Lunchbox Harvest Muffins, or what to do with that leftover zucchini half in the fridge.

This recipe saved my life since it was published 2 years ago, if I want to be a little hyperbolic. At the very least it has saved an overstuffed refrigerator veggie drawer from rotting on many an occasion. I like to use it when there seems to be an excess of carrots, zucchini, and other random fall vegetables hanging around waiting to be put to use.

Never the prettiest food, but always tasty.
Never the prettiest food, but always tasty.

It’s one of my favorite ways of using up any extra (shredded-or-to-be-shredded) vegetables, especially since it allows you to mix and match as needed. I like to think of it as a “choose your own adventure” sort of muffin.

The veggie ratios can be changed up and I’ve never had a problem with taste or texture. Last time I used mainly grated zucchini with a little beet thrown in for good measure. I didn’t even have an apple on hand, and while it didn’t have the same flavor depth it might have had with this addition, it was still yummy.  When I use the recipe I almost always coarsely grate the veggies, but you can do a fine grate too-  whatever you prefer here.

This is definitely a moist muffin. I think the amount of oil in the recipe will tend to keep the end product soft no matter what you do with the shredded veggies. You could probably try to lower the amount of oil used, but I would test that out a small amount at a time. Using whole wheat pastry flour seems to be important, as I tried using regular whole wheat once and it ended up heavier than expected. (should have known better.) If you use the weights listed in the recipe, you’re pretty much good to go. Overall it’s a versatile muffin recipe, ready for tweaking here and there.

Recipe Credit: NY Times

Kitchen Mess: 2 out of 4 stars. I can usually make this with minimal bowls.

Recommended for: Using up extra veggies, muffin lovers, fall lunchbox treats

Not recommended for: Anyone who dislikes “veggie breads” AKA picky eaters

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