Baking healthy: zucchini banana muffins

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

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It’s another day, which means another craving for baked goods. Today, muffins immediately came to mind — fresh out of the oven and full of cinnamon-y goodness. We didn’t just want a dessert, though. We wanted a muffin that we could eat for breakfast without feeling guilty and feeling like we had to head to the RSF right after. Enter Mom’s zucchini bread recipe. By following the basic recipe and taking out the oil and some of the sugar, we were able to adapt it to be both tasty and much healthier than the original. If you’ve never tried substituting the oil in your baked goods for something like applesauce or banana, now has never been a better time. The holidays, which bring the temptation to eat loads of baked goods, are beginning to creep up on us, but that doesn’t mean our pant size needs to creep up with them.

Ingredients

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoon cinnamon

3 eggs, beaten
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
2/3 cup agave sweetener (or 1 cup sugar)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups finely grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)
1/2 cup almonds (or walnuts or pecans), optional

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Then combine your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

In another bowl, mix together your eggs, banana, brown sugar, agave sweetener and zucchini. The original recipe called for 1 cup of oil. Choosing to substitute it for banana does make the muffins a little drier but it also makes them much healthier. Another substitution for the oil that you can use is apple sauce. Also, if you want to retain some of the moisture that the oil provides, try substituting only half of the oil for an equal amount of banana or applesauce. The last substitution we made replacing the white sugar with agave sweetener — the recipe originally called for 4/3 cup white sugar. This paired well with our banana-oil substitution because while banana makes the batter thicker, agave sweetener does the opposite. If you don’t have agave sweetener, we would suggest using applesauce as an oil substitute instead of banana.

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, and add in nuts if you wish. Mix well. Separate the batter into greased muffin tins.

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. This recipe yields about 18 muffins.

Caution: Wrap well after baking, or store in a tightly closed box. Fruit flies like these muffins just as much as you will.

Contact Danielle Petruzzelli at [email protected].