So it is February and love is in the air.
Even when I was single, I loved Valentine's Day. All the hearts everywhere just make me happy.
Perhaps it is my inherent love of hearts that led me to do this but the other day I was experimenting with a recipe for chocolate zucchini muffins which taste fantastic on their own...
...but then I happened to have these strawberries in the fridge and voila! I had a moment of creativity and decided to add strawberries to the recipe and then top just like so:
Eating these muffins just made me happy inside...since they're so stinkin' cute on the outside.
Chocolate Zucchini and Strawberry Muffins
2 cups shredded zucchini, shredded*
pinch of salt
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (you can substitute all-purpose flour)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
about 10 strawberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the shredded zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Let sit while you combine the other ingredients, about 10 minutes, so the excess water in the zucchini is released.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the applesauce, and stir well.
Gently press the zucchini in the colander to release any remaining excess liquid. Add the zucchini to the eggs, and stir.
Add the zucchini and egg mixture to the flour. Stir until just combined.
Line a muffin tin with muffin liners. Fill each muffin liner to about 3/4 full.
Take each strawberry, cut off the top, and then cut in half lengthwise.
Slice an inverted triangle out of the top of each strawberry to make a heart shape.
Gently press one half of a strawberry on top of the each muffin.
Bake for 22-26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle (get as close to the middle as you can without stabbing the strawberry heart) comes out clean.
Let cool and enjoy!
Makes 12-16 muffins. You can also do mini-muffins, just reduce the baking time.
*you can also add extra strawberry flavor and substitute 1/2 cup of the 2 cups of zucchini with 1/2 cup of diced strawberries.
Life is sweet,