Remember yesterday, how I baked these funfetti cookies to thank my friend Pat and his family for bring me to the baseball game? It was a BLAST! With gorgeous views, witty company, and a cup of hot cocoa, the innings flew by. I even forgot to watch a few pop flys and ground outs (thus breaking Rule #4 in “Amy’s Guide to Attending Baseball Games”: Pay attention to every play.)!
Back at their house after the Giants’ 4-2 win, Pat’s mom pulled out a pair of gardening clippers and bustled around the backyard. She first returned carrying a basket brimming with red and gold cherry tomatoes, which she washed and fed to every person who walked through the kitchen. (I gladly snuck seconds and thirds—they were the sweetest tomatoes I’ve ever tasted!)
On her second trip, she brough in 4 more vegetables for me to take home, in addition to the juicy tomatoes: an eggplant, a cucumber, a round zucchini (it looked like a small green pumpkin!), and two yellow squash. As she carefully packed it all into a bag, my stomach did a happy dance—it was Christmas in July!
Right before I picked up my purse to leave, she said 5 of the most magical words: “Do you want some basil?”
Pat laughed as my eyes lit up and my face broke into a ginormous grin. “Yes please!” was about all I could manage. Pure giddy excitement kicked in. Basil is my favorite herb EVER!
While drifting off to sleep that night, I started dreaming of ways to use all of my produce presents. I could cook… Or I could bake! I settled on turning my two favorites—the basil and zucchini—into muffins, topped with a sweet balsamic glaze. I might have to plant my own garden now… These moist muffins disappeared much too quickly!
Basil Zucchini Muffins with Balsamic Glaze
These muffins are incredibly moist and full of flavor! Any un-glazed leftovers will keep in an airtight container on the counter for a few days.
1 c all-purpose flour
½ c whole wheat flour
1½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
2 egg whites (see Note)
2 tbsp canola oil
½ c skim milk (see Note)
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ c brown sugar, packed
1 c shredded zucchini
¼ c fresh basil, roughly chopped
½ c balsamic vinegar
2 tsp granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°, and lightly coat 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.
- Lightly spoon both flours into measuring cups, and level with a knife. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, oil, milk, and vanilla. Stir in the brown sugar. Pour the flour mixture into the milk mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in the zucchini and basil.
- Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups, and bake at 350° for 30-34 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
- While the muffins bake, prepare the glaze. Add the balsamic vinegar and granulated sugar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue stirring until it thickens and reduces to about half of the volume. Remove from the heat. Drizzle over the muffins before serving.
Note: For a vegan version, substitute 1 tablespoon Ener-G + ¼ cup warm water for the egg whites and soy, almond, or coconut milk for the skim milk.
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