If you’re like me, you had an abundance of Zucchini in your garden. We roasted them, grilled them, souped ’em and donated them. We still couldn’t keep up with the overflow. Fortunately Zucchini freezes well. Just shred or chop and freeze. I pulled out a bag of frozen shredded Zucchini to make this family favorite last week, while we still had afternoon sunshine and temps warm enough eat outside.
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Here’s your Instructions for making your own Gluten Free Zucchini-Cherry Muffins tea party.
SUPPLIES: You will need a small colander, 2 small bowls, 1 medium bowl, and a muffin tin for 12.
- 2 cups of Gluten Free flour mix
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1 cup of grapeseed oil or safflower oil
- 1 Tbs pure vanilla
- 1 cup of grated or shredded zucchini
- 1 cup of frozen cherries, drained and chopped.
- 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
- Zest and juice of one large lemon (about 1/2 cup)
- butter to grease your tin
FIRST – Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and butter your tin really well. You don’t want to leave any bits of this delicious muffin in the tin. Rinse your frozen cherries under hot tap water to start the defrost process. Let them sit in the colander over a small bowl to drain while you’re prepping the rest of the recipe.
SECOND – Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Mix well so that the baking powder and salt are fully incorporated in the flour.
THIRD – Beat the eggs and sugar together in a small bowl. Add the oil and vanilla and mix well.
FOURTH – Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Mix just until blended. Over mixing will reduce the air pockets, making your muffin hard, which is tricky for any muffin mixture, especially gluten free. The mixture will be thick and that’s okay. The moisture from the zucchini combined with the moisture and acid from the lemon juice will change the texture of the batter. The batter will look and feel lighter once you add those two ingredients. Which is the next step.
FIFTH – Gently mix in the zucchini, juiced lemon and lemon zest. Again, don’t over mix. Mix just until blended.
SIXTH – Fold in the walnuts and the drained, chopped cherries very gently. Be careful not to mix/stir the cherries into the batter. This will make sure your batter stays light and airy and also won’t turn it pink from the juice of the cherries. If you’re looking to increase the protein and fiber in these muffins, add more walnuts, up to a 1/2 a cup.
SEVENTH – Fill your greased muffin tin with batter to just below the rim of each cup. Using the butter to grease your tin instead of muffin/cupcake cups helps them brown a little better and you won’t have soggy muffin bottoms that stick to the paper cups.
EIGHTH: Bake your muffins for 25-30 minutes, until the top of the muffin top springs back when you touch it and they’re golden brown. They should come out of the tin easily if you’ve greased it well. Let the muffins cool completely before eating. Resist the urge to butter them while they’re still hot like you might do with wheat flour muffins. Gluten Free bakery is doughy or gluey while still warm. The texture is much lighter after it has cooled. My husband, who loves loves loves bread, thinks these taste like bread. It’s a richly flavored and textured treat.
** You can adjust this recipe using wheat flour with these substitutions
- Substitute the GF for 1/2 white wheat flour and 1 cup white flour, 1/4 cup almond flour, this is the combination I use when making the muffins for the family who don’t have wheat issues. It’s delicious too. If you don’t have the combo of flours, just use all white flour and add an extra 1/2 cup of walnuts to for some extra protein and fiber.
- Substitute 2 tsp of baking powder with 1/2 tsp of baking soda and 1/2 of baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt
- Substitute a whole lemon with 2 Tbs of fresh squeeze lemon juice and the zest of one lemon. You’re using the lemon here for an added freshness to the flavor rather than to adjust the texture of the GF flour.
- If looking to add more protein and/or fiber you can add an additional 1/2 cup of walnuts.
Gluten Free Zucchini Cherry Muffins
A gluten free alternative to Zucchini bread, this muffin recipe combines frozen cherries with lemons and zucchini to create a slightly sweet richly textured treat.
- 2 cups Gluten Free Flour Mix (The best GF pre-mixed flour blends for muffins use rice and potato flours, and can also have sorghum and tapioca. Stay away from the mixes that use beans when making lighter bake goods like muffins, cakes and cookies. Pre-mixed blends that have Xanthan Gum already added make your job much easier. If your mix does not, add 1/4 tsp per cup of of flour. )
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Large eggs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup Grapeseed or Safflower Oil (Both oils have a neutral flavor)
- 1 Tbs Vanilla extract (Use pure Vanilla extract, not imitation. The rich flavor adds warmth to the muffins)
- 1 cup finely grated Zucchini (no need to drain)
- 1 cup Frozen Cherries (thawed and drained)
- 1/2 cup chopped Walnuts (optional if you are not a nut fan, but does add a layer of texture and flavor)
- 1 whole lemon – zest and juiced (organic if you can get it because you will be using the peel for the zest)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease well with butter, making sure you get both top and bottom well so no muffin is left in the pan.
Put the frozen cherries in a colander and rinse them under hot water. Place the colander over a small bowl for the cherries to drain while you are mixing the other ingredients together.
In a Medium bowl mix the flour, salt and baking powder well. Set bowl aside
beat the sugar and eggs in small bowl
add the vanilla and oil to the eggs and sugar mixture, mix well
add the zucchini and nuts to the wet mixture and mix well
add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until blended.
Zest and Juice your lemon, and add both to the just blended mixture. As you mix it in, the texture and color will become lighter. The lemon adds just as much, if not more, to the texture as to the flavor.
Gently fold in the drained cherries. This will insure your mixture is light, doesn't turn pink from your cherries, and the cherries and walnuts won't sink to the bottom.
Fill your greased muffin tin. You will have enough batter to fill each to just below the rim.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, turning pan half-way through, until they are a golden brown. Let sit until they are cool. Gluten Free bakery can be gummy straight out of the oven. Once cool, the texture is much lighter.
This recipe can be converted to wheat flour with these substitutions
- Substitute GF Flour with 1/2 white wheat, 1/4 cup almond flour 1 cup white flour
- Substitute 2 tsp of baking powder for 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Substitute a whole lemon for 2 Tbs plus the zest. You’re only looking for added flavor here. No need to add more to adjust the texture.
Gluten Free Zucchini – Cherry Muffins with Walnuts and Lemon
The Teapot, matching sugar bowl, cups and saucers are a vintage set by Noritake in the Lexington pattern. If you want to serve your muffins or just have lunch on this set, visit our shop at The Charmed Table on Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/listing/1101329940/vintage-noritake-teapot-sugar-bowl-cups?ref=shop_home_active_12