Chocolate Cake with Zucchini-Vegan

This is the birthday cake I made for both of my daughter’s this year. It is basically the same as my chocolate layer cake recipe, but with a bit of added zucchini. You can’t taste, see, or detect the zucchini, but I feel just a bit better giving them cake if there is even a tiny bit of nutrition in it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for adding sugar to all vegetables, but if you are going to have cake, you might as well also have a vegetable. Pictured here I made it in a 9×13 pan for a sheet cake and used my regular vegan buttercream.

Ingredients

  • 1 TBL vinegar
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups brewed coffee (or more milk)
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Oil 2 8″ round cake pans, put parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, oil and flour pan and parchment paper. Alternatively you can use a 9×13 pan, greased but no parchment paper. Bake for 22-27min for a 9×13 pan.
  3. Mix together the milk and vinegar, set aside to curdle.
  4. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in sugar and salt.
  5. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and add the milk mixture, coffee, oil and extracts mixing with an electric mixer briefly until there are no lumps.
  6. Fold in shredded zucchini and evenly divide batter into prepared pans and bake 25-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Let cake rest in the pan about 10 minutes, then remove and finish cooling on cooling rack before frosting.
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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.

 

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spiced Muffins – Paleo, grain free, dairy free

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spiced Muffins - Paleo, grain free, dairy free
Gluten Free Pumpkin Spiced Muffins – Paleo, grain free, dairy free

I’m so sorry I have skipped a few weeks lately. Things have been crazy around here. We are getting ready to move across the country, from the Boston area to the Seattle area.  With two kids under the age of 3. I’m very excited, but, as I said, it’s been a bit crazy. Please forgive me if this are a bit slow in the next few weeks, but I hope to back up to speed for the holidays. I hope.

These delightful little nuggets of joy were a fun find from The Texanerian. I changed a few things but that was my inspiration.  These are perfect for fall and a wonderful, fairly healthy, way to start Halloween. full of actual pumpkin and lots of meat free sources of protein these guys will fill you up. My older daughter ate them one after another until I had to cut her off! Also a hit with the neighborhood kids, and adults. Yummy!

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (66 grams) coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) almond flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 7 tablespoons (98 grams) coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line a mini muffin pan with 24 muffin liners or oil pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, pumpkin, and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mxture and stir just until combined.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the muffin liners, filling each liner until almost completely full. You’ll likely have enough batter for another six. I scooped them into a big muffin pan so I could cook them at the same time and they were flat but perfectly yummy.
  6. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. These need to rest for at least an hour before serving, both because of taste and texture.
  8. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Best in the first 2 days.

Pumpkin Spice French Toast

Pumpkin Spiced French Toast
Pumpkin Spiced French Toast

It still feels like summer here on the East Coast, but fall is fast approaching. Fall is my favorite! I can’t wait for the cooler days and the leaves to change color, to be able to wear jeans without sweating to death, and sweatshirts. Who doesn’t love a cozy sweatshirt? There have been a few hints of fall this week with a couple of leaves falling and the nights becoming slightly cooler. It has gotten me in the mood. I make pumpkin muffins at the beginning of the week, and here we are making pumpkin spiced french toast. No, I do not drink Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, that’s yucky, too sweet, but I love the real stuff. Also, pumpkin is a vegetable, and, to be honest, I used butternut squash puree today so it’s another sneaky way for me to put veggies in everything. Toddler approved!

Top this fragrant french toast with maple syrup, coconut whipped cream, cinnamon roll topping, or anything else your heart desires.

 Ingredients

  • 2 happy eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • few dashes nutmeg
  • 6 slices whole grain bread (I used a flourless sprouted bread)
  • Coconut oil for cooking

Instructions

  1. Whisk the eggs until uniformly yellow.
  2. Add pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg whisking to combine.
  3. Dip bread into batter one slice at a time, and allow to rest while your pan pre-heats. This lets the batter soak into the bread a bit which makes for a better texture.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  5. Once the pan is hot add oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add bread in a single layer leaving room between the slices. I have to cook this in 2 batches.
  7. Cook on the first side until golden brown, 2-3 minutes, flip and cook until the second side is also golden brown, a few more minutes.
  8. Serve hot with topping of choice.

Sweet Potato Pancakes- toddler friendly

sweet potato pancakes
sweet potato pancakes

My little lovelies enjoy their pancakes. Traditional pancakes are not a nutritional powerhouse, but we can fix that! These are made with whole grains, add protein with the eggs, some vegetables, and pack in the flavor. All that, and they’re still light and fluffy! I can’t wait until my girls are old enough to be shocked by the fact that most pancakes don’t have vegetables in them (insert evil laugh here). I mix it up with the vegetables, but sweet potato, pumpkin puree, or spinach are the favorites in our house. This week will focus on the beautiful sweet potato.

For my girls I serve them plain, no butter or syrup, and then pack them to go. These also freeze extremely well and will thaw on the go if you like to do big batch cooking.

 Ingredients

  • 1 small very ripe banana or an additional 1/2 cup puree of choice, they just won’t be quite as sweet
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree, or pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups spelt or whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour or more whole grain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 3/4 cup milk, kiefer, water, or a mixture of these – nondairy is fine

Instructions

  1. Mash banana in a medium bowl with the sweet potato puree.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla whisking to combine.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt,spices, and milk and stir together. If mixture needs more liquid add it to your desired consistency. Thicker batter makes thicker pancakes, thinner batter makes thinner pancakes.
  4. Heat a large skillet, I use my biggest cast iron pan, over medium heat.
  5. Once pan is hot add a small amount of oil to prevent pancakes from sticking.
  6. Pour batter into the pan making sure to leave enough room between the pancakes to flip them!
  7. Cook on first side until bubbles that form on pancakes burst and edges start to dry out.
  8. Flip and cook until golden brown on second side.
  9. Serve hot.

Almond French Toast

Almond French Toast
Almond French Toast

French toast is a lovely, quick breakfast. It is one of my go to breakfasts for my toddler. By using a sprouted grain bread and add a few things I am increasing the nutritional value and converting a quick diner breakfast into a healthy start to you day.  I have a few versions, one with pumpkin to continue on my quest for veggies in everything, and this one that just adds a bit more protein and nutrients from the almonds. This french toast is filled with almond goodness and bursting in with flavor. I love to top it with plain yogurt, bananas, and a light drizzle of maple syrup.

 Ingredients

  • 2 happy eggs
  • 1 TBL milk or nondairy milk
  • 1/3 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 3 slices sprouted grain bread
  • Coconut oil for cooking

Instructions

  1. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl until uniformly yellow in color.
  2. Add milk, almond meal, vanilla, and almond and whisk to combine.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, when hot melt a little coconut oil in the bottom, just enough to coat the pan you are using.
  4. Dip the bread in the egg mixture one slice at a time making sure each slice is completely coated with egg mixture on all sides.
  5. Place egg coated bread in the hot skillet and cook until golden brown on the first side, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until the second side is also golden brown. 2-3 minute more.
  6. Serve hot with your choice of toppings.

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.