What better way to celebrate cherry season than with some cheery cherry zucchini muffins? Loaded with fresh cherries and shredded zucchini, these healthy muffins are then topped with a yummy frosting. That's right, I said "frosting"... on the 21 Day Fix!
This is a muffin. It says so right in the title and seeing as how I wrote that title, I should know. However, if you close your eyes and take a bite of this sweet, tender, frosted bit of love, you just might convince yourself that it is something more like... a certain guilty pleasure.
I LOVE to bake. There was a time when I could often be found contemplating starting some sort of baking business. Cupcakes maybe. Or cookies. Cakes? Maybe flavored marshmallows (no, there isn't actually any baking involved there, but they're sweet and delicious so I lumped them in). Heck, why choose?
Anyway, for the sake of my and my family's overall health, I don't do as much of it as I used to, but since I was REALLY wanting to do some baking, I went in search of a muffin recipe that could be eaten on the Fix.
In my search, I happened to stumble across this recipe for Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Muffins at fannetasticfood.com. We tried them and loved them so much that I wanted to make a version of my own to share with my Foodies 🙂 By the way, Fannetastic Food is awesome, you should definitely check out her site, there are all sorts of fun things there.
You may have noticed while walking through the produce department during the last week or two, that it's cherry season!! There's something special about cherries, isn't there? They just look (and taste) like straight-up happy. The phrase, "life is just a bowl of cherries" didn't come about for nothing.
Anyway, since I love to take advantage of what's in season, it was time for some cheery cherry muffins 🙂 I used dark, sweet cherries, but I can't wait to try these with tart cherries, too! If you try them that way, please let me know how they are in the comments!
I bet you'd like to get into this whole "secret-ingredient frosting" business... As you may know, the tough part about baking while on the 21 Day Fix is that butter is out of play. It definitely isn't easy to make certain things, particularly cookies and frosting, without butter or shortening. However, after giving it some (very serious, obviously) thought, I figured out a great way to make what tastes like a yummy cream-cheese frosting, but is actually pretty darn healthy (and fantastic and delicious).
Now, for those of you that have been following my blog for a little while, you already know my penchant for blending low-fat cottage cheese and plain greek yogurt together to make an awesome cream cheese flavored substitute (like in this Apple-Blackberry Cheesecake Tart - so good!).
That was an obvious starting point for my frosting, but how to make it set up and not run down the sides of the
cupcake muffin making a big ol' mess? And then I was hit with a light-bulb moment. Right in the face. Coconut oil! Because it becomes solid at 76 degrees or below, I tried adding some to my cream-cheesy mixture and popping it in the fridge and guess what? It worked!! It was perfectly spreadable and does NOT taste like coconut at all in case you were concerned about that.
Oh. Em. Gee. These muffins + that frosting = heaven.
What's your favorite healthy treat? I love to hear about it in the comments below!
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup raw sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup fresh cherries (I used dark, sweet cherries, but I think tart cherries would be amazing in these!)
- 1 cup grated zucchini (I scoop out the seeds before grating)
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
- 6 tbs Cream Cheese-y Frosting
For the Frosting:
- ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 2 tbs fat free greek yogurt
- 2 tbs coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbs raw sugar
- Blend all frosting ingredients in a blender until completely smooth. Put in the refrigerator to set while making the muffins.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with olive oil cooking spray and set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, raw sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Then add the applesauce, shredded zucchini and chopped cherries, mixing well until you no longer see streaks of flour in the batter.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups and bake 18-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
- Muffins are done when you stick the middle one with a toothpick and it comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Spread each muffin with ½ tablespoon of the frosting. Yum!
The frosting must be kept refrigerated, so if you don't have room in your fridge for the muffins, you can always just put the frosting in the fridge and frost each one as needed.
21 Day Fix Container Equivalents: ½ Yellow, ½ Tsp, 2 ¼ sweetener tsp
Weight Watchers Freestyle Points: 5
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 muffin with ½ tbs of frosting
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 123Total Fat: 1.46g