1 ¼cups(178g)white whole wheat flour, or all-purpose flour, or half and half
2cupsshredded zucchini lightly squeezed of excess water, measured after wringing (see note)
Raw or coarse sugar for sprinkling on top, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or grease with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingers to rub the lemon zest into the sugar until evenly combined, this helps release the oils of the lemon zest into the sugar increasing the lemony flavor (it should smell amazing!).
Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla and whisk until well-combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula 3-4 times until the batter starts to come together but there are still streaks of flour throughout.
Stir in the shredded zucchini until the batter is just combined. Don't overmix! It's ok if the batter is still slightly lumpy.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle a bit of raw or coarse sugar over the top of the muffins, if desired (optional, but super delicious).
Bake for 17-22 minutes until the tops spring back lightly to the touch.
Let cool for a few minutes in the muffin tin before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. These taste best once cooled, in my opinion (and are delicious the next day, as well).
Shredding the Zucchini: I usually use the fine shredding holes on my box grater or food processor, but sometimes I get all crazy and use the larger holes (box grater or shredding disc). It really doesn't matter. The muffins really do turn out great either way - just keep in mind that the larger the pieces of zucchini, the more "spongy" the muffins might be in spots and the more baking time you may need for them to cook all the way through. Wringing out the Zucchini: you don't need to go crazy wringing the water out of the zucchini here. I simply take handfuls of the shredded zucchini and give a good squeeze over the kitchen sink (with no extra tools like a kitchen towel, etc). No need to squeeze the guts out of the zucchini for this recipe. I've given a weight and general cup measure for the zucchini once it is lightly squeezed.