Z is for zucchini, spinach and cheddar muffins

We've finally arrived at the letter Z! My A-Z baking challenge is complete. I've looked back at my first 'A' blog post, it was back in May 2012! Goodness what a journey to get here, but hey - we made it. Thank you for coming along on this ride with me & I do hope you've enjoyed making some of the recipes.

I have a confession to make. This is not the first letter Z recipe I have made. My first attempt was a zucchini and chocolate slice a few weeks ago & without naming & shaming the source of that recipe, I have to say it was disgusting. I followed the recipe to the letter - but the problem was not in the baking. Rather, it was the copious amount of sugar that was in it. I think it is a dangerous message to claim something is better for you because it has a sneaky vegetable in it - hidden somewhere under all that sugar. I was surprised at the amount of comments from people who said it was a good way of sneaking a vegetable into their children's food. Hmm...   

Now, this savoury recipe would be a good option for school &/or work lunches. Not an ounce of sugar to be found. Look, inevitably my recipes will have sugar in them & for me I'm ok with that because as the old saying goes, 'everything in moderation'. I enjoy baking & love giving it to others to enjoy. But, I think nowadays when it comes to sugar - it is far better to balance out the sweet stuff & if it comes to making a choice, reach for the savoury rather than the sweet. Or, perhaps cut back on the sugar if you feel a recipe has gone overboard with it. 

Anyway - now that's off my chest, lets move on to the recipe. This one is a keeper. These muffins are really tasty. The key is to buy a good cheddar cheese for a bit of bite. 

Makes around 17


60g spinach
1 brown onion
2 zucchinis
2 cups self raising flour 
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (pack it in tight)
1/2 tablespoon oregano (you could substitute for freshly chopped parsley, or herb of your choice)
2 eggs (think of the chickies - please always buy free range)
3/4 cup milk
60g melted butter
An extra knob of butter to fry the onions
Sesame seeds, around 7-8 tablespoons

What to do
  1. Grab two muffin pans (I used two, 12 hole pans. The regular muffin size - sometimes also referred to as cupcake pans) & spray well with cooking oil.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 180C static or 160C fan.
  3. Grate the zucchini & place it on a couple of layers of paper towels. Press out as much liquid as you can. Place the zucchini in a large mixing bowl. 
  4. Grate the cheese & add to the bowl with the zucchini. Next, add the flour & oregano (or herb of choice). Set aside for the moment.
  5. Finely chop the onion & place it in a small frying pan with a knob of butter. Cook until soft & starting to brown. Meantime, quickly chop the spinach. Once the onion is starting to brown, throw in the spinach & cook until wilted. Switch off heat & add onion & spinach to your mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients. 
  6. Melt the butter & then add it to the rest of the ingredients. Mix everything together quickly (this will stop the hot butter from cooking the egg when you add it next).
  7. In a separate bowl, add the egg & milk & whisk to combine. Pour into your muffin mix & give everything a good stir to combine.
  8. Divide mixture between your muffin pans. The muffins don't rise a huge amount, so it's safe to have the mixture near-ish to the top of each hole. 
  9. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with sesame seeds.
  10. Bake for around 20-30 mins until golden & the muffins feel firm when you press down on them lightly. Remember to keep an eye on them & swap your muffin pans around in the oven half way through baking - I usually swap shelves & rotate the trays for a more even bake.
  11. Remove from oven, allow to sit for a few minutes to cool slightly before removing the muffins & cooling completely on wire racks.
These muffins can be wrapped individually in cling film & frozen. Remove from the freezer the night before for lunch the next day.

And that concludes my A-Z baking challenge blog! Thanks again for joining me & stay tuned for my next baking adventure.  

Happy baking x


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