Carrot zucchini glory muffins

1-2 medium or 1 large zucchini
2-3 large carrots
2/3 cup olive oil
3 large eggs
¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice or apple cider
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar
 cups flours (¾-1 cup whole wheat, ½-¾ cup white)
1½ cups nut meal (suggest 2-3 cups pecans, walnuts, and sunflower seeds)
½ tsp sea salt
3 tsp baking soda

1. Chop zucchini and carrots into large chunks and process in a food process or Vitamix-style blender until all pieces are small (but not liquid).
2. Toast nuts and seeds and process into a fine powder (not so fine that it becomes sticky, like a nut butter).
3. Mix everything in a large bowl.
4. Spoon into lined muffin cups.
5. Bake at 350˚F for 20-23 minutes.

The story
These only took about 10 years to get right...

I used to live in Atlanta, a few blocks from a coffee shop in which served (1) really good coffee and (2) extraordinary, unparalleled, fantastically delicious carrot zucchini muffins with the most perfect crunchy, not even slightly sticky (I hate when that happens), tops. They also served a lovely pear coffee cake, but it was coffee and carrot zucchini muffins that accounted for $500 spent in 2005-2006.

I know this, because I sat down, and figured out a budget one day in 2006. For years afterward, this figure justified various failed attempts to make my own coffee at home. But frankly, the muffins probably cost twice what I spent on coffee. Some mornings (this was in med school, after all), I think they were the only source of joy in my life. Curiously, their other muffins were not nearly as good. I nearly cried one morning when they were sold out.

Fortunately and unfortunately, I eventually moved away and all my efforts to replicate the muffins - particularly the tops - failed. When I went back to Atlanta briefly in 2010, I made a special side trip to the coffee shop and bought 2 dozen muffins, which I took back to Denver and kept in the freezer, eating them slowly over the last year of my residency.

And then - finally! - last year, I managed to replicate them, almost by accident. After years of Googling pictures of muffin recipes and trying to assess probable crunchiness from pictures, I decided to improvise a "healthy" muffin recipe with zucchini, carrots, olive oil, and most of the flour replaced with nut meal, plus brown sugar, starting with a morning glory muffin recipe and experimenting from there.

And it happened to work.

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