Paleo Zucchini Brownie Bread for Willy

This post will be short. 

I made this zucchini brownie bread while I was in Arizona this summer.  It's gluten-free, actually it's grain-free.  In fact, it doesn't rely on nut flours to bake.  I made this and decided the rest should go to my older brother Willy as he couldn't have gluten.  

I have had this recipe sitting in my file to hit publish for a while.  I simply haven't had time, or made time to write and post about it.  

Then, it's way past my bedtime and some how I needed to hit publish just to get it out of my draft box.  I needed to write about missing my older brother.  I want to write about it; but, sometimes it's best to grieve in the way it comes.  


My brother, my only older brother died on August 28th, two weeks ago.  He died horrifically and my heart hurts right now.  I know I'll write more about it; but, for now I offer you this bread.  Zucchini is still prevalent in Bellingham and to bake something simple like this as an expression of love toward someone--do it.  You never know how many days you will get with the ones you love.


Paleo Zucchini Brownie Bread

Ingredients:

1 cup blanched almond butter

1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini

2 eggs, large

1/4 cup raw honey

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup cocoa

1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a standard loaf baking pan with parchment paper, ensuring it goes into each crevice of the pan.

In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine the almond butter, baking soda, salt and cinnamon till thoroughly mixed.  Add the eggs and mix, scraping down the sides.  Next, add the honey, apple cider vinegar & vanilla and mix for 30 seconds.  Add the cocoa and mix while scraping down the sides.  Next, add the zucchini and mix through out.  If adding chocolate chips, add them now.  

Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.  This will bake much more quickly than your typical loaf bread.  Allow it to cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan.  Remove it from pan with parchment paper still sticking to it's sides and allow to cool on wire rack for an additional 5-7 minutes.

Remove the parchment paper and slice into it.

 

Grain & Dairy Free Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

It's still officially summer here, which means the girls have not returned to school, and we are still enjoying the peak of seasonal bounty in the form of blueberries and peaches.  I have to say when I see others IG accounts boasting of peaches in early July my heart sings a sad song.  That is until August comes here, when it's peaches in smoothies, peaches in pies, and peach juice dribbling down my chin.  

Add to that the ever present tang and sweetness culminated in a perfect, straight from the bush blueberry.  The girls and I went to Ben's work last Friday, where there are blueberry bushes to eat from.  Needless to say, we enjoyed a few ourselves.  

It reminded me how eating fruit should be.  The taste is unadulterated and waiting out in the winter months to eat to my hearts content in the summer months is sure worth it.  

Try this simple grain free, dairy free and refined sugar free cobbler.  It's not overly sweet, and perfect for dessert to a morning treat.  

Grain & Dairy Free Peach-Blueberry Cobbler (printable recipe)

Ingredients:

Filling:

1 pint blueberries

5-6 peaches, peeled and cut into slices

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

juice from half of a lemon

2 Tb arrowroot powder

Crust:

2 cups blanched almond flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup arrowroot powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

Plus another egg for a wash

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a large bowl, combine blueberries and peaches.  Add maple syrup, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon juice and gently mix.  Sprinkle the arrowroot powder over and gently mix in.  Allow to sit for 10-30 minutes.

In another large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and arrowroot powder till it is thoroughly disbursed.  Add the coconut sugar and mix throughout.  With a fork or pastry blender, combine the coconut oil into the dry ingredients.  Once the coconut oil is broken down into small pea size pieces, add the beaten up egg to the crust.  Combine until the dough is wet.  

In a 9x9 pan add the filling.  Set it aside.

With your hands, form the dough into patties or discs.  They should measure roughly 1/8 to 1/4 inch in height.  You should be able to make six discs of dough.  Place each disc on top of the filling so as to cover the entire surface. Try your best to not overlap them.

Take your last egg and lightly beat it.  With a pastry brush, brush the tops of the dough.  Put into the oven to bake for 30 minutes.  

Allow it to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  

***The maple syrup in the filling is adjustable.  For less sweet, only use 1/4 cup.  For more sweet, use 1/2 cup.  

***This pairs lovely with full fat plain yogurt as well.   

My Favorite Summer Drink: A Thirsty Crow

On our way down to Arizona we were able to spend the night at my oldest & most dearest of friends, Veronica's (and Alan) house. We have that friendship where you immediately pick up where you left off, and there's no need to explain family history. It's refreshing!

its so comfortable, I made myself right at home by going through cupboards to find baking supplies to honor our "First Day of Summer" tradition (eating strawberry shortcakes for breakfast). There is no fear of stepping on each other's feet. My gift is in cooking the food, while Veronica's has always been in opening up her space for it (and eating what I make).  

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That evening after the girls went to bed, Alan made us a drink. Veronica had posted a picture of it promising to make me one when I visit. Being the cheerful receiver as much as a giver that I am, I obliged. 

Sidenote: it's true that being a cheerful receiver is as much a gift of hospitality as giving.

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Hot dog! I'm glad I did, because this has become my signature summer drink. A Thirsty Crow, which has the unmistakeable boozy silhouette, while filling out with enough sweetness to not make those of us non-hard liquor people to gag.

It boasts of spicy ginger beer, sour fresh lemon juice & the sweet scent of Maraschino liqueur.  To tie it together, the Rye gives it that slight burn in your throat to let you know this is not a "frilly" drink. Add a dash of bitters at the end, and sprig of mint & one maraschino cherry for garnish give it a classy edge. 

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Thirsty Crow (Printable Recipe)

Ingredients: 

1 ounce fresh lemon juice

1 ounce Jim Beam Rye

1 ounce Maraschino liqueur

4 ounces Ginger Beer (not alcoholic ginger beer. I like Reed's or Fenimans) 

dash of aromatic bitters

sprig of mint 

1 maraschino cherry

Directions:  

 In a pint sized jar or cup add one sprig of mint and about 1 cup of ice. Add the lemon juice, rye, maraschino liqueur and finer beer. Mix with a spoon. 

Add maraschnto cherry and dash of bitters. Serve immediately. Makes 1.