Recipe: Too Much Zucchini! Muffins

Does that zucchini, behind the muffin, look vaguely menacing? Be not afraid; you rule in the garden. Photo credit, Steve Henderson Fine Art

Last month, in a moment of insanity, I decided that one zucchini plant wouldn’t be enough, so I planted six more. Fortunately, they’re still getting their garden legs, because my one plant is outdoing itself, single-plantedly populating our county with summer squash.

Small, tender zucchini are delicious sliced and sauteed, forming the basis to a vegetable side dish incorporating tomatoes, chard, spinach, potatoes, leeks, or whatever else is clamoring for attention in the garden.

But there’s always one zucchini, or several, that grows without my seeing it, reaching epic proportions and finally attracting my attention. I either toss this product to the chickens or bake it into zucchini muffins, like these:

Too Much Zucchini! Muffins


For the crumb topping:

2 Tablespoons butter, 3 Tablespoons flour, 3 Tablespoons sugar 

For the muffins

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla (use the real stuff; it’s worth it)
  • 2 cups whole wheat, Kamut, or Spelt Flour (I use ancient grains like Kamut or Spelt)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup zucchini, finely shredded (I know; that still leaves you with a lot of zucchini)

Oven: 350 degrees, 16-20 minutes. Makes 18 muffins.

For the crumb topping, work the sugar and flour into the butter until crumbly. Set mixture aside in the freezer while you mix the muffins.

With a wire whisk, mix the oil with the sugar. Break the eggs in, one at a time, and whisk only until mixed; don’t overdo. (I’m serious about this: Tired of Being Youngest, our daughter in culinary school, tells me that overbeating the eggs is the reason behind the dreaded fallen, sunken muffin syndrome, so if you want rounded, dome tops, do. not. overmix.) Whisk in the vanilla with the last egg.

These muffins would taste great at an afternoon tea, and this artwork, Afternoon Tea by Steve Henderson, is available as a licensed fine art print at Great Big Canvas.

Sift the flour with the salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir, quickly yet gently (remember the part about overmixing) into the oil/sugar/egg mixture. Fold in the zucchini. You should have a moist, yet mildly stiff, batter.

Portion the batter out into the muffin cups, filling between half and two-thirds full. Grab the crumb mixture out of the freezer and sprinkle it atop. Bake for 16-20 minutes — be aware that ancient grains bake a bit faster than contemporary wheat, so check around the 16 minute mark.

These taste great, hot out of the oven, with butter — and if you’ve got a Costco Warehouse anywhere in your life, they have a decent price on organic butter.

Available in paperback and digital format at

Eating in season is a great way to save money on your groceries, and it’s one of the chapters in my book, Live Happily on Less. Saving money is not so much a series of freaky frugal tips and cheap tricks as it is gently turning your lifestyle around, customizing your spending habits to fit what works for you and your family.

We raised our own family of four noisy, messy, active children on a single, moderate income, and we managed to eat well, take regular vacations, and dress so we looked like normal people. Our house and land are mortgage free; we paid for our car with cash; and we have no creditors. You can turn your financial life around, too, to fit your goals and dreams.

Live Happily on Less is available in paperback or digital format at

This article is linked to Intentionally Domestic,  Holistic Squid, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, My Cultured Palate,