Zucchini is coming out my ears in my garden about this time every year. The hearty summer squash is so plentiful it’s hard not resist because you can make so many different things with zucchini. I think Zucchini Bread is probably the first thing that comes to mind, but I have made it about a thousand times. However on this occasion, I wanted to go with something a little different and add some flavors that remind me of summer and would taste great with zucchini.
Zucchini and pineapple actually compliment each other quite nicely and create a soft sweet texture that is quite memorable. I think the acid in the pineapple acts as a tenderizer, creating some of the most delicate muffins I have tasted.
I decided to add a few hazelnuts for a nutty crunch — my take on macadamia nuts and pineapple without duplicating those same flavors. Zucchini Pineapple & Hazelnut Muffins are definitely nice for brunch or as a mid-day snack. They also pack well in your children’s lunches (yes school is not far away) for a healthier treat and a nice change from the standard zucchini bread.
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cups Greek yogurt or sour cream
1 small zucchini
8 ounces pineapple chunks in juice
1 cup toasted hazelnuts
(Makes 1 Dozen Muffins)
1. Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan, set aside. In a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes, scrap down the sides of bowl. Add the vanilla extract and eggs and beat on high for 2 minutes.
2. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix on low for 30 seconds. Spoon in the yogurt and mix for 30 seconds. Grate the zucchini and chop the hazelnuts.
3. Add the zucchini and hazelnuts to the batter, along with pineapple and its juice. Mix on low for 30 seconds, until combined. Scoop the batter into muffins cups and bake in the oven for 20-23 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch.
4. Remove the muffins from the oven and let cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Using a butter knife, loosen the muffins and place on a serving dish. Enjoy!