Zucchini muffins with lemon glaze--a sweet and spicy muffin with tangy frosting. This is a small batch recipe that makes just 4 muffins using one zucchini.
Well, we did it again; we do it every year. Each year, I say I’m only going to plant one zucchini plant in our garden, because that’s truly all one family needs. However, each year, I plant nearly 6. I’m not sure why I can’t be content with just one squash plant.
I tell myself that I’ll cull the harvest by using the squash blossoms in a frittata or by stuffing the blossoms with mozzarella cheese and frying them. However, I end up doing this exactly one time.
My choices were made in the Spring, and I’m stuck with the extra plants. I guess another benefit of the extra squash flowers in the garden is that they attract even more bugs to pollinate not only the squash but my cantaloupes and watermelons.
Regardless, we’ve got to step up our zucchini game! When I need a zucchini dinner recipe, I make my fried zucchini pasta or my pesto tortellini pasta salad. Both of those recipes will help you use up one whole small zucchini.
For sweet applications, however, I’m dreaming of a muffin with a spicy kick and tangy lemon glaze.
A small side note on getting kids to eat their vegetables:
Have I told you guys about my approach for getting my daughter to eat new foods? It’s basically frequent exposure. The more broccoli shows up on the dinner table (and the more gusto we eat it with), the more normal it becomes for her to eat it, too. It’s a fail-proof method.
Never give up on a vegetable—just keep exposing them. I speak from a bit of experience here, as I have a kid who eats cucumbers and bell peppers like an apple, and one who firmly believes cherry tomatoes are just as good as grapes. She frequently loves baby carrots as a side to her breakfast, too. My girl has a serious taste for veggies, but it wasn’t accidental at all—I work very hard at it! I expose her to veggies at every meal, and she watches me and her Dad eat them with enthusiasm.
However, there’s one problem with my method. There are quite a bit of seasonal veggies that I don’t get to expose her to year ‘round. Each year, when asparagus comes in season, I have to start back with my exposure method. I take her to the farmer’s market with me, and I tell her that I’m so excited because I heard asparagus is finally in season. She sees my excitement, and I ask her to help me locate it at the market. This year, we found purple asparagus, which made my life so easy, because my daughter loves the color purple!
So, we excitedly bring home the new veggie from the market together. She runs to tell Dad that we found asparagus, and Dad begs if we can have it for lunch. So, we make it, she takes one bite, and says no thank you. It’s okay—it always happens this way. It’s a new food with a strong flavor. The next day, I serve asparagus in a different way—sliced on an angle. We talk about how it looks like a pencil and maybe even use the tip to pretend to write things in olive oil on our plate. This day, she’ll usually eat two bites. The third time I serve asparagus, I chop it into pea-size pieces and try a topping I know she loves: lemon olive oil and Parmesan cheese. The fourth time I serve it, I shave it into pretty curly ribbons.
I hope you see where I’m going with this—constantly exposure, excitement and hype, and a positive attitude from the parents are key with this method.
Zucchini muffins recipe:
Zucchini is usually an easy sell on kids because it has a mild flavor, thank goodness. However, one time I accidentally served it my usual way: as a side dish with plenty of garlic and red pepper flakes. I completely forgot that kids and red pepper flakes don’t get along, heh. After one bite at dinner, I ruined all of my hard work! Camille developed a fear that all zucchini was spicy and had hidden red pepper flakes!
So, I went back to square one with my constant exposure method. I wasn’t making much progress. She would take two bites after confirming it wasn’t spicy, but that’s all she could manage. Since we have a long summer ahead of us with 6 squash plants, I turned to zucchini muffins with lemon glaze.
I like to use sugar slash hiding vegetables as my last and final approach. It’s not my favorite method, because I don’t think we should lie to kids about food. I still proudly call these zucchini muffins, but the lemon glaze on top makes them irresistible to her. My hope is that after a few batches of zucchini muffins, the trust in zucchini will be restored.
One important step to this muffin recipe is to make sure that you wring out the extra moisture from the zucchini after grating it. Here's the grater I use; I love it because it catches the vegetable as you grate! You can see a demo of this in the how-to video. This keeps your muffins from being overly soggy.
Now it’s onto eggplant, friends. Wish me luck!
Makes 4 muffins.
For the zucchini muffins:
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 egg white
- 6 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ cup grated zucchini (squeeze dry before measuring)
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- juice of half a lemon
- In a medium bowl, beat together the canola oil and sugar.
- Add the egg white, almond extract, and spices and continue beating.
- Add the flour and baking soda and beat just to combine.
- Next, grate the zucchini onto a paper towel, and then use your hands to squeeze it dry of any moisture. See video for technique.
- Stir the zucchini into the muffin batter.
- Divide between 4 lined muffin cups and bake at 350 for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Once completely cool, blend together icing ingredients and pour on top.
This recipe uses just an egg white; to see recipes to use up the leftover egg yolk, click here.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 293Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 209mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 29gProtein: 3g
I love the lemon flavor with zucchini bread! I made a recipe once from another blog that added lemon zest and poppy seeds to the batter and it was delicious! I know I'd like the lemon glaze on these!
hmmm yum! I know you guys are trying to use up your massive amounts of zucchini. you guys should send us some!
What an interesting combo!
shifa firoz says
These sound so awesome. I have always used vanilla in my zucchini muffins, but now I am intrigued to try them with almond extract and I bet these would be fantastic with blueberries too. I will have to scale up this recipe, not that I would be the least disappointed to have extras!! Also I agree with you on the exposure method. While she loves certain foods others are not her fav and that has worked with her. She now likes guac and refried beans because of this. Also I loved you in the video for this, when are you going to have your own show of food network already?
Mmm, that lemon glaze! 😋😍 Made these low carb/keto for a friend with the following substitutions: coconut flour instead of AP (did not fully drain the zucchini, as the coconut flour soaks up so much liquid), swerve confectioner’s for the sugar (also used for the glaze) and I subbed avocado oil for the canola! Great result and friend loved them. I will probably be making these again (but all for my greedy little self) with a tahini twist! (I’m on a crazy tahini bender right now...) Thanks so much for the inspiration!
The muffins look delicious! I always plant too much zucchini too. Not sure why I seem to think I’ll have a different outcome each year 🤔 I totally agree that regular exposure is huge for helping kids become more adventurous eaters. I will just gently point out though that this advice is helpful for a lot of people but can be so frustrating to hear for parents if picky eaters. I’ve been lucky that my kids eat a good variety of foods (also with a lot of work on my part) but I know several parents who employ the same methods and don’t always have success. Kids are people and some kids despite doing everything “right” can be extremely selective in the foods they will try. Just wanted to give a little counterpoint as I know (as the mom of a TERRIBLE sleeper despite me doing everything by the book) how frustrating it can be to get advice that supposedly work for all kids 😊
Can I use the juice from an orange instead?
I'm gonna try it! Worst case, it tastes a little odd
Love your recipes, hopefully you and your family are doing wonderfully! <3
Marliz Strydom says
Delicious! I thought it would be too sweet (when I tasted the raw batter) but it came out nice and soft and airy and moist at the same time. And like my boyfriend said, this was the best zucchini he ever had! I have only now discovered your blog when I looked for how to use up egg whites, and I love the principle of dessert for two. I foresee that I will be making many more of your recipes. I will definitely make this again when I have leftover egg whites. Thank you :)