I love Farmer’s Market! In my area I can get tomatoes, zucchini, and basil there (which I did, and used for this recipe). I’ve also seen garlic, bell peppers, and probably parsley, so you (or me, but probably you) could do some tweaking and use 100% locally grown super fresh Farmer’s Market finds.
In my quest for a sugar-free zucchini muffin, I started thinking about getting away from sweet altogether. It doesn’t even have to be breakfast-y. In my search results for “savory zucchini bread,” one stood out–Namely Marly!
She is local to me and vegan. So of course I had to click on it and see if her recipe looked good.
It had no sugar, only a small amount of oil, and was already vegan! It did call for all-purpose flour rather than a whole grain. But I decided to give it a shot. Continue reading
Vegan, sugar-free, oil-free, dairy-free, egg-free!
Banana and peanut butter were Elvis’s favorite toasted sandwich fillings for a reason–they just go together! The recipe is without any animal products for a cruelty-free breakfast experience. These muffins are filled with whole foods instead of sugar or oil…but do NOT taste like it. The ripe bananas provide just the right amount of sweetness for breakfast (rather than tasting like a sugary dessert). They are made with whole grains and don’t have the gummy texture most oil-free baked goods take on, thanks to the peanut butter! Continue reading
It’s August, and zucchini is quite prevalent this time of year. I can find a variety at almost every stand at my local farmer’s markets for pretty cheap. I love squashes prepared a variety of ways, but lately I have been on a quest for a good healthy breakfast muffin. I used to make these, then started replacing ingredients when I went vegan, but now I’m interested in less oil and sugar and more whole ingredients (like whole grain flour and fruit). I also always pureed the zucchini, rather than grating. I heard pureeing will change the texture, so I decided if I was going to find new recipes, I’d start with as few changes as possible (replacing oil and sugar).
I picked out some zucchinis that didn’t look too fat (and full of bitter seeds), and brought them home to my hand grater. It wasn’t really working for me. I could have gotten out my food processor and used the grating attachment, but it doesn’t work that well and I did not feel like washing all those dishes. So I got out my knife and minced. I had done so before, years ago, to make zucchini bread, and I felt like it did well. Fingers crossed, I put the minced squash into the fridge for the next morning’s baking experimentation.
Chocolate Covered Katie’s pancakes:
I went with the pinch stevia and the spelt flour options, and I added a few tablespoons extra milk; maybe even 1/4 cup. I skipped the chocolate chips on all these today–in the interest of a conservative food budget and phasing out sugar, they stay at the store these days. The pancakes were great dipped in sugar-free pancake syrup (I know it’s best to avoid the sweetener, but if I add a little on the side instead of mixing it in, it tastes so much sweeter, so I can use a lot less). The whole batch made 6 pancakes, although I could have easily made 7. I ate all of them, so no word on how they freeze.
Savory, gluten-free Zucchini Muffins:
I used flax not chia, and pureed avocado replaced half the coconut oil. I did need the almond milk. I made a half batch and due to the next batch of muffins, I turned the oven down to 350 degrees after they baked awhile (maybe 15 minutes). These were good dipped in syrup, too. They might have been a little underdone, but I had no problem eating one. Perhaps adding less almond milk would have been prudent. I froze the rest and Hunny Bunny and I ate one the next day. I think they are more at home alongside soup rather than breakfast, but they also work as a syrup-topped breakfast. The reheated one got homemade raisin syrup (raisins soaked in unsweetened almond milk, then pureed).
I initially made a half batch of these too. I used a combination of applesauce, coconut oil, and pureed avocado instead of the same amount of applesauce and coconut oil. No walnuts. I used the raw cacao nibs I had instead of roasted and a little extra milk in half of the batch. The half recipe filled 6 regular size muffin cups. I just skipped the sugar altogether and hoped it wouldn’t affect the texture or anything, as there were no instructions to cream the fat and sugar together. The muffins with added milk took longer to cook, although I forgot to time it.
I still had more zucchini and cacao nibs I wanted to use up, so I made it again to use the rest, this time pureeing the zucchini and cacao nibs (probably and extra tablespoon or two cacao) with the wet ingredients, and added raisins. I used homemade nut butter (just peanuts and almonds) rather than avocado. I made a full recipe and filled 10 regular size muffin cups. This batch was actually good enough to eat without syrup–the raisins added just enough sweetness to get by. I did not add any extra milk; just kept the batter really thick. I found they cooked very evenly this way and the texture was perfect. I couldn’t taste much chocolate, but maybe that’s due to lack of sweetener.
What’s your favorite way to bake with zucchini?
I had a collection of muffin recipes before I went vegan. They were pretty traditional, with all-purpose (AP) flour (which I’d haphazardly exchange for whole wheat as I felt like it/had it available), egg, and sometimes milk. I did like to use pumpkin puree or unsweetened applesauce, but they always included sugar and CHOCOLATE CHIPS. We lloooovvve chocolate chips!
More recently my baking efforts have been a little more sophisticated, in that I want to use a recipe that is specifically designed for the particular flour that I use. But I don’t like the idea of using AP flour–I seek out whole wheat recipes. I have found some good ones:
Dark chocolate banana bread: I’ve never been a fan of bananas. This includes smoothies that include bananas, banana flavored candies, and banana bread. But, I’m a vegan now, I eat plants, so I think I should try to get on board the banana train if I want to eat muffins. I made this quickbread as muffins, so it counts. I decided to try it because my kids like bananas and muffins, I had new star-shaped muffin molds, and chocolate (it can’t be that bad with all that chocolate, right?). It was ok. The kids liked them, but I had a hard time with the banana. The second time I made it, I had a cold and a stuffy nose, and couldn’t taste the banana. I loved them that day.
Sugar-free banana muffins: I used molasses instead of honey, vegan margarine as the butter, and some sort of egg replacer (I don’t remember–either pumpkin puree, aquafaba, or Ener-G, I’m guessing). I also left out the walnuts. These were super delicious, but unnecessarily sweet. Also, I get her point, but it irks me when people say “sugar free” when you just sub a liquid sweetener or xylitol for the sugar. Really, with overripe bananas, you can get by with very little sweetener.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread from Chocolate Covered Katie: This recipe was already vegan, so I didn’t make changes, other that omitting the additional sweetener. I went with canned pumpkin puree, sugar over xylitol, spelt flour over AP, and my milk of choice was unsweetened almond. I don’t have pumpkin pie spice; I just used a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves (in ascending order) to make up the 1/2 teaspoon called for. I had to bake it for a little longer that the recipe specified. This doesn’t have any fat like butter or oil, but it was still pretty good for me and the kids. And chocolate chips are in it, so ya know…:-D
Those chocolate chips got me thinking…they are sweet enough that whatever I throw them into doesn’t need to be so sweet. Maybe I could find an “unsweetened” muffin recipe rather than “sugar free”. More on that later!
What attributes do you look for in a muffin recipe?
Have you ever been stuck paying for a library book because you accidentally ruined it?
Have you ever turned on the wrong burner on the stove and burnt an item that had no business being on the stove in the first place?
In other news, I bought a book recently….It’s called The Everything Vegan Cookbook. It has more processed ingredients than I care for, but there are many good recipes scattered throughout–in fact, I had checked it out from the library for the second time this year before my little “incident”.
I made TVP Stuffed Peppers because I still had TVP from making chili. I’m not all that big on bell peppers, and I thought spaghetti squash might be a good sub. So, I skipped the rice and salt, threw in a little extra celery, decreased the oil to only 1 tablespoon, and used a pound of fresh mushrooms rather than measuring by cup.
I used the whole recipe to top a whole spaghetti squash (cooked separately, strands scooped out to plate). It was delicious! Catboy enjoyed it, too. I put half of it in the freezer, reheating it another day at work for lunch. Perfection! Half of the whole thing was a very generous, but fairly low-calorie, serving.
This tasted a little more like a soup than a chili, so call it Black Bean Veggie soup if you want :-D. I didn’t measure the spices, so just taste as you go (without burning yourself!). It makes 6 generous servings.
Chipotle sea salt
400 grams (measured dry) black beans
1 15-oz can corn
4 mini sweet peppers, sliced/chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1.5 tablespoons minced garlic
255 grams chopped onions (frozen)
1 cup TVP
3 beefsteak tomatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable bullion (better than broth–beef would have been best but I only have veggie)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Daiya pepper jack shreds
Soak, drain, and rinse beans. Cook, then drain the liquid and reserve for another use.
While beans are cooking, cut stems off tomatoes, chop (if your blender or food processor requires it), and puree. Simmer over medium heat with bullion and a little water.
Meanwhile, preheat coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic. Continue stirring often until they start to brown. Add spices, carrots, and peppers. Stir and cook a few minutes, then add corn (drained). Once oil is absorbed and veggie are browning, add to tomatoes. Add beans to tomato puree when they are cooked and drained. Once everything but TVP is in one pot, the chili should be more watery than desired. Rehydrate TVP with only .5 cups hot water (season with the spices) or broth, then add to chili and simmer longer.
To make caulirice, place cauliflower pieces in a food processor and process until each piece is about the size of rice, or use a shredder.
Serve with pepper jack and salsa mixed in. Pour the hot chili over raw caulirice and let the heat cook the rice slightly and the dish to cool just a bit. Yum! I made this for all 4 kids, me, and one more adult. I was the only one that added salsa, and the kids did dairy cheese instead of Daiya. Everyone said it was good, and the little ones requested seconds.
I haven’t tried freezing it yet, but I did eat it for lunch the next day. Chili/soup generally tends to freeze well, so this is a great recipe to make ahead of time in a huge batch.
Ever since going vegetarian at age 13, I’ve thought of veggie burger patties as kind of a staple or veg*ns. My parents will grill them for me next to their chicken, and you can get creative using them in other recipes. Catboy even likes them. I was suprised (and my wallet was pleased) when I discovered I could make my own!
I have found Black Bean Veggie Burgers to be quite tasty. I’ve used leek instead of onion and roasted red pepper from a jar with good results. I have also substituted frozen pre-diced onion (chopping onions is the worst!). The tahini and soy sauce really makes for a great, savory flavor. Catboy requested a repeat meal on another day. I loved BBQ sauce and kale on mine instead of bun.
When I cooked them in my cast iron pan, I noticed they needed less than 10 minutes per side, maybe even just 5. They freeze well–I cook them per the recipe, then freeze, then reheat in the microwave to serve.
What do you like on your burger?
I’ve always thought sweet potatoes were a little too sweet for a savory lunch or dinner dish, but I don’t hear about many sweet potato-based desserts. So I decided to experiment and lean on this potato’s natural sweetness–and I came up with chocolate (of course) dip! Good as a snack or dessert, or might as well eat it for breakfast!
Rinse sweet potatoes (you can roast more than one at a time, then keep in the fridge for a few days), pierce a few times, and wrap in foil (otherwise it’ll start leaking syrupy goodness onto the bottom of your oven!). Place in 350 degree oven for 45-60 minutes (maybe a little longer if you don’t preheat first), until very soft. Eat the skin (it’ll be syrupy from the potato), then mash with about a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder per medium sized potato (I like Hershey’s Special Dark).
Sometimes I add a pinch of salt or some pure vanilla extract. I bet you could add chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder for more of a dessert experience–it really doesn’t need added sweetner, though. Alternatively, just do coconut oil with the cocoa powder (I haven’t tried this yet), for a smoother, richer texture. I have enjoyed dipping raw carrots, raw zucchini, apple slices (granny smith is good). I’d like to try pretzels, bread, chips (I might need to add milk to the dip to thin it out).
I did use a single serve blender, but you could easily just mash the banana. Combine plain (not fat free or greek) yogurt*, ripe banana (brown and yellow on the outside and soft), and cinnamon. I made popsicles and poured the rest into ice cube trays. Then about 5 hours before serving, I placed ice cubes in a bowl (I didn’t cover) and placed in the fridge, then just mashed with a spoon before eating.
*This was conventional dairy yogurt because I get it for free on WIC. I don’t like bananas, yogurt, or the idea of eating animal products, so I didn’t even taste this. But all 4 kids loved it!
I am happy to get measurements next time I make this–I believe it was 1:1 banana:yogurt, plus about 2 teaspoons of cinnamon per cup.