Zucchini Date Oatmeal – vegan and gluten free

I haven’t written a post about oatmeal in a while. I’m sure you have been dying for a new version of oatmeal the whole time. This should do the trick. This is a favorite of both by girls and they love to help make it. They can both eat dates while I chop, then my 3 year old helps me shred the zucchini. They take turns dumping in the ingredients, and impatiently wait as it cooks, and cools enough for them to eat. We rarely eat this for breakfast, but often make it for our mid-morning snack, or lunch. The girls also like it cold and room temperature so it is a stable in our snack bag. This oatmeal is sweet, cinnamony, and filled with vegetables! Everything you could ask for in an oatmeal. If you are serving it to a green vegetable averse person you can peel the zucchini before shredding.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini, one small
  • 11/4 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • heaping 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 TBL hemp seeds (optional)
  • cinnamon to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan combine dates, zucchini, water, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  2. Once boiling stir in the rolled oats, hemp seeds, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently until the water is absorbed and the oatmeal is the consistency you prefer.
  3. Serve warm.

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Green Muffins (Zucchini-Spinach, sugar free, vegan, toddler approved)

Spinach Zucchini Muffins -date sweetened
Spinach Zucchini Muffins -date sweetened

Who doesn’t love green food? Oh, yeah, toddlers. Well, except mine who things it needs to be green to be edible! These yummy muffins are packed with vegetables, take their sweetness from the dates, and are good enough I was sneaking them when my daughter wasn’t looking. These are quite green from all the vegetables and would be perfect to introduce on St. Patrick’s Day if you have a picky eater. Also perfect to bring to work to nourish you throughout the day to prepare you for your evening activities. Spread a little almond butter on these and you have yourself a meal.

Makes 12 regular muffins

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dates (about 5-7 dates)
  • hot water to cover dates
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 packed cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1 TBL chia seeds
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a muffin pan with paper liners or by lightly oiling the pan.
    2. Place chopped dates in a glass measuring cup, pour boiling water over the top just to cover the dates, and set aside to soften, about 5 minutes.
    3. In a mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients, flour through cinnamon.
    4. When dates are soft place them, the soaking water, coconut oil, and the baby spinach in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
    5. Pour date mixture into bowl with dry ingredients, add chia seeds, zucchini, and vanilla stirring to combine.
    6. Divide the batter evenly into prepared muffin tine and bake 18-20 minutes until tops turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.
    7. Remove from the pan and allow to cool a bit before eating.

Tofuballs with Extra Veggies

 Ingredients

  • 2 TBL oilve oil
  • 11/2 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 11/2 cups finely chopped spinach
  • 3 mushrooms, minced
  • 1 lb water packed extra firm tofu
  • 1 TBL Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 TBL nutritional yeast
  • 1 egg beaten (omit if vegan, or try 2 TBL aquafaba lightly beaten with a fork)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup vegan bread crumbs
  • Neutral flavored oil for cooking

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add oil, zucchini, onion, spinach, and mushrooms and cook 5-8 minutes or until most of the water has been released and cooked off.
  3. Mash tofu in a large bowl with your hands or a potato masher.
  4. Add Italian seasoning, salt, garlic, egg, cooked vegetables, and nutritional yeast and stir together.
  5. Add bread crumbs a few tablespoons at a time stirring to combine. The mixture should start to stick together.
  6. Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings to taste.
  7. Heat about a 1/4″ of oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet to about 350 degrees. I never actually check this with a thermometer, but you should. It should be hot, but not smoking, and when you flick a few drops of water into the oil it should sizzle and pop.
  8. Form the tofu mixture into walnut sized balls with your hands. Pack them a bit, but don’t worry if they feel loose as long as they hold their shape in your hand. If they don’t add more breadcrumbs until they do.
  9. Carefully place the tofu balls in the hot oil, and cook until one side is golden brown (3-4 minutes), flip them and cook on the other side another 3 minutes or so until golden brown.
  10. Unless you have a super huge skillet you will need to work in batches. You might need to add more oil between batches. If this happens don’t forget to reheat the oil before frying.
  11. Once cooked remove the tofu balls and place on a plate lined with paper towel to drain.
  12. Serve hot with pasta and sauce, or just eat as is. Super yummy snack!
  13. You could also bake these on an oiled baking sheet at 375 for about 20 minutes. Still good, but not quite the same.