Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Cookies

Round two on the zucchini baking front. A simple and delicious recipe for moderately nutritions cookies that don't seem overly healthy - my favorite kind! Full of veggies AND whole grains it's all around a good idea. A touch of brown sugar for sweetness, a little coconut oil for the requisite fat. These little guys are perfectly sized for a little bite, just a snack. One is usually good for me, but if you need a little extra, eat two! They're soft, but not to the point of falling apart which sometimes can happen. The flour and egg hold them together nicely. Give them a go with that excess zucchini I'm sure your swimming in if you're anything like me. You won't regret it!

Like I stated above, I made these little guys bite sized, but feel free to make them bigger if that's more how you roll. You may need to add a minute or two to the baking time if you do, just use your good judgement. If you're feeling a little more indulgent feel free to increase the amount of brown sugar. I don't like my snacks to be too sweet so I cut back, but everyone is different. As written, these cookies don't spread a whole lot during baking. I pressed them down just a little before putting them in the oven so they'd be a little flatter. But again, however you'd like to roll. 

 
 

Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Cookies
Adapted from Little Dairy on the Prairie
Ingredients

  • 1 heaping cup zucchini, grated; approximately 1 medium, or 1/2 a large (I used 190 grams)
  • 1/3 cup (60 grams) coconut oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup (80 grams) oat flour
  • 1 cup (120 grams) wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chunks (I used 35 grams, but you could certainly use more)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together egg, oil and vanilla. Add brown sugar and mix again. Add zucchini and mix until everything is well combined. 

Add oats, oat flour, whole wheat flour flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg to a mixing bowl. Mix until mostly combined, then add the chocolate and mix until everything is combined and there are no more pockets of flour. 

Using a cookie scoop, drop 1½ inch pieces of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Transfer to the over and bake for 14-15 minutes.

Yields: 21 cookies

Mocha Zucchini Muffins

First things first, Happy Easter!

Christ the Lord is risen today.
All creation join to say. 
Raise you joys and triumphs high.
Sing ye heaven and earth reply. 

Love's redeeming work is done.
Fought the fight, the battle won.
Death in vain forbids him rise.
Christ has opened paradise.

What a glorious day! When I think about all I have in Christ I am continually blown away by what I have been given, not because of anything I have done, I can take credit in no way for my salvation, I believe because God first chose me. How humbling is this truth. 

I this beautiful day, full of celebration and new birth I was inspired to create something new and delicious out of something old. I've had a bag of shredded zucchini floating around in my freezer since last summer. I keep meaning to do something with it, but I always say "next time". Well, not this time! I found a new zucchini muffin recipe, adjusted it for what I wanted, and finished off last years produce, finally! This was the perfect way to do it too. A light and healthy whole grain muffin, lightly sweetened and filled with one of my favorite treats; chocolate covered espresso beans!!

When I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. I didn't have a go-to zucchini muffin but this one looked promising, and I was right. It's just rich enough to make it special, but not too rich to make it feel overly indulgent. The original recipe calls for a streusel on top which would be marvelous, but I skipped it this time out of laziness, but did chop up a handful of dark chocolate espresso beans for pizzaz. And chocolate. Come on. 

The final product came out as beautiful as I had hoped. Flecked with green from the zucchini, and chocolate from the espresso beans. I added some espresso powder for a little extra mocha flavor, and probably could have added more (I think I'll try 1/2 teaspoon next time!). They turned out light and satisfying. A perfect zucchini muffin. 

 
 


Mocha Zucchini Muffins
Adapted from The Almond Eater
Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1-2 tablespoons (12-25 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) milk
  • 2 tablespoons (37 grams) maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup chocolate covered espresso beans, roughly chopped

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners, set aside

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and espresso powder in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and then add olive oil, milk, syrup and vanilla. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients. Add the zucchini, and stir until combined. 

Transfer the batter to the prepared muffin tin. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven, wait a few minutes for the muffins to cool before removing them from the tin.

Yields: 6 muffins

Buckwheat Oat Breakfast Bites

Breakfast bites; little mounds of oat-y goodness, something fun and different to dig into for breakfast, or snack in the afternoon. Full of whole grains, healthy fats, and unrefined sugar. Win - win - win! And chocolate, don't forget the chocolate on top. You can put the chocolate inside them if that's more your style, I just love how a little drizzle on top finishes them off. 

These are a wiz to throw together, everything into the food processor and you're set, in just a minute or two you have your cookie dough, ready for the cookie scoop and into the oven. I've made other variations on these cookies before, but for this version I went with one of my favorite combinations, tahini and honey. I added a little buckwheat flour for it's lovely hint of bitterness, and a little cinnamon to round it all out. Drizzle with chocolate once cool and breakfast is served!

 
 

Buckwheat Oat Breakfast Bites
Adapted from The Clever Carrot
Ingredients

  • 2 cups (160 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup (64 grams) tahini, or your favorite nut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 6 tbs honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Chocolate, for drizzling (optional)

Directions
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 

Add the oats, white whole wheat flour, and baking soda to a food processor. Run the machine until the oats look like 'flour.' It's okay to have a few big pieces in the mix.

Add the egg, tahini, coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract. Pulse until the mixture until it looks like cookie dough and holds together when pinched between 2 fingers.

Using a cookie scoop to portion the cookies onto your lined baking sheets. Bake for about 12-13 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on the tray for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

100% Whole Wheat Banana Cocoa Nib Breakfast Cake

Cake for breakfast is one of my favorite things. This banana breakfast cake is an adaptation of an oldie but goodie here on the blog, banana chocolate chip breakfast cake that I've made numerous times. I changed it up a bit by using 100% whole wheat flour and using cocoa nibs instead of chocolate chips which adds a very different but yummy flavor. If you haven't had cocoa nibs before I recommend giving them a try. They are crunchy and have the essence of chocolate, but be forewarned, they are not sweet, but really quite bitter and have a bit of a fermented flavor. Very interesting, but can be surprising if this is not what you are expecting. This cake may be a little on the plain side, but don't let it's humble appearance fool you, it is delicious!

So, along with using cocoa nibs instead of chocolate, I also cut back a bit on the sugar in this version of the cake, I wanted something a little less sweet for those mornings when "less sweet" is calling to me. While I cut back on the sugar, I added a bit more butter than in the original. Why not, less sugar, more fat, sounds like a good exchange in my book! This actually may have been an "accidental" increase originally...but the final results were wonderful, so I recommend making this "mistake" every time!! The final product is light and moist, perfect to enjoy alongside your morning coffee. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Banana Breakfast Cake with Cocoa Nibs
Adapted from Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cake
Ingredients

  • 1½ cups (210 g) whole wheat flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • ½  cup (100 g) sugar 
  • 4 tablespoons (55 g) melted butter 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (7-8 ounces), made from about 2 very ripe medium-sized bananas 
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) liquid whey or buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 tablespoons (20 g) cocoa nibs

Directions
Sift together in a medium bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.  

In a large bowl, mix together the butter, egg, banana puree, liquid whey, and vanilla.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and stir in the wet ingredients with a spatula until almost mixed. Add in the cocoa nibs and stir until just combined, but don’t over-stir: stop when any traces of flour disappear.

Scrape the mixture into a prepared 8-inch round cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the center feels lightly-springy and just done. Cool on a baking rack.

Afternoon Sandwich Bread

I've been quite busy over the last couple of weeks, I'm on my OB rotation right now which has been really good, but doesn't leave me a lot of free time. This means I don't get to spend as much time as I usually like to in the kitchen, making dinner and prepping lunch for the next day. For weeks such as these it's good to have a few things on hand that make it easy to throw together a delicious meal in a short time. Recently I've been really into making sandwiches for dinner. I  still have some leftover Thanksgiving turkey in the freezer (yes I do!), and some really good cheese hanging out in the fridge. Add a few additional condiments a few slices of good, homemade bread and dinner is served. 

This has been my go-to bread for the past few weeks. I've made 3 or 4 loaves recently and have been loving it. It's soft, tender and delicious. It's also really quick to make. There are times when I love spending 2 or 3 days make a complext loaf of bread with a long, slow rise. But often I don't have the time to spend doing that. This bread is super fast, yet still really really good. I can start making it around noon, and be pulling freshly baked bread out of the oven by 5! On a tight schedule, that is the way to do it!

The first time I made a version of this bread I made it pretty much as originally written, adding in a bit of whole wheat flour because that's how I roll. It turned out great. The next time however, I had some sourdough starter that needed to be used so I adjusted the recipe to include some of this starter. My sourdough version was also wonderful, and helped me use up my starter - a win-win situation! 

 
 

Afternoon Sandwich Bread
Adapted from Alexandra Cooks
Ingredients

  • 180 grams all purpose flour
  • 140 grams whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 110 grams warm water
  • 56 grams milk
  • 1 tablespoon (21 grams) honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 120 grams sourdough starter
  • 2-4 tablespoons mixed nuts/seeds/grains (optional): for this loaf I used a mix of coarse cornmeal, sunflower seeds, steel cut oats, and buckwheat groats, but use whatever you have on hand, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, millet, quinoa, etc. 

Directions
In the bowl of your stand mixer mix together the flours, yeast and salt. Add the water, milk, honey olive oil or butter, and starter.  

Using the dough hook, knead the dough until it begins pulling away from the sides of the bowl and clings to the hook, 6-8 minutes total.  Near the end of kneading, add in the mixed nuts/seeds/grains and continue kneading until evenly incorporated. 

Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn it over to coat all sides, and cover the bowl. Let it rise in a draft-free place until doubled, 1 to 2 hours. Turn the dough out onto the counter and shape into a loaf. Place dough in well-greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pans. Let rise until the dough domes an inch above the rim of the pan, another hour or so.

After the dough has been rising for 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 350°F. When the loaves are sufficiently risen, bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and tip the bread out of the pan. Place on a rack to cool completely before slicing.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Snack Bar

There are times when I just want a quick little snack of something sweet and satisfying. A cookie sounds too unhealthy, and crackers just aren't going to cut it. That's where these bars come in. They are what I would call somewhat healthy as bars go. There are oats, whole wheat flour, walnuts, and a little chocolate of course. They are easy to put together and the perfect little snack when you are needing a little extra sustenance to get you to dinner. They are also really yummy as an accompaniment to a good cup of coffee. So whatever your need, these bars are likely to fill it, give them a try!

The recipe calls for these bars to be made in two loaf pans. I don't know if they could be made into one bigger pan or not, I'd have to experiment with that, but it's a possibility. Like I said, these are easy to put together and can be cut into any size you want. I think I cut them into 24 small pieces, the perfect size for me for a small snack, but any size will do.

The bar by itself is not overly sweet, so the chocolate chips are in my opinion, a must. You need that for a little extra sweetness. And while I've never been a huge fan of nuts in my breads and bars, I think the walnuts add a lot to this recipe. They make the bars hearty and nutty and give them a little extra sustenance. But with, or whiteout the nuts if you'd rather, these bars are sure to please.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Snack Bar

Adapted from 

Big Girls Small Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 cup oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease two 4 1/2 by 8 1/2-inch loaf pans and line with a parchment sling if desired.

Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Beat together the peanut butter, sugar, and oil with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then, whisk in the milk by hand. Stir in the vanilla.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and fold to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts, saving a handful of each to sprinkle on top. Pour the batter into the two prepared pans. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining chocolate and nuts.

Bake the bars for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden. Using an offset spatula, loosen the bars from the pan and turn onto a rack to cool completely. When cool, cut each pan into 8 bars. If you want smaller servings, cut each bar in half. Store in the freezer.