Kathleen Flinn talks a lot about the amount of food Americans waste in her upcoming book, and the issue has been on my mind a lot as I’ve been reading it. I can’t stand to see food wasted.
I think this comes from my grandmother. She had to drop out of school during the Depression to help support her family. She later finished high school and went to nursing school. She used to talk about how, on Christmas, the school would give all the nurses an orange, and it was a great treat. When I might be tempted to throw away the food, I think of my grandmother with that orange, and I feel so lucky, so spoiled, really, to have all that I have. And then I eat or use the leftovers.
Last week, I found two sad, wrinkled Granny Smith apples in the refrigerator drawer. I think I was going to make an apple and chard saute with them but then got distracted by something else. They were beyond the point where they could be eaten fresh, so I needed to find a way to bake or cook them.
Around the same time, I was flipping through my zucchini cookbook, and I found a recipe for apple, carrot and zucchini muffins. Perfect! We have tons of carrots and zucchini from the garden right now, and I need to use that too.
I changed the recipe a little. It called for one apple, and I had and used two. I didn’t have unsweetened, shredded coconut so I left that out. I left out the raisins because I don’t like them in muffins, and I was a bit shy on the pecans.
The recipe below is my version. G. loved it, but I offer it mostly as an example of what you can do with the leftover or forgotten items you might otherwise throw out. Adapt it as you can, use whatever you have on hand.
Apple, Carrot and Zucchini Muffins
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 ¼ cups chopped pecans
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated zucchini
2 apples, cored and chopped
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add apple, carrots and zucchini and toss to coat with flour mixture.
Beat eggs, oil and vanilla.
Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir in with a spoon. Do not overmix. Stir in nuts.
Spoon batter into greased muffin pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Makes about 18 muffins.