It's a constant battle in the garden this time of year. All the garden pests know when the vegetables and fruits are ready for harvest so they often get to the garden before I do. Morning inspections reveal half eaten fruits and veggies. This year, I am making more of an effort to prevent this from happening. Every evening before the sun sets, I make sure to reap the fruit of my labor, and stash them away in the house before they are attacked in the cover of the night.
This strategy has led to a great lesson in gardening 101. By picking my vegetables and fruits as soon as they are ready, the plants refocus their energy into starting new buds. This results in a much greater yield of vegetables and fruits. With an abundance of tender zucchinis this year, I've been quickly using them up by making carrot and zucchini muffins. The muffins are a favorite with the family, particularly with the kids who are none the wiser that they are loaded with veggies. The muffins are moist and flavorful and they keep well in the fridge for days. It is great to have the muffins on hand for a healthy breakfast. The muffins literally go from fridge to mouth. Plates are for amateurs.
Simple Carrot Zucchini Muffin Recipe (makes 24)
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup oil
1/4 cup sour cream (Greek yogurt can be used as substitution)
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice powder
1 cup shredded zucchini (squeeze out excess water)
1 cup shredded carrot (squeeze out excess water)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, oil and sour cream.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice powder.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
Add zucchini and carrot to the batter. Mix until combined.
Fill two muffin/cupcake trays 3/4 full with batter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs.
Cool completely in the trays before removing.