Fall Flavour with Fibre: Apple Cinnamon Zucchini Muffins

A fibre-packed snack that adds fruit and vegetables to your day. Get creative with tons of variations to this recipe.

Muffin on plate with zucchini, apple and cinnamon sticks around it on top of a wood charcuterie board.
Apple Cinnamon Zucchini Muffins

This recipe was developed at the request of a parent asking for a healthy baking private cooking class. The original had butter in it instead of oil (yes, go ahead and substitute it when you make this recipe, if you like). Both the student (age 6) and her sibling (age 4) devoured their muffin and left with a plate full of them too.




So we knew what recipe to use when Hyde Park-Oakridge Villager asked us to contribute a recipe for their September edition.

Thanks for the recipe and photo! Adorable! She has been talking about it ever since, and little sis declared tonight that she wants to have a "cooking themed birthday" and then wants to be signed up for cooking lessons. - Ashley

Recipes are comforting memories that are usually tied to a person or event we hold dear to our hearts. Many recipes are built on previous ones from generations ago. As time passes, we change ingredients based on availability. Using local foods, like apples and zucchini (grown in my backyard in the city!) that are in season, is a great way to take advantage of grocery store sales (it's usually cheaper when it's in season!) and community farmers' markets. Plus following the seasonal foods in your area helps us banish kitchen boredom and keeps things fresh & interesting!




1 cup of flour held over bowl with flour bag in background
Local flour from the Arva Flour Mill

As a food science nerd (PHEc to the rescue!), I like adjusting ingredients that add nutrition but keep the recipe enjoyable (no one wants to eat sawdust, right?). Little changes here and there will add up over time towards our health. Muffins are traditionally supposed to be more hearty than a cupcake. Yet, many times that all-purpose flour is used to ensure a fluffy texture (check your labels). I focused on fibre in this recipe by:

  • Using whole-wheat flour (instead of all-purpose)

  • Using a large amount of vegetables and fruits

  • More zucchini than apples (let's get our veggies in!)

  • Skins on (no peeling - save time too!)

My suggestions to make these muffins healthy are just that.... options. Feel free to use the ingredients available to you. I've also included several additions and variations for your to level up your muffin to Master Chef status!


So let's get cooking!



Apple Cinnamon Zucchini Muffins

Makes 12 large muffins (18 small)


Ingredients

Wet

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 ¼ cup white sugar

  • ¾ cup oil

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 cups of shredded zucchini, squeezed & drained (approx. 1-2 small zucchini)

  • 1 cup of shredded apples, squeezed and drained (approx. 1-2 apples)

Dry
  • 2 ¾ cup whole wheat flour

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • ½ tsp ground ginger

Topping (Optional)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat to 350°F. Oil muffin tin or lien with paper liners.

  2. Whisk sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Mix in shredded zucchini and apple and coat well.

  3. In a separate bowl, stir dry ingredients together. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until batter is combined.

  4. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over muffin cups, if desired.

  5. Bake in the oven until muffins are dry and firm (approx. 25-28 minutes). Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Voila! Your muffins are ready. Serve them right after or store them in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


Additions & Variations:

Use approximate 1 cup of ingredients in total to not change texture too much. (Ex. 1/2 cup chocolate chips + 1/2 cup walnuts = 1 cup total)

  • Chocolate Chips

  • Walnuts (omega-3)

  • Raisins

  • Craisins

  • Hemp Hearts (omega-3)

  • Chia Seeds (omega-3)

Substitutions:
  • Butter instead of oil

  • Olive oil instead of vegetable or canola oil

  • Omega-3 eggs instead of regular

  • Apple Pie Spice instead of cinnamon and ginger

  • Shredded carrots instead of zucchini and/or apples



Have you tried this recipe? Let me know what you think and how you tweaked it to make it your own.