Looking for a tasty muffin recipe that will use up some of your garden produce? Try making this healthy garden muffin recipe. Lightly sweetened with honey and moistened by zucchini and carrots, this is one you’ll love to make every summer!
The inspiration for this recipe came from an old cookbook I found at a local thrift store. While flipping through the pages, I came across a recipe for something called “garden bread.” I’d never heard of such before and was both intrigued and amused.
I was imagining a loaf of bread filled with fresh garden produce. Things like beets, potatoes, garden greens and carrots!
What crazy person came up with THIS rabbit food idea?!
But as my eyes moved down through the recipe, my look of amusement was quickly replaced with a sincere interest. This was something I had to try!
And after playing with the recipe for a while, I knew I’d found a keeper. Only I wasn’t going for a garden loaf. I wanted healthy vegetable garden muffins that were sweetened with honey!
What Type of Vegetables Are in Garden Muffins?
Unlike I first thought, garden muffins only have 2 vegetables in them: carrots and zucchini. And for most of us, that’s nothing new! Both homemade baked carrot cake and zucchini bread have been around for centuries and are still favorites among the old timers and country cooks.
Why Add Vegetables to Your Muffins?
There are several reasons to add vegetables to your home baked muffins!
- It’s a wonderful way to use extra carrots and zucchini from the garden.
- Using vegetables means you use less flour (helpful if you use quality, expensive stuff).
- Vegetables will help you further stretch your recipe.
- Both zucchini and carrots will add extra moisture to your muffins, which is very helpful if you use home milled, whole wheat flour!
- Garden muffins are another way you can incorporate more vegetables into your family’s diet.
Items You’ll Need
- box grater
- mixing bowl
- measuring cups
- muffin pan
- 3 eggs
- honey or maple syrup
- milk (dairy or dairy-free)
- olive oil
- grated carrot
- grated zucchini
- flour (whole wheat preferred)
- baking powder
- nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
- walnuts (optional)
How to Make Healthy Garden Muffins
- Grab a basket, a knife or pruning shears and head out to the garden to gather up your vegetables.
- Choose and harvest tender, sweet carrots for this recipe.
- Remove their green tops and head over to the zucchini.
- Choose either a small or large zucchini and harvest.
- Bring everything indoors and rinse clean at the kitchen sink.
- Run your carrots through a box grater.
- Gently pat grated carrot into a measuring cup, until you have a full 1 cup. Set aside.
- Grate zucchini and squeeze out the extra moisture (quick note: if you’re using an older zucchini, scrape out the pithy center and seeds before grating).
- Gently pat zucchini into a measure cup, until you have a complete 1 cup. Set aside.
- Measure eggs, honey or maple syrup, milk, oil and vanilla into a mixing bowl.
- Stir in grated carrot and zucchini.
- On top, measure in flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Sprinkle the top with chopped walnuts.
- Gently stir until flour lumps have disappeared.
- Butter your muffin pan or slip paper muffin cups into place.
- Add batter and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove baked garden muffins and place on a baking rack to cool.
Can I Use Oversize Zucchinis in This Recipe?
Got oversize zucchinis in the garden? They’re perfect for this recipe! But before you grate up your large zucchini, use a spoon to remove the pithy center and seeds. You’ll be left with firm flesh that is excellent for grating and baking.
Do I Need to Peel my Vegetables Before Grating Them?
If you clean your garden vegetables well, there’s no need to peel either carrots or zucchini before adding them to this recipe. If you’re carrots are particularly knobby, use a scrub brush to get in all the crevices.
Buying veggies for this recipe? Feel free to remove the peels, especially on your carrots. Due to sprays and such, they often carry a slightly bitter taste.
How Sweet Are Garden Muffins?
These garden muffins have a minimal amount of natural sweetener added in. As a result, they only have a hint of sweetness after being baked. If you’re looking for a tasty low sugar muffin, this is an excellent option.
How Long Will Garden Muffins Last on the Counter?
If you use home milled flour in your muffins, they won’t last long on the counter! Especially in light of the fact that they don’t have much sugar in them. In this case, I wouldn’t leave them out for more than 6-7 days.
However if you use refined flour, you should be able to leave your muffins out for nearly 14 days.
If you have too many in either situation, I recommend freezing them to retain freshness.
Can I Freeze Garden Muffins?
Yes, garden muffins freeze beautifully! Once they’ve cooled on the baking rack, you can slip them into Ziploc bags, label and freeze for later use.
Just remember to pull them out about 3-4 hours before you plan to use them!
Healthy Garden Muffin Recipe
- 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup milk (dairy or dairy free)
- 3 farm eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup grated carrot, lightly packed
- 1 cup grated zucchini with juices squeezed out
- 2 1/2 cups freshly milled whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- Harvest carrots and zucchini from the garden.
- Rinse and scrub clean at the kitchen sink.
- Grate carrot and gently pat into measuring cup, until you have 1 complete cup.
- Grate zucchini and squeeze out liquid over kitchen sink. Measure 1 cup.
- Set grated vegetables aside for now.
- In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, honey or maple syrup, milk, oil and vanilla.
- Stir in grated carrot and zucchini.
- On top of your wet mixture, measure in flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Add in walnuts if using and stir until flour lumps just disappear.
- Butter your muffin tin or insert paper cup liners.
- Fill cups with garden muffin batter, stopping 1/4 inch from the top.
- Baking in 350F oven for 15-20 minutes or until muffin tops are firm and no longer gooey.
- Remove muffins from the pan and cool on baking rack.
- Bag and enjoy, or freeze some for later!