Monday, August 12, 2013

Lavender, Lemon, Basil, & Zucchini Muffins

Last week, I read an interview about growing and caring for lavender on another blog I love – Centsational Girl. Kate also lives here in Northern California and likes to make a yearly visit to the Matanzas Creek Winery and Lavender Gardens. She interviewed the specialist taking care of the gardens. It's really interesting. Brian and I should definitely make a trip up there this fall.

Reading about lavender reminded me that I have had some dried lavender in a baggy just sitting in my spice cabinet. I also had two zucchini's that needed to be used before they went bad and a sad looking basil plant about to die on my counter {I like to think I have a green thumb, but every plant I own reminds me that I don't.}. I wondered if basil and lavender would work together in zucchini bread. These herbs are both found in Herbs de Provence, so I figured why not give it a try. I crossed my fingers hoping the bread wouldn't taste like soap.

I found a great Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Bread recipe on Farmgirl Fare and adapted the recipe to make my own Lavender, Lemon, Basil & Zucchini Muffins. These muffins are so fragrant, and the lemon really brightens up the flavor. They don't smell or taste like soap {Yay!}. The combination of lavender and basil surprisingly tastes a lot like rosemary! They are really delicious!!! If you try the recipe, you have to let me know what you think.

Photo property of Third & Patterson.

Lavender, Lemon, Basil & Zucchini Muffins

{Adapted from Farmgirl Fare's recipe.} Yields approx. 18 muffins


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1 pound zucchini, grated (about 3 cups lightly packed)
1 teaspoon dried lavender, roughly chopped
2 medium-sized basil leaves, chopped
The zest of one lemon

2 large eggs
1/2 cup (4 ounces/1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup light brown sugar

Heat the oven to 350°F. Line two muffin/cupcake trays with cupcake liners or spray with non-stick baking spray if you don't want to use paper liners. {This recipe yielded 18 muffins for me.}

In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

If your grated zucchini is really moist, squeeze out some {Not all. You need some of the moisture.} of the liquid {You can use a flour sack towel or cheesecloth, but I usually just stand over the sink and use my hands.}, then toss the grated zucchini into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, olive oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, lavender, basil, and lemon zest until well combined.

Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture, gently stirring just until combined. Divide the batter evenly into each paper liner. {This dough turned out a little dry for me so I rolled the dough into balls and dropped them into the liner. I think I squeezed out too much liquid from the zucchini!}

Bake for 11 minutes, rotate your pans and then bake for another 11 minutes. Stick a toothpick or bamboo skewer into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, they are baked all the way through. If you press down lightly on the surface of the muffin, it should spring back.

Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then remove them and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container or freeze.

{Note} I personally used 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 cup white flour to make it healthier for Cubscout. This does make them a little more dense and darker in color. You can substitute coconut flour to make these gluten free – I will try coconut flour next time! I'll let you know how it goes.

Have a wonderfully sweet week!

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