Because I like you, I will let you in on a little known fact about me: One of my all time favorite books is Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. This book changed my life. I have read it twice and intend to keep reading it. It’s amazing. Haven’t read it? Order it here.
What does this have to do with chocolate chip zucchini muffins, you ask? Kingsolver lives in a rural part of North Carolina where neighbors are so friendly that no one locks their doors. Except, that is, during zucchini season. Suddenly, everyone is a suspect. If you forget and leave a car door unlocked while at church, you are sure to find a bag of zucchini in your front seat when you head home. And if you step out to the grocery store and forget to double lock the front door of your house, there is no telling how much zucchini you might find when you return. Even if you locked the door and unwittingly left the windows unlocked, then you were a fool – who says zucchini has to enter through the door?.
Kingsolver refuses to waste food, so when her already overflowing zucchini patch is augmented with her neighbors’ zucchini, she goes to town coming up with creative ways to use them. And don’t we all? One can only eat so much grilled, sauteed, or steamed squash, so someone brilliant came up with the idea of shredding it and putting it in breads and cakes. Kingsolver even includes a recipe for zucchini chocolate chip cookies! Now you’re speaking to my heart!
These zucchini muffins taste nothing like zucchini, but they do help use up some of those extra squash laying around. This recipe is chock full of chocolatey goodness. As always, if you are not a chocolate person, sub out some or all of the chocolate for walnuts. It won’t be as good, but obviously if you aren’t a chocolate person, you don’t really appreciate the good things in life anyway.
If you’re brave enough to turn on your oven right now, then this is a great excuse to do so. And if you aren’t brave enough to turn on the oven in this heat, then do what I did!
Source: Adapted from Food Network
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees F. Grease a regular 12-cup muffin pan. If you have two, grease both as you'll need both of them for this recipe.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, spices and baking soda.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar, and continue beating until well blended. Stir in oil, vanilla, zucchini, chocolate chips, and orange zest. Stir in sifted ingredients.
- Pour into prepared muffin cups, filling until 2/3 full.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. If using both muffin trays, half way through the cooking time, swap the muffin pans top to bottom and rotate each of them so that the side that was facing the front now faces the back. Remove muffins from pans and cool for 5 minutes before removing the muffins to a wire rack.
- Try to resist the temptation to eat these immediately. They taste best if you let them cool completely before serving.
This recipe makes a lot of muffins :) If you aren't feeding a crowd, you may want to half the recipe.