I've spent a lot of time among zucchinis and cranberries in the past year, seeking to develop a tasty, healthy, vegan muffin that would do justice to this pairing. I think I finally discovered the secret ingredients: barley flour and whipped avocado. Previously, I used olive oil as the only fat, but now I am a true believer in the power of avocado as a butter substitute. Which is not to say that I won't use olive oil in some recipes, but for now, avocado is a dear friend in my baking efforts. And, barley flour? Well, barley, according to Dave Grotto , is good for circulation, digestive issues, insomnia, leg cramps, and migraines.
Dave, by the way, just came out with a new book, 101 Optimal Life Foods. I've been giving some extra attention to the book here because several of my recipes are featured in it. I've also experienced the results of eating optimal life foods since I became a vegetarian 20 years ago.
Ingredients 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 1/4 cup barley flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 2/3 cup agave syrup 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 cup whipped avocado (easily done in a blender or with an immersion blender) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon fiori di Sicilia extract (optional) 1 1/3 cups grated zucchini (leave the skin on for lovely green bits) 1/2 cup frozen or fresh cranberries
DirectionsPreheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two muffin pans [if you have 6-cup pans] with nice paper liners. Sift together the dry ingredients (except the walnuts) into a large bowl with a lip or into a very large measuring cup. Fold in the walnuts, making sure to mix them in well. They also help to better distribute all the dry ingredients. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the agave syrup, olive oil, avocado, vanilla, and fiori di Sicilia, if desired, until well blended. Ensure that there are no lumps of avocado. With a big spoon or silicone spatula, mix in the zucchini. Add the dry ingredients, mixing until just blended. Fold in the cranberries for about 1 minute. Using an ice cream scoop, fill the muffin liners. The muffins will rise a little, so make sure not to overfill the liners. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans and bake for another 12 minutes, or until a bamboo tester comes out clean. The tops should be golden brown. Let the muffins rest in their pans for 10 minutes, no more. Then remove them from the pans to cool completely on wire racks. Break 'em open and enjoy!
Nutrition Profile 190 calories, 7 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 190 mg sodium, 31 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein.