muffin that has chocolate chips is best warmed up, because then the chocolate is all warm and melty. Mmmm…
This orange zucchini muffin with chocolate chips recipe is my current favorite muffin. This is ironic, because even up to a few months ago, when my mother kept telling me how great her zucchini loaf was, and that I should try it, she was sure that I would enjoy it, I kept declining, telling her I don’t like zucchini. It’s true; zucchini isn’t really a vegetable that I like. However, the zucchini doesn’t really provide any flavour to these muffins; instead it just keeps them moist. So if you’ve never tried zucchini muffins before, have been a bit afraid to try a muffin with a vegetable in it, trust me, it’s okay to try this. By taste you would never guess it has zucchini.
The orange really makes these muffins. It perks up the whole flavour profile of these, and combined with the chocolate and spices, it really works. I adapted this recipe from one I found in the 2013 Milk calendar. My family prefers mine to the original. I brought some to work this week, and they were a hit with my co-workers too. One person even said they were the best muffin he has ever tasted, and asked for the recipe. I thought to myself that he must not have tasted many homemade muffins, but then pushed the thought aside and decided to accept and enjoy the compliment. I hope you like these too.
Orange Zucchini Muffins with Chocolate Chips
- 1 ½ cups (375 mL) whole wheat flour
- 1 cup (250 mL) spelt flour *
- 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
- 2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
- ½ tsp (2 mL) ground cloves
- ½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda
- ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup (250 mL) milk
- 2/3 cup (150 mL) pure maple syrup**
- ¼ cup (60 mL) canola oil
- Zest of one orange
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) orange juice (I use juice squeezed from orange used for zest)
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh ginger, minced
- 1 cup (250 mL) shredded zucchini (about 1 small)
- 3/4 cup (190 mL) milk chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup (150 mL) chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat over to 375 F (190 C). Grease muffin pans or line with paper liners.
In large bowl, mix together whole wheat and spelt flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together egg, milk, maple syrup, canola oil, orange zest, orange juice and ginger until blended.
Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and sprinkle with zucchini, chocolate chips and pecans (if using). Stir just until moistened.
Spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until tops spring back when pressed with finger.
Let cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 15-16 muffins.
* spelt flour can be replaced with whole wheat flour
** if do not have (or do not like) maple syrup, can replace with honey or molasses (same quantity)
I choose organic oranges for zest as the peel is the part being used in the recipe.
If you have empty spots in the muffin tin (as you will with this recipe) fill them halfway with water. The water will help the entire muffin pan to heat more evenly, which will help your muffins to bake more evenly too.