Thursday, January 10, 2008

Eat Your Veggies

If you're like me you still have lots of veggies in your freezer from your garden.

Well, okay, not everyone is lucky enough to have a garden. But I've still got zucchini and pumpkin in the freezer. The zucchini I shredded and blanched, so it's all ready to go in bread, and the pumpkin I cooked and pulped.

I made pumpkin cranberry muffins last week, and I had a cup of pumpkin pulp that needed to get used up. Go go Google - I found a pumpkin waffle recipe on a blog of someone else who did a lot of pumpkin this year!

This waffle batter was thinner than I'm used to and made a "floppy" waffle instead of a firm, crisp one. Next time I might reduce the liquid a bit. More oil would also make them more crisp. But the result was a lovely flavored waffle with sneaky vegetables! Oh, be warned, this makes a HUGE batch.
Pumpkin Waffles

2½ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

Vegetable oil for brushing waffle iron or cooking spray

Accompaniment: warm pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 250°F and preheat waffle iron.

Sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices.

Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl with buttermilk, pumpkin, and butter until smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients just until smooth.

In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks (as in, far soften than the over-beaten whites you’ll see in my picture above). Folk them gently into the waffle batter, until just combined.

Brush waffle iron lightly with oil and spoon batter (about 2 cups for four 4-inch Belgian waffles) into waffle iron, spreading quickly. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Transfer waffles to rack in oven to keep warm and crisp. Make more waffles in same manner.

I had taken out some zucchini, because Nana sent me these funky, pyramid-shaped silicone cupcake pans for Christmas and I thought they'd be perfect for my Chocolate Zucchini Bread recipe, which I'll re-post here as I've made some healthier modifications to the recipe. The silicone muffin pans had to cook almost a half-hour, instead of the 18 or so minutes I'm used to, but I don't know if that's from the silicone or the shape of the pans. Regardless, my kids got "chocolate cupcakes". Again with sneaky vegetables!!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups zucchini (grated)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 cup nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift all dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, combine sugars, oil and eggs. Add dry ingredients, zucchini and nuts until all are moistened. Grease and flour bread pans. Bake in standard cupcakes tins about 18 minutes, mini bread pans for about 35 minutes. For large bread pans, bake about an hour. Use a cake tester to test for doneness.

Next project: I have a bunch of carrots going limp in the vege drawer. Kiddo told me he likes carrots in his school lunch, but never seems to eat them! I'm thinking of something more like a breakfast cookie than an muffin, we'll see what comes up!

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