Savoury zucchini and cheddar muffins made with summer squash, aged cheddar and fresh herbs
Most gardeners will tell you that growing zucchini is an essential part of a well-rounded garden. Actually, we don’t know if most gardeners will tell you that, but our dad would. When one of us decided to start a little vegetable patch in our own back yard we were excited to share our plans with our Baba. Xeno husband was proud to announce that we would be planting tomatoes and jalapeno peppers and kohlrabi. Our dad was impressed, to an extent. He wondered what kind of ψευτοκεφτέδες or fake keftedes you could make with kohlrabi, and whether or not jalapenos would lend themselves to being stuffed for yemista. He then asked which section of the garden we would reserve for the zucchini.
We had no plans to plant zucchini. Although delicious, zucchini plants, with their large prickly leaves and stems take up a lot of space. We had other plans for our great outdoors. A serene reading nook under our plum tree (planted in the middle of our yard by our dad…you can read about that
fiasco gift here). Perhaps a small zen garden with sand, rocks and a bridge or stone lantern which we would separate from the rest of the yard with a small fence. We even toyed with the idea of a pond containing koi fish. Clearly, there was no room for zucchini.
But guess what? We planted zucchini. Our dad got Xeno husband alone and explained all the reasons why a Greek garden (this was, after all, to be a Greek garden) needed zucchini. How else were we going to make fresh kolokithokeftedes (zucchini fritters), zucchini chips, or our delicious eggplant, zucchini and potato bake? And most importantly, how else would we collect the delicate zucchini blossoms which would then be filled with rice and herbs? Husband jokingly said he would trade our dad some of our hot peppers for zucchini. Our dad laughed, and the next day came over with baby zucchini plants and a trowel.
Every year since that first year we continue to plant zucchini in our garden, and we do so willingly. We have learned that summer squash are quite easy to grow (especially compared to the very finicky cucumbers!) and we are always finding new and delicious ways to enjoy them. Like these zucchini and cheddar muffins. These muffins are addictive. They are savoury and full of flavour. We love to serve them with our cream of tomato soup; dunking them is just perfect! For a bit of a Greek twist, try serving these zucchini and cheddar muffins with a variety of lathera dishes, like stewed green peas or green beans with potato stew.
Do I need to use muffin liners to bake the muffins?
You can, but you don’t have to. If you opt to use cupcake or muffin liners just be sure to spray them with cooking spray. If you use an unlined muffin pan, be sure to use cooking spray on it as well.
Can I use a cheese other than cheddar for these muffins?
Absolutely! You can use any cheese that you like. We have made these with feta (yum!), halloumi (so good!), kefalotyri (opa!) and gruyere. We make these muffins a lot! We think that the aged cheddar is really delicious however, and goes so perfectly with any tomato sauce or soup the muffins are dunked into.
Do I peel the zucchini before grating it for the muffins?
Nope! Just wash and dry the zucchini and grate it with the peel. Super easy.
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Zucchini and cheddar muffins
- Medium size muffin pan
- stand mixer or hand held mixer, optional
- 1¾ cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp granulated garlic powder
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil
- ½ cup (125 mL) milk
- 2 cups (265 grams) grated zucchini
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1½ cups grated old cheddar
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium size bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer beat together the eggs and the oil for 2 - 3 minutes.
- With the mixer speed on low, add in half of the flour mixture. Then, pour in half of the milk. Add the rest of the flour and then the rest of the milk. Mix until well combined.
- With the mixer speed still on low add in the grated zucchini, the chives and the basil.
- Increase speed to medium and add in the grated cheddar.
- Use a rubber spatula to ensure that all ingredients have been incorporated together.
- Prepare your muffin pan. Grease with cooking spray. If you decide to use muffin liners, place them in the muffin tray and the spray the liners with cooking spray.
- Divide the dough evenly between 14 muffin cups.
- Bake in the middle rack of your oven for 45 - 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the tops begin to brown too much before the muffins are cooked, covered them loosely with aluminum foil.
- When done, allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes in the muffin pan and then transfer to a cooling rack. These muffins are delicious slightly warm, or at room temperature.