Paleo Zucchini Brownies

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You ever wake up in the morning desiring to eat something that would be a sinful dessert, let alone breakfast? Well, that was me this morning. While I’m not Paleo, I do find I enjoy playing around with paleo recipes. I like the feeling I’m getting more nutrition out of it than the usual fare. Today I woke thinking about brownies, so I made some Paleo Zucchini Brownies. I found a recipe on DelightedMomma.com. I adapted it some, here is what I came up with…

1 cup of almond butter
1 Β½ cup of grated zucchini. (I just chopped and whizzed them through my food processor.) I used 2 small summer zucchini. Being roughly chopped came to about 1 1/2 cup. I was concerned about it not being enough once it was whizzed down to a paste so I added and extra 1/4 cup applesauce.
1/3 cup raw honey
1 egg (or flax egg)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
3 tbs cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
Β½ tsp nutmeg

*optional: 1 cup chocolate chips. I actually used roughly Β½ cup and it was sufficient. Even sprinkled some on top. I’m sure walnuts would work great too.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 9×9 pan (I actually used a loaf pan ‘cuz I discovered I loaned my 9×9 out.) I whizzed everything in a food processor (except the chocolate chips). Added the chips, mixed quick, and poured into the pan. I topped with a sprinkle of chocolate chips. Bake for 35-45 minutes.

And here is the chocolatey goodness! You can’t even tell there is zucchini in it, in texture, appearance or flavor. Yay! Came out velvety fudgy. I think if I did it in the 9×9 it would have the more chewier texture I prefer.

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It sunk in the middle because I tried taking it out too early. πŸ˜› Toothpick test doesn’t work for this.

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Kid approved!

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Just had to add this in again. Was totally scrumptiously divine with some homemade coconut butter drizzled on top!

How do you like your brownies?

Almond Butter!!

I woke this morning and thought “Brownies!”. Weird though it was, my youngest was waking me up before 6 am (and that’s extremely odd considering she usually sleeps till 8) and felt I was hungry. I had some zucchini in my fridge and had heard of zucchini brownies being super yummy. So I looked up a recipe. Wait, how come I am writing about waking up thinking of delicious zucchini brownies when this is supposed to be about almond butter?! Well, the recipe I found called for a cup of almond butter. And I had maybe a tablespoon worth left. So… I had to make some almond butter. There really was no way around it.

When someone finds out I make my own almond butter, my most common response is “Wow, how do you do it?”. Well, it is easier than you think.

All you need is a food processor, some almonds, and a spoon. And the whole process only takes about 15 minutes.

How much almonds you ask? Well, this morning I did about 1.25 pounds, which proved to be a bit much for my food processor. (Definitely took longer than 15 minutes.) So, I reckon somewhere around 12 oz would work great. (I don’t usually measure. Haha.)

So, dump your almonds in the food processor and whiz it up. You’ll find after a while the ground almonds start climbing up the sides. Just pop off the lid and scrape it down.

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After a while it will start clumping together instead of being dry dust. Yay! A while longer you may find it rolls up into a ball and just rolls in circles. This is actually good. Not much longer now!

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And voila! Once it goes smooth you are done! Makes a fabulous substitute for peanut butter in snacks. My favorite way to eat it is with sliced apples or with a banana. Maybe just on a spoon. πŸ™‚

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You can add flavors to your almond butter if desired. You could add cinnamon, honey, cocoa… Have fun! My girls greatly enjoyed some I made with honey and cocoa, though it made the texture a bit firmer. Makes a great add in to smoothies. πŸ™‚

Now, you can make lots of nut butters using this same method! Peanut butter is super easy (my girls made some the other day! Of course, I put the machine together and all they did was push the button and watch). It seriously takes about 3 minutes. I haven’t done cashew butter but I imagine it would be super easy like peanut butter.

So, I made the brownies. Currently baking in the oven.

What’s your favorite way to eat nut butter?

Apple Swan

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So I thought for my first post I would do something simple. This apple swan is one of my daughter’s favorite snacks and requests it often. πŸ™‚ I first learned how to do it during spring break of my culinary class last year because I felt like my plate presentations needed a little more flair. So I watched a bunch of videos regarding fruit carving. This was one of my favorites and proves simple enough to do. Gets easier with practice, I promise!

So what you will need:

An apple
A cutting board
A sharp pairing knife

Simple enough? πŸ˜€

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Make two slices off one side… the skin piece can be eaten, the other slice will be formed into the head.

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The piece on the right is often grabbed by a little hand to be eaten. πŸ™‚ The piece on the left is the head.

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Next we start forming the wings. Try not to cut into the core!

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Make as many wing pieces as you want. I usually do 3. Now that the wings are formed… now comes the trickiest part. Notching out a space for the head to go.

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So, I start by making two vertical slices, then form a wedge by cutting horizontally at the top and bottom of the vertical slices. What makes it a little tricky is getting it so the head will fit. I will often just shave off a piece from the base of the neck, or make the notch in the apple bigger as needed.

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So, here is the swan, with the soon-to-be-eaten extra pieces. They usually don’t last this long into the process. πŸ˜‰ You can see the little piece I shaved off the base of the neck.

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Here is the finished bird with a little homemade almond butter. Yum!

Hope you like it! Have fun!

What was your favorite childhood snack? Let me know in the comments!