Toasted Coconut Zucchini Muffins

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Welllll. I’ve had something of a tumultuous last week, what with a freak snowstorm and finals week, but I happy to say that it’s all over now. I’m done, free as a bird in summertime, the world is my oyster, la da da.

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I was deeply (DEEPLY) perturbed when I woke up last friday to this sight. I can honestly say that I have never finished out a school year with snow on the ground. They say this doesn’t happen often. Let’s hope that’s true.

As it were, I skipped my last class of college but still managed the exams fine, and now I am a free woman. Not to mention, it is warm outside, which means summer (read spring) has finally arrived. What now? you might be asking. Oooooh, you know, the good things, like curling up beneath an oak tree and reading about F Scott Fitzgerald, sewing pincushions, packing picnics, and writing stories about people who read too much. Okay, it’s true I did all these things while I was in school, too; now I just won’t feel guilty doing them!

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In other news, on that épouvantable snowy day, I figured some tasty muffins would lift my spirits, and I was quite right. I have a new obsession with toasted coconut. I’ve never really liked coconut before (other than my short-lived obsession with almond joys as a little girl), so I’d never really considered using it in baking until I toasted some for an experimental attempt at Samoa girl scout cookie bars (which unfortunately did not turn out). Toasted coconut…not only does it produce a delightful aroma, it is one of the MOST DELICIOUS THINGS. So I tried my hand at muffins and maaaaan were they good.

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There’s something about these muffins I just can’t describe. Maybe it was the touch of almond extract that made it feel like I was sailing on turquoise waves when I ate one… Or I might just be summersick and ready for some suntanning. Yeah, that’s probably it.

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Toasted Coconut Zucchini Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

1 zucchini, grated
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1 cup oats, ground
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of cinnamon
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 tbsp milk

METHOD:

1. Grate zucchini and press out extra liquid (I used a paper towel and a colander). Set aside.

2. Toast 1/2 cup coconut plus a little extra in a 325F oven. Set aside. Turn oven to 375F and let preheat. Prepare muffin tin.

3. Meanwhile, mix ground oatmeal, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix yogurt, applesauce, agave nectar, egg, milk, vanilla, and almond extract.

4. Add coconut to flour mixture. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in zucchini.

5. Bake in 375F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

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