These lemon courgette muffins skip the butter and use heart-healthy olive oil instead. One bowl, one spoon and just a few ingredients you probably already have, and these moist and fluffy muffins will be perfect for breakfast or a healthy snack.
These muffins definitely lean towards the sweet side rather than the savoury side of the muffins family. They are truly very delicious as they are, but they are a blank canvas and could very much benefit from some add-ins that will take them from everyday muffin to something spectacular. I'm a very big fan of simple baking for breakfast and if you are too, then you'll love my one bowl banana chocolate muffins, lemon blueberry loaf and my blueberry scones.
Lemon Courgette Muffins
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- Courgettes- these amazing versatile vegetables have a very high water content, so it's really important to squeeze out any excess moisture. You don't need to wrap them in a towel or anything fancy, just in your hand squeeze out the extra water over the sink.
- Olive oil- replaces butter in this muffin recipe and keeps the muffins very soft and moist for days
- Plain flour- if you're gluten-free you can use a GF flour blend here.
- Baking powder & bicarb of soda- gives rise to the batter and bounce to the muffins.
- Lemon- balances out any sweetness and gives a very Mediterranean flavour.
- Light brown sugar- this is one of the only times that I'm not going to suggest an alternative. White sugar will make these muffins too sweet and dark brown sugar will make them too dense and heavy.
Step by step directions
Step 1 & 2
*Before you start mixing the muffin batter, preheat the oven to 170ºC and grease a muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray and dust lightly with flour.
- Mix the olive oil, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and egg in a medium bowl. Grate the courgette using the medium side of a cheese grater. Squeeze the excess water out of the courgettes over the sink and add to the bowl.
- Mix in the dry ingredients- the flour, salt, baking powder and bicarb of soda.
- Pour the muffin mix between the cups of the muffin tin. Each cup should weigh between 75-85g. To weigh them, place the muffin tin on a set of kitchen scales and tare the weight to zero after filling each cup.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes and check them. My oven runs a little on the cool side so I had to add an extra 8 minutes. Check the muffins after 15 minutes. If they need more time, keep checking after every 5 minutes. When the muffins are fully baked take them out and leave them to cool for about 5 minutes in the tin before turning them out to finish cooling on a wire rack.
As I mentioned above, these muffins could really benefit from some add-ins like...
- chocolate- a match made in heaven! white, dark or milk chocolate would be great here!
- chopped nuts- any kind but specifically walnuts or almonds
- dried fruit- chopped dried apricots, even raisins or sultanas would be good
- a pinch of cinnamon or mixed spice- especially if you add chocolate
- Q. What kind of olive oil should I use?
- A. I used extra virgin olive oil. But you can use light olive oil. I would just suggest that you don't bother using the fancy olive oil and definitely stay away from vegetable oil. It wouldn't impart any flavour and your muffins will just end up tasting a little flat.
- Q. Can I use muffin cases?
- A. Absolutely. You can totally use muffin cases if you're worried about your muffins sticking to the tin. But with so much olive oil in these and buttering and flouring your muffin tin, it shouldn't be a problem.
- Q. How do I know if these muffins are baked?
- A. This is one of the most common baking questions ever asked. And for these muffins (as with pretty much all bakes) these muffins are done when a toothpick or small paring knife can be inserted into the muffin easily and comes out with only a few crumbs sticking to it. When a toothpick comes out clean the muffins will be overdone and may end up a little dry. These muffins are very forgiving because of the olive oil, but a traditional muffin would end up dry.
- Q. Can I use GF flour?
- A. You sure can. I don't think Aldi sells gluten-free flour in the UK, but a GF blend like Dove's Farm would be perfect here.
Because of the olive oil, these muffins stay moist no matter where you store them.
- Room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- In the fridge for up to 6 days
- Freezer for up to 6 months.
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