1 (1 pound) bag Cut 'N Clean Greens Country Greens
1/2 cup applesauce (can use a 4 ounce individual serving size cup)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated zucchini
2/3 cup toasted chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mist nonstick muffin top pans (12 muffin top cups total) with nonstick spray and set pans aside.
Bring 4-6 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cook 4 ounces Country Greens (about one-fourth of the package) in gently boiling water for about 15 minutes. Drain in colander and when cool enough to handle, mass on a cutting board and chop very finely. Squeeze greens dry with hands and use as directed below in recipe.
Meanwhile, while greens are boiling, in a large mixing bowl, stir together eggs, applesauce, granulated sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Stir flour mixture into the egg mixture until barely incorporated. Gently stir in zucchini, greens, and nuts, if using. (Many children do not like baked goods containing nuts, so consider leaving the nuts out.) Do not over mix or you will have tough muffins.
Divide batter evenly among muffin top cups. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool muffins on a wire rack. When cool, may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze. Thaw at room temperature or zap in the microwave oven for only about 7-9 seconds to thaw.
Here’s a trick: If you think your small children might balk at green muffins, first make a batch without the Country Greens, and substitute 1/2 cup raisins. When they say “What’s that green stuff in my raisin muffin?” you can talk about zucchini and how great it tastes in these sweet muffins. When they realize they like them and have eaten them once or twice this way, the next time you make them, leave out the raisins and sub in the Country Greens, and they won’t think twice about it because they will already know to expect a greenish muffin top! If you want to further charm them, use a couple of raisins on top of each muffin top to make eyes, a nose and a mouth. Slather it with some low-fat cream cheese and you are good to go!