Hi friends! To follow up my majorly delicious (and healthy!) zucchini bread recipe, I thought I’d share even MORE recipes for baking with zucchini! Just in case your garden overfloweth like so many people I know. If you see more than you can bake at the moment, not a problem! Just freeze your grated zucchini and thaw it out at a later time. And I’ve included a mix of healthy and not-so-healthy recipes so there are options for everyone!
Whose garden is already being overrun with TONS of zucchini?? I would raise my hand but guess whose zucchini plants didn’t take this year–yeah, mine. But I must be the only one because I am being blessed by everyone else’s overabundance from their gardens and have already started grating and freezing loads of zucchini. I did want to use some of it right away though so decided on, what else, zucchini bread. I love zucchini bread, always have. I know that people get tired of it but I could eat it all day (uhh, which is NOT good, just fyi). My favorite is a variation with lots of spices and pieces of black walnuts throughout, just like my grandma always made it.
Coincidentally, my friend Joelle had just posted this recipe and I decided to use it as a base for a healthy version. If I’m going to use something as nutritious as zucchini in my baking, I have real issues with adding in refined sugar, unhealthy oils and unecessary fats (exception: this recipe). Seems kind of pointless, to be honest. So I went for the extreme opposite and made this as healthy as I possibly could. And what resulted was the best pumpkin zucchini bread I have ever had. I really am not joking. It was so moist and dense and had the perfect flavor. I really had to pace myself with this stuff because let me tell you I could have eaten it all in a couple of days.
I had read that chia seeds could be used as a substitute for butter in baking which was interesting to me so I went ahead and used them along with some canned organic pumpkin (a million times better than the stuff at Wal-mart) and I really think that it worked even better than oil or butter in the recipe. Very exciting! Definitely look forward to experimenting more in the future.
2 c. Shredded Zucchini, wrung with paper towels to rid excess liquid
⅓ c. Black Walnuts, chopped
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger.
In a medium bowl combine almond milk, honey, pumpkin puree, chia seeds that have been soaked in water and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Add to dry ingredients and gently fold in until everything is just combined. Add zucchini and walnuts and mix until evenly distributed throughout batter. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes checking periodically to see if a tester comes out clean. Cool completely.
A friend and I had been chatting about how much we love to cook and, like myself, she is into very healthy and nutritious cooking (I said COOKING..not BAKING). We’d often find ourselves at an event where we both brought homemade dishes and we’d be asking each other for the recipes at the end of the night, so we decided what better way to share our love of cooking and yummy recipes than start a gourmet cooking club?? So, our first official cooking club get together was this past January and it was SO fun! The food was all delicious and it gave me the opportunity to try out a new healthy dessert recipe–Spicy Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies!
My inspiration for these cookies was based off of one of my FAVORITE “healthy” indulgences from Trader Joe’s…cayenne covered dried mango dipped in dark, bittersweet chocolate. It is one of the best things to ever cross my lips and sadly, since we have no Trader Joe’s here in Springfield, MO, I’m not sure I’ll ever get it again! But I loved the combination so much I thought I’d try it in these cookies. Now the cookies themselves were absolutely WONDERFUL. They were soooo soft and tender and the heat from the red pepper combined with the bittersweet chocolate was out of this world! The only thing I didn’t like about this recipe was…the mango! It was such a bummer, but it just didn’t work for this cookie, in my opinion. So, I’d omit it for sure in the future and went ahead and wrote the recipe without it. But I’m not too upset about it–I still discovered an amazing, nutritious cookie recipe!
½ c. Dark Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda salt and pepper. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, molasses and pumpkin on medium-high speed until light and fluffy about 5-7 minutes. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Wrap dough in a large piece of plastic wrap, place in an air-tight container and refrigerate overnight (I refrigerated mine for about 24 hours).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
gently form dough into 1½-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake for 16 minutes, rotating pans once and switching racks halfway through. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.