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The Garden’s Last Hurrah

Oct 10, 2019

I spent much of yesterday picking the last of the peppers, digging carrots, pulling beets and cutting fragrant bouquets of herbs in preparation for forecasted snow. My social media feed was full of other gardeners frantically salvaging their last harvests. Tomatoes, zucchini, beans and squash were all piled into buckets and boxes ahead of South Dakota’s first winter weather.

We hoped the meteorologists were wrong. We wished that the cold would stay away and not end our growing season. Those hopes and wishes were dashed when we awoke this morning to much of the western part of South Dakota covered in at least some snow. At my house, we had a 4 a.m. thunderstorm with rolling, freight train thunder that dumped hail and sleet and made the ground white, followed by more drizzly rain, and a light skiff of snow. My garden is done.

Snow in October does encourage baking. I am going to take the last of those summer zucchinis and my garden-fresh carrots and bake some veggie loaded muffins. When I baked these Carrot Zucchini Muffins last month, Hubs declared them to be delicious as his favorite carrot cake. I am glad to be able to still enjoy the bounty of my now frozen garden with some baking to warm up a cold day.


Warm carrot zucchini muffins are a good remedy for the early winter blues.

Carrot Zucchini Muffins


1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

1 large egg

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup finely shredded carrots

1/2 cup unpeeled finely shredded zucchini


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 6 paper muffin cups.

Beat together granulated sugar and brown sugar, canola oil, applesauce, eggs and vanilla.

Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.

Add carrots and zucchini to flour mixture, folding batter until just combined.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups filling each cup nearly full.

Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 20-24 minutes.

Cool in muffin pan several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store muffins in an airtight container. (Yield: 6 muffins)


Fran Hill has been blogging about food at On My Plate since October of 2006. She, her husband and their three dogs ranch near Colome.


10:20 am - Fri, October 18 2019
Roger Holtzmann said:
Ah, the blessings of snow in October ... IT KILLS OFF ALL THE ZUCHINNI!
12:19 pm - Sat, October 26 2019
Oh, Roger. Someday, perhaps someone will sway you to zucchini. I don't think I have the stamina for it, though. 🤣

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