Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Recipe for Savory Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins with Green Chiles and Cheese

After quite a few tries, these Savory Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins with Chiles and Cheese are a winner!

If you have a garden or you get zucchini in your CSA box, by now you may have made grilled zucchini, stuffed zucchini, cheesy zucchini, zucchini salad, or even left some zucchini on your neighbor's porch!  When I'm overloaded with zucchini and I've tried all the recipes I can think of, I start making zucchini bread.  I've made quite a few variations of sweet zucchini breads and muffins for the blog, but this time I wanted a savory zucchini muffin.  I wanted a muffin that included cheese and a fair amount of zucchini, and it took me seven tries to get a recipe I was satisfied with, but the happy result was these Savory Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins with Green Chiles and Cheese.  I'm glad I persisted until I had a winner because I loved the muffins warm with a bit of my favorite yogurt spread

I used a combination of grated yellow squash and zucchini, but you can use whichever you have a surplus of.  I grated it with my food processor, but a large hand grater will work too.

My first few tries were way too wet, so some good bakers gave me the tip of putting the zucchini inside a dish towel and squeezing out all the liquid.  I highly recommend doing that!  You'll be amazed at how much water comes out.

I also decided that using a can of diced green chiles was adding too much extra liquid, and I got better results when I switched to using canned whole green chiles which can be drained.

Once the chile pieces have drained, stack them up and chop into very small pieces; then take a paper towel and cover the diced chiles, pressing down so the towel absorbs even more of the juice.  They should look fairly dry like this when you put them into the bowl.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the grated zucchini or squash, diced green chiles, grated low-fat cheese, and finely grated Parmesan.  Then beat together the buttermilk and eggs and mix it into these wet ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine the white whole wheat flour, sweetener, sea salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the flour is all incorporated into the batter.  (The dough will be stiff and hard to stir.)

Spray muffin tins or silicone liners and fill them full but not overflowing.  (I had a tiny bit of dough left, which I baked in a mini-loaf pan.)
 
Bake the muffins at 350F/180C for about 50 minutes, or until the outside is nicely browned and muffins are cooked through.  (They will be moist inside when they're still hot.  I was surprised they took so long to bake until I realized how many wet ingredients there were.)

Let muffins cool about 15 minutes before eating them.  This is my favorite way to eat them, and they keep well in the fridge and reheat well in the microwave (only about 30 seconds.)


Savory Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins with Green Chiles and Cheese
(Makes about 15 small zucchini muffins or 12 muffins and a small mini-loaf of zucchini bread.  Recipe created by Kalyn after many tries and a lot of consulting zucchini bread recipes on other blogs.)

Wet Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini or yellow squash, squeezed in a dish towel until no more liquid comes out
1 (4 oz.) can whole green chiles, drained well and finely diced
3/4 cup grated low-fat cheese (I used Four Cheese Mexican Blend, a blend of low-fat cheeses)
1/4 cup very finely grated Parmesan (the kind in a can is fine)
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs

Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar, Splenda, or Stevia In the Raw Granular Sweetener (use Splenda or Stevia for South Beach Diet)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Instructions:
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350F/180C. Spray muffin pan or silicone muffin cups with non-stick spray or oil.  Grate zucchini or squash, using a food processor or the large side of a hand grater.  Put grated squash into a dish towel and squeeze until no more water comes out.  Measure the squash and put into a medium-sized bowl.

Drain the whole green chiles, and pick off any seeds (unless you want it extra spicy.)  Stack up the chiles on a cutting board and dice them into small pieces, then place a paper towel over the diced chiles and press down to absorb any extra water.  (You need need to do this with a couple of towels.)  Add chiles and both types of cheese to the bowl with the squash.  Beat together the eggs and buttermilk and then mix into the wet ingredients.

In a smaller bowl, stir together the white whole wheat flour, sweetener, sea salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring together until all the flour is incorporated.  (The batter will be stiff and hard to stir.)  Fill muffin cups so they are full but not overflowing.  

Bake muffins about 50 minutes, or until they are nicely browned on the outside and cooked through.  (I started checking them at 40 minutes, but I baked mine the full 50 minutes.)  Muffins will have a slightly crisp crust and be somewhat moist inside.  Let muffins cool about 15 minutes before eating.  These muffins kept well in the fridge and were easily reheated (in a microwave for about 30 seconds.)  I liked them hot, with a bit of butter or my favorite yogurt spread.



South Beach Suggestions:
Using white whole wheat flour and mostly low-fat cheese plus a generous amount of zucchini makes these muffins a good choice for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet.  If you want to eat them hot with a buttery spread, use something like my favorite yogurt spread or other type of spread that's low in cholesterol.

Ten More Tasty Ideas for Zucchini Muffins, Bread, or Cakes:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Garden Harvest Cake with Zucchini, Apple, and Carrot from Kalyn's Kitchen
Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Chocolate Zucchini Bread from Kalyn's Kitchen
Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins with Pecans from Kalyn's Kitchen
Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread with Blueberries and Pecans from Kalyn's Kitchen
Gluten-Free Low-Sugar and Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans from Kalyn's Kitchen
Cinnamon Zucchini Muffins from Barbara Bakes
Zucchini Muffins from My Madison Bistro
Maple-Sweetened Almond Zucchini Mini-Muffins from Gluten Free Goddess
Olive Oil Zucchini Muffins from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
Zucchini Banana Flaxseed Muffins from Shutterbean
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit

27 comments:

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme said...

These really look fantastic, Kalyn! A great way to use all the surplus zucchini from the garden.

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

wow that looks so delicious, I so love savory versions and this seems simple too :)

Paula {Salad in a Jar} said...

Seven tries? Wow! You are persistent. I'm impressed. I think I would like these much better than the sweet ones although I would eat one right now if somebody handed it to me. :-)

Courtney said...

Just got more zucchini in our CSA box today - perfect timing! :)

Jeanette said...

These savory zucchini muffins would go perfectly with a bowl of soup, great way to use up all the zucchini that's sitting around! You must have had a lot of muffins after seven attempts - but I'm sure you had some eager taste testers.

Kalyn said...

Yes, I can be pretty persistent when I get my mind set on something! And the first tries did taste good, but they were all too wet, so I thought I could get it right if I kept trying. Glad people are liking it and happy I can help you use your surplus of zucchini!

Maris (In Good taste) said...

These look wonderful and I love the pictures

Brian@social cooking said...

I love this recipe.This is tasty and delicious recipe.It looks great from the outside.Both vegetarian and non vegetarian can take this recipe.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Okay, what happened to all of those first six batches of muffins? I'm thinking that if you have enough freezer space, they can hang out until Thanksgiving and become a great stuffing for turkey. I'm always amazed at how much liquid comes out of squash, cucumbers, eggplant, etc., when they drain first.

Joanne said...

I really need to get on this savory zucchini bread bandwagon! Muffins and quickbreads like these always sound so good to me!

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

Great recipe and a really great tip on squeezing the zucchini in a towel. Much easier and I imagine more efficient than the squeeze method i do.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I love the idea of using a dish towel to squeeze out the moisture from the zucchini. Do you substitute white whole wheat for white flour cup-for-cup? I have 5 pounds that I'd like to try but I don't see a lot of recipes using it. I've had great luck doing half and half with white flour and whole wheat pastry flour, though.

Kalyn said...

Some of the first batches of muffins went right into the trash, that's how bad they were! The later ones are in the freezer; they're tasty but just not quite blogworthy.

Yes, I do love the trick of squeezing the moisture out in a towel. I was amazed how dry the zucchini was after I did that.

Tom, I do sub white whole wheat 1-1 for white flour and haven't ever had a problem with it. Of course, what do I know, look how many tries it took me for these? I used whole wheat pastry flour in a couple of the early tries at this, but I liked them better with the white whole wheat flour.

Cooking Creation said...

They look wonderful!

kellypea said...

I love this recipe. It isn't often that I see something savory with zucchini, and with green chilies as well. Sounds pretty tasty. I admire your persistence working on this, too. Clearly it paid off bigtime :). How do you think the combo would work in a cornbread? Mmm...

Kalyn said...

Cooking Creation, thanks!

Kelly I think this would work well for cornbread (but it's not allowed for South Beach, sigh.)

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

that is really making me hungry right now!! thank you for sharing this with us.

Rob @ How to Cook Hero said...

Anyone else notice that zucchini is almost always used for things where people would have to ask -- "what's zucchini doing in a ______?"

I mean, I'm all for it, but it's a trend.

Mickle in NZ said...

Try popping the grated zuch/squash into a potato ricer and give it a squeeze - an incredible amount of liquid comes out.

This is also a great method for grated raw potato (think rosti/hash browns) or grated cucumber (tsatsiki/raita). And the potato ricer is way easier to rinse and wash than the cloth is!

The idea isn't my own - I got it from Elise at simplyrecipes.com

Kalyn said...

Mickle (and Elise) thanks for that idea! I don't have a potato ricer but I will have to look for one just for this use.

Creative Bioscience said...

I'm a huge fan of my mother's zucchini bread, but this is taking it to a whole new level! Looks amazing!

Deborah said...

My mother in law just brought over a ton of zucchini - I think these will be gracing our dinner table this week!

Kalyn said...

I do think this is a completely different take on traditional zucchini bread.

Deborah, hope you will enjoy the muffins!

Kristie said...

Thank you for the wonderful recipe! I tried these tonight and they were wonderful. I took them out at 30 minutes and they looked just like yours, so our ovens must cook a little differently. They would be perfect with soup. Thanks again!

Kalyn said...

Kristie, so glad you enjoyed them. I tried the recipe several times and couldn't figure out why mine were taking so long to bake (unless it's because I have an enormous oven.)

The Reluctant Domestic said...

I made these muffins along with some butternut squash chili, and they went together perfectly! I love the slight hint of spiciness. Thanks for the recipe :)

Kalyn Denny said...

So glad you enjoyed the muffins!

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