At this time of year, you see a lot of zucchini recipes. People with gardens are over-run with zucchini and eager to use them up. They start putting zucchini in everything from soup to cake in a desperate attempt to keep up the the over-productive plants, and many gardeners come to resent the lowly squash. That’s what they say, anyway – I wouldn’t know. You want to know how much zucchini we got out of our garden this year? One. One single zucchini. We planted 6 plants and we got one single zucchini. I don’t know if it’s because our soil is too sandy, or they weren’t getting enough sunlight. Or it may be that the volunteer pumpkin plant that sprung out of the compost we spread on the soil in early spring has now taken over the entire garden and sucked up all the nutrients in its quest for life. Whatever it is, we are decidedly not among the gardeners over-run with zucchini.
I have to confess, I am more than a little disappointed. I love zucchini and it is an ideal vegetable for diabetics, being low in carbs but packed with nutrients. I’ve been buying some every week at the farmer’s market from the moment in came in season. My husband and I enjoy it in many dishes, in stir-fries and soups, and I love sauteing it in some coconut oil for an easy side dish. I can’t really get my kids to eat it unless I bake it into muffins and cakes, but it’s wonderful that way too. It lends moistness to all sorts of baked goods, and it certainly ups the health quotient of these treats.
So, even though I have not been able to harvest much zucchini from my garden, I thought I should offer up a good low carb, gluten free zucchini recipe. It’s that time of year and even though I am not over-run by zucchini, YOU might be, and might be desperate for yet another way to use it. I decided to go for a fairly basic zucchini muffin. Although I have a penchant for jazzing things up with glazes and such, I just wanted a really good, really healthy and really flavourful muffin. A few chopped nuts and some spices are all zucchini muffins really need, in my opinion. And without all the bells and whistles, they are more portable, an important feature for me so that I can have healthy snacks any time I need them.
The Results: I really like these and I am really glad I stayed on the simple side this time. Made with almond flour and whey protein, they are very filling and satisfying and have helped fuel me through some early morning runs. And the lack of glaze or anything fancy meant that I could pop the whole lot in the freezer and just grab and re-heat when I wanted one. My husband is already requesting a second batch be made before zucchini season is over!
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 med-large zucchini)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups almond flour
1/3 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1/3 cup erythritol
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup greek yogurt
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp liquid stevia extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Set shredded zucchini in fine mesh sieve and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Mix thoroughly and let drain for at least one hour. Place in tea towel and squeeze out excess water. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325F and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, whey protein powder, granulated erythritol, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
In a large bowl, beat greek yogurt until smooth. Beat in eggs, shredded zucchini, vanilla and stevia until just combined. Beat in almond flour mixture in two additions, alternating with almond milk, and then beat in coconut oil until thoroughly combined.
Stir in walnuts and divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake 28 to 32 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Serves 12. Each muffin has 6.3g of carbs and 2.5g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 3.8g.