zucchini three ways

 

I warned you that all I can think of lately is how to cook with zucchini…  while others are pondering the Hip’s last concert, the end to the Olympics or perhaps the Blue Jays attempts to win the division…  I am solely focused on zucchini…

in fact, I’m already planning the zucchini coconut chocolate cake to make for the men tomorrow night…

anyways, if you are obsessed to use up your zucchini like I am… here are three recipes for you!  happy baking!

the first is a loaf…  coconut chia seed zucchini loaf…

 I’ve told the children that ‘loaves’ or ‘muffins’ are just fancy words for cake…  little cakes…  they all need eggs, sugar and oil to come alive…  so get over it…  and throw healthy ingredients in if possible… but enjoy your little sugar high from your slice of loaf…

 

coconut chia seed zucchini loaf

  • Servings: 2 medium loaves or 3 small loaves
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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini (drained)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • grease (I used Pam spray) 2 medium loaf pans or 3 small loaf pans
  • in a large bowl, combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and chia seeds
  • in a mixing bowl, combine sugars, oil, yogurt and eggs until well blended
  • add zucchini and dry ingredients and blend
  • add vanilla and coconut
  • divide evenly among the loaf pans and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  • let it cool in pans for 10 minutes
  • carefully remove and completely cool on a rack

these are the healthiest baking item on the menu today… apple zucchini muffins… and they tasted the healthiest too…

apple zucchini muffins

  • Servings: 15 muffins
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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 granny smith apple, grated
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 granny smith apple, cut into chunks
  • 2-4 tbsp turbinado sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cinnamon

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • line muffin pan with paper liners and spray with a cooking spray
  • in a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt. cinnamon and allspice
  • in a mixing bowl, combine buttermilk, applesauce, oil, egg and vanilla until well combined
  • add dry ingredients and grated apple and zucchini
  • fold in apple chunks
  • using a large ice cream scoop, scoop mixture into muffin tins
  • sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top
  • bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown

lastly, and the kids favourite, carrot zucchini hemp heart muffins…   it is an attempt at throwing healthy items into a very unhealthy recipe… and it worked!

carrot zucchini hemp heart muffins

  • Servings: 24 muffins
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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 1 cup melted coconut oil
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • line muffin tins with paper trays and spray with cooking spray
  • in a bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and hemp hearts
  • in a mixing bowl, add oil and eggs and beat
  • add dry ingredients, applesauce, vanilla and then zucchini and carrots
  • using a large ice cream scoop, scoop mixture into muffin tins
  • bake for 20-25 minutes

special snowflake syndrome 

one of the best sermons I’ve heard… and this has nothing to do with the fact that I only get to listen to about ten a year…  was last Sunday…

I even took notes…  although I was wondering if fellow church goers were thinking

‘oh… she’s finally here and she’s texting the whole time’…

kinda like when my Dad used to close his eyes to pray during a sermon…  we had our doubts…

the Pastor was addressing the fact that the new generation is full of narcissists…  we like to think we should find happiness, every job should be fulfilling, every thing is about us…

wikipedia describes narcissism  as ‘the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes’…

and the Pastor termed our generation with having the ‘special snowflake syndrome’…  we all like to think we are a special snowflake and life should center around us…

I connected with these thoughts both as a parent of ‘special snowflakes’ and also feeling a bit like I am a ‘special snowflake’ myself…

when I met the farmer seventeen years ago in college, he was of course first blown away by my staggering beauty… but a close second to the earth shattering beauty was an air of confidence…  he could not believe how confidently I approached every situation…  no matter my lack of talent or intelligence or athletic ability…  I was confident completely with no relation to how well I did at things or my credentials…

what he didn’t know is that I grew up feeling ‘special’…

my childhood was all about being special… I was special because God created me for a purpose and reason and my life revolved around serving and worshipping this Divine power…  who made every human being special…

I was put here to create, serve, work, love, contribute and give…

I was also told over and over again that I was special (I wish they had known to call me a special snowflake)…

I was special, not for what I did but for who I was…  I was a child of God, created by God, with work to do for God…

I was never under any assumption that life was supposed to be about me…

this message gave me freedom to succeed or fail and not worry that I was loved any differently based on the result… because no one cared… not really… not deeply…  there were bigger concerns in the world than if I won my intramural football game…

out of my three children, the daughter is definitely the one who believes she is a special snowflake…  and this sermon made me think I need to let her in on the secret that she is special because every human being is special… but she’s not a special snowflake…  big difference…


and man, it really frees you up as a parent to not need to give them everything that they think they need…  and to even ignore them so that they get bored and have to remember how to play… by themselves… in the yard…  with a cat or a dog… or imaginary friend…

the boys were playing basketball out in the yard and wanted me to watch them…  just as I was heading over to do so, I stopped myself and yelled out the window…

‘not interested… you’re not a special snowflake… go ahead and shoot your hoops and do your jams on your own and I’ll just keep ignoring you’

(full disclosure… I watched them because it’s too comical not to watch but I didn’t want them to know that I had taken time to do so…  again… they need to know they are special… not special snowflakes)

when you go surfing, one of the rules they tell you is ‘your board goes where your eyes go’ …  I remember this very well because as I was colliding with the farmer on my board I was yelling at him ‘I’m not looking at you… I’m not looking at you’…

the Pastor said this is what we are to do with our lives… in order to get away from being special snowflakes…  and back to being just special…

‘where you look is where you’ll go’ … if we look at ourselves, our accomplishments, our failures, our results… we’ll never get outside of ourselves and we’ll never see a bigger vision or world…

if we focus on something other than ourselves we’ll see a bigger picture… we’ll see ideas and opportunities… we’d cheer for our peers instead of constantly competing…  we’d eagerly help those in need… we’d share our time and experiences… because we’d realize we are all in this together…

the hymn we sang during the service brought back many nights when I would wake up scared and my mom would come to my room and sing to me…  (which arguably was more frightening than the nightmare itself)

‘turn your eyes upon Jesus… look full in His wonderful face… and the things of earth will grow strangely dim… in the light of His glory and grace’

sometimes we need the things of this world to grow strangely dim…  and we do need to focus on something other than ourselves…  we need to see the Divine…

not because it makes us feel less… but because it can make you feel so much more…

you are special… very very special… just not a special snowflake… unless you are a Kardashian… then you are a special snowflake…



chia seed applesauce cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted and room temp
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup sweetened coconut

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  • combine oats, br sugar, flour, chia seeds, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt
  • stir in applesauce and coconut oil until dough is evenly mixed
  • fold in cranberries, chocolate chips and coconut
  • using a medium ice cream scoop, spoon out dough and flatten with a fork
  • bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the cookie
  • they will be soft and need to sit in the pan for at least 10 minutes before being transferred to a drying rack
  • these cookies will harden and freeze really well