Over the summer I had an abundance of zucchini, both from my parents’ farm, as well as leftovers now and again from my neighbors’ CSA share pickup. I’m not sure if the weather was prime for zucchini growing this summer or what, but everyone I talked to, from farmers to gardeners, said the zucchini plants were high-producing.
Zucchini, Zucchini Everywhere!
I ended up with more zucchinis than I could manage, and so the question became: use them, or freeze them?
Using them got rid of some of my stash – working zucchini into meatloaf, marinara, bread, and roasted veggies. But there’s only so much fresh zucchini one family can eat over a week or two.
Freezing them would probably be the better option, and I happened to read a tip that you could shred and freeze the zucchini without any blanching or prep work (aside from peeling and shredding). Love it!
The beauty of frozen shredded zucchini is that it thaws in minutes – just right out on the counter, although you could also set the bag in some warm water to thaw even quicker. Shredded zucchini goes great in a variety of recipes (like all of the ones I mentioned above – except the roasted veggies), and freezing it in 2-cup batches is just about the right amount for most recipes.
Using Thawed Frozen Shredded Zucchini
I decided it was time to make more zucchini bread. But instead of a loaf, I thought mini muffins might be a nice twist – and perfect to throw into my daughter’s lunch, or for us to grab as a quick snack.
Except…I realized after mixing the dry ingredients for my regular zucchini bread recipe that I was…um…OUT OF EGGS.
As I saw it, there were three options:
- Borrow eggs from the neighbors.
- Run to the store with two kids in tow.
- Find a way to make the zucchini bread mini muffins egg-free.
Turns out, our neighbors were gone, and I didn’t have the energy to schlep the kids to the store, which left coming up with a way to make the recipe for zucchini bread mini muffins…EGG-FREE.
One thing I happen to have plenty of is plain Greek yogurt. I’ve read that you can substitute yogurt in place of eggs in baked goods, so I thought, “What the heck? Let’s give it a go.”
I substituted 1/4 cup of 2% Greek yogurt for each egg (whole fat Greek yogurt would be better), and followed the rest of the recipe to the letter – except I got a little crazy and added cardamom and nutmeg (because I LOVE cardamom and nutmeg with cinnamon in the fall!).
The batter was the same texture as the egg version. Crazy!
And, surprisingly (actually, I’m not sure why I’m surprised, I just was – it’s the non-baker in me) they rose just fine. Just make sure not to over-bake them. If it were me, I’d start checking for doneness within 5 minutes of the end time.
My 8-year old loves them! She can’t tell the difference between these egg-free zucchini bread mini muffins and my traditional recipe. I think we have a winner!
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 2% - whole fat is better!)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Use non-stick spray to coat two mini muffin trays.
- Use a whisk to combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, salt in a large mixing bowl - leave a bit of a well in the center.
- In a separate small mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on medium-high speed to beat the yogurt, oil, sugar and vanilla together until they're a creamy color (about 2 minutes). Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, and continue mixing for another minute.
- Add the zucchini to the batter, and using the mixer on low, gently incorporate the two. The moisture from the zucchini should moisten up the batter and make it easier to mix.
- Use a small scoop to fill each spot in the muffin tin ¾ of the way full, and then bake them for 25 minutes, or until the tops spring back when they're gently pressed and a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Makes 48 mini muffins.