By Amity Warme
Many of my summer adventures in the mountains start well before dawn and end well after dark. I am usually not ready for a full breakfast at 3am, but I know I need to fuel my body before launching into an all-day objective. These muffins fit the bill perfectly! They have some zip without being too sweet. They provide a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat for both quick energy and sustained fueling. Plus, they are easy to take on the go and share with your adventure partners!
Tips for Making Fluffy High-Top Muffins (without over-flowing the pan):
- Let the batter rest for at least an hour (up to overnight) in the fridge
- This resting period allows the starch molecules in the flour to absorb the liquid in the batter and increase in size. This gives the batter a thicker consistency, allows any gluten formed during mixing to relax, and gives air bubbles time to work their way out.
- Prepare the muffin cups with cooking spray rather than using paper liners and spray the top surface of the muffin tin as well
- This prevents sticking and you won’t lose half your muffin when you peel away the liner.
- Don’t over mix your batter.
- Too much stirring will develop the gluten in the flour too much and yield a muffin with a tougher texture.
- Fill the muffin cups to the top!
- This is scary because it seems like they will overflow and create a massive mess, but due to the thick batter and high initial baking temperature, they will rise instead of overflow.
- Bake them at a high initial heat
- A high initial baking temperature creates a burst of steam which causes rapid rising and creates that perfectly puffy muffin top.
- When you reduce the heat, do not open the oven door as this will cause them to deflate again.
High Top Lemon Zucchini Muffins
Yield: 12 Muffins
- 1 ½ - 2 cups zucchini, shredded (about 2 medium sized zucchini)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 scant cup milk of choice plus 1 Tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar)
- 2 overripe bananas
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 ½ cups flour (see notes for options)
- ½ tsp cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling on top
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 scoops Enduro Bites Vanilla Recovery Protein Powder
- Grate the zucchini and place in a colander in the sink. With a paper towel, press out the extra water, then set aside.
- Grate the lemon peel and set aside.
- If making your own buttermilk, combine milk (or non-dairy milk of choice) and lemon juice or vinegar in a liquid measuring cup and let sit for 5 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas thoroughly. Add the eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk and stir to combine.
- Next, add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and Vanilla Recovery Protein Powder to the bowl. Stir until just combined.
- Fold in the shredded zucchini and lemon zest.
- Cover bowl and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- When you are ready to bake your muffins, preheat the oven to 425o F and prepare a muffin tin by greasing each muffin cup with cooking spray.
- Remove batter from the fridge. Batter will be thick but try not to stir it as you scoop batter into each muffin cup. Fill to the top! This recipe should divide perfectly into 12 muffins.
- Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on the top of each muffin.
- Bake at 425o F for 8 minutes. Then, reduce heat to 350o F and bake for another 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the muffins from the oven and cool in the pan on a cooling rack. Then remove from the pan with a plastic knife or fork and enjoy!
- Make it vegan:
- Replace eggs with flax eggs
- Use non-dairy milk (I make mine with soy milk)
- Flour options: whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, gluten-free all-purpose blend, whole wheat pastry flour
- These will all yield slightly different flavors and textures. Whole wheat will be denser while all-purpose will be lighter and fluffier. White whole wheat will fall in between. I haven’t experimented with gluten-free, but I imagine it would work just fine.
- Play around with the spices and add ins
- You could add cloves, chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc!
- For a sweeter muffin, add a few tablespoons of honey or pure maple syrup to the batter