As the school summer holidays come to an end, here in Australia, my focus is switching from lazy days at the beach to filling my freezer with lunchbox friendly goodies. These Savoury Muffins are my newest recipe and perfect for the lunchbox. Packed with four different vegetables they are easy to adapt. Use the same base recipe but customise you own vegetable muffins to suit your child’s taste.
Most of my lunchbox ideas are actually foods that I used to make my youngest when he was a baby. I weaned him using the baby-led weaning method and was always looking for great finger foods that I could take out and about with me. Some of my favourites were Sweet and Sour Quinoa Balls, Curried Lentil Bake, Egg Rolls and Mini Blender Muffins.
These Savoury Muffins would have been great for when I was doing baby-led weaning. To reduce the sodium level you can add less cheese to the mixture. The cheese is there for flavour only.
Of course, these vegetable muffins are not just limited to baby-led weaning and the lunchbox. They make a great breakfast, lunch or snack for both adults and kids.
Savoury Muffin Baking Tips
Here are my tips to help make light, fluffy and delicious vegetable muffins.
- Ensure to squeeze out the juice from the grated carrots and zucchini. I do this by placing the grated vegetables onto a clean tea towel and squeezing it as hard as I can! I have made these muffins without doing this and they were a little too wet inside. NOTE: Save the juice and use it in smoothies or sauces. – don’t throw away all that goodness!
- Don’t over stir the mixture. Resist the temptation to over stir or beat the batter, it will cause your muffin to go tough. You want the final mixture to be lumpy, thick and looking very messy. (see below) It should only take around 10 strokes with your wooden spoon.
- Don’t skimp on the veggies. If your child doesn’t like one of the vegetables, don’t just leave it out. Add extra of the other vegetables or replace it with a different one. These muffins are so much better with a bit of veggie in every bite.
- Grease the muffin pan really well before adding the batter. I have baked these with muffin cases and without. I got better results without cases. Often I found the muffins stuck to the cases but if you use a non stick pan and grease it well the muffins are easy to remove. If you do prefer to use the paper muffin cups, I would recommend greasing them with oil spray before putting the batter in. Alternatively you could try the silicon muffin cases.
- Keep an eye on the baking time. Take the muffins out of the oven too soon and they will be sticky and uncooked. Bake them too long, and you run the risk of dry muffins. Every oven is different, so while you should still follow the bake time in this recipe, use a skewer to test your muffins a couple minutes before the end of the bake time. Your skewer will come out clean if they are ready.
How to Best Store Savoury Muffins
If you have gone to the effort to make great savoury muffins then you want to take the time to make sure you store them properly. Not doing this can greatly affect the texture and shelf-life of you vegetable muffin. Here are my top tips for storing muffins:-
- Let your muffins cool completely on a wire rack.
Before storing your muffins, it is important to allow them to properly cool. Allow your savoury muffins to cool in the muffin tray for around 5-7 minutes. If you leave them in the pan too long they run the risk of going soggy, you just want them to be firm enough to transfer to a wire rack.
Once on the cooling rack the muffins should be left to cool completely before storing. Storing the muffins when they are even a little bit warm will result in condensation and soggy muffins.
- Decide on how long and where you want to store your muffins
My favourite way to store savoury muffins is to freeze them, and if properly frozen they will be good for around 2-3 months (but will remain safe to eat well past that). To ensure best quality, individually wrap the muffins in clingfilm or foil and then transfer to ziplock bags or freezer containers.
To reheat – just pop them out of the freezer and place them back in the muffin tin. Reheat at 170c /350f until heated through. Alternatively, allow them to thaw and then reheat them in the microwave.
You can refrigerate muffins, but it isn’t recommend. Refrigeration temperatures alters the texture of the muffin and can make them go stale quicker.
Storing at room temperature is better than refrigeration when it comes to muffin quality. The best way to store them is to line a air tight container with kitchen paper, pop the muffins on-top and then another layer of kitchen paper, before adding the lid. The paper absorbs the moisture from the muffins, stopping them from going soggy.
It is hot and humid here, at the moment, so I only store the muffins at room temperature the day I bake them, the rest I always freeze. Normally muffins would last a couple of days at room temperature. However, as I haven’t tested these, I can’t say for sure how they would last.
I’ve already mentioned that these muffins are easy to adapt. Some other vegetable inclusions you could try are-
- Finely chopped capsicum (bell pepper)
- Chopped spinach
- Finely chopped and lightly fried onion, shallots, mushroom, celery or leek.
- Chopped tomato or sun-dried tomato
- Fresh herbs
Is your child muffin daft? Then why not try my:-
Carrot & Apple Muffins (Only sweetened with fruit)
Blender Muffins (Mini muffins, with a denser texture, perfect for little hands)
Fruity Oat Breakfast Bites (An oat mixture cooked in muffin trays)
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Vegetable Savoury Muffins Recipe
- 1 medium (250g) Zucchini, grated
- 1 medium (120g) Carrot, grated
- 1/4 cup (30g) Frozen Peas
- 1/4 cup (30g) Frozen Corn
- 1 cup (125g) Cheddar Cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1/4 cup Plain Greek Yoghurt
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 2 Eggs
- 2 cups (250g) Plain Wholemeal Flour *See Note 1
- 3 tsp Baking Powder
- Preheat oven to 180C / 350F
- Place the zucchini and carrot onto a clean dish towel and wrap it around the vegetables. (see image above) Squeeze all the juice out. *SEE NOTE 2
- Place the zucchini and carrots into a large mixing bowl along with the peas and sweetcorn. Add the cheese, milk, yogurt, olive oil and egg and stir until combined.
- Mix the flour and baking powder together and then slowly add to the wet ingredients. Fold in gently, until just combined. *SEE NOTE 3
- Spray a 12 hole muffin tray with oil or grease with butter. Spoon the mixture, equally, between the 12 muffin sections. Bake for 20-25 mins. *SEE NOTE 4
- I used a plain wholemeal flour, I am currently living in Australia and find their wholemeal flour whiter in colour and it appears more processed than the wholemeal flour I was used to in the UK. I can not guarantee what the results will be like with less processed wholemeal flour as I haven't tested although some people have commented that it produced a denser muffin. The recipe will also work well with plain / all purpose flour.
- Don't throw away the juice. Save it and add it to smoothies or pasta sauces etc.
- Don't be tempted to over stir the mixture. The mixture should be lumpy, thick and looking very messy. It should only take around 10 strokes with your wooden spoon.
- Every oven is different, so while you should still follow the bake time in this recipe, use a skewer to test your muffins a couple minutes before the end of the bake time. Your skewer will come out clean if they are ready.