Chocolate Zucchini Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting 

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pitted and chopped dates
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup organic light spelt flour, or buckwheat for gluten free option.
  • 1/3 cup raw cocao powder
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 cup finely shredded zucchini, by hand or with a food processor 
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces or pumpkin seeds for a nut free version

FROSTING:

  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Place the dates in a small bowl and pour the hot water over them. Allow to soak until the dates are soft, about 1/2 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish by lining it with parchment paper or oiling lightly.
  3. Put the dates and the soaking water in the blender with the applesauce and vanilla. Blend at high speed until completely smooth. Set aside.
  4. Combine the flour, cacao, coconut sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the zucchini and walnuts, if using. Add the blended date mixture and stir until all the flour is moistened. The batter will be thick. Spoon it into the prepared pan and smooth over the top.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until brownies are no longer liquid in the middle and edges are firm but not drying out. Allow to cool.
  6. You can eat them plain or add the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Frosting:
  7. Combine the chocolate chips, non-dairy milk, and nut butter in a double boiler, cook and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Frost brownies immediately. Allow to stand about 20 minutes to firm up. Enjoy!

Inspired by Fat Free Vegan.com

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Fruit & Millet Muffins {spelt flour, coconut oil, maple syrup}

 

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These are my absolute favourite muffin recipe. They are moist, yet crunchy thanks to the millet. It really is an easy way to include millet into our diet… it’s not just for the birds! Millet is a traditional gluten free grain that is high in minerals, especially magnesium, copper and manganese. It is also the most alkalising grain, unlike most grains which have an acidic effect on the body.

I prepare the muffins with my go-to flour, spelt. Spelt is one of the oldest cultivated crops in human history! It is not gluten free, however it contains less gluten, making it easier to digest. Spelt is also higher in protein, compared to conventional wheat, and filled with B vitamins and minerals. I love how you can take any recipe, and replace the flour with the same amount of spelt, without needing to add any binding agents, and it turns out perfect every time!

You can make this recipe with any fruit. My favourites are raspberry, apple, blueberry, peach and my new addition, strawberry. Thank you to Jae Steele’s cookbook, Ripe from Around Here, for this amazing recipe.

Fruit & Millet Muffins

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2 cups Spelt Flour

2/3 cup Millet

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

½ tsp Sea Salt
1 cup Non-Dairy Milk, such as almond or coconut

½ cup Apple Sauce, preferably homemade or unsweetened

½ cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil

1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

1 ½ cups fruit, fresh or frozen (but not thawed) – strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, apple, peach

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tray with liners or a light coating of oil and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, millet, baking powder and soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the milk, applesauce, sweetener, oil and vanilla. Mix together just until all the flour has been absorbed. Gently fold in the berries. Pour evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are domed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins- keeps in an airtight container for 3 days or in the fridge for up to a week.

Herb Garden Biscuits with Spelt flour {vegan, light and fluffy!}

In 2013, I had the opportunity to design and publish Shanti Retreat’s first cookbook. I selected all the recipes, wrote the forward, came up with the design and assisted in all steps of production until it came to realization.

Shanti at Home is a collection of the retreat’s favourite recipes from the past and present. The recipes are vegetarian and focus on cooking at home with whole foods which are local and seasonal. The photography is absolutely incredible, as is the page design, thanks to Anne and Alex who volunteered their time and skills.

I love how light and fluffy this biscuit is,  even though it is made with spelt. The recipe contains high quality coconut oil, is dairy free and sweetened with maple syrup. You can also prepare this with buckwheat flour but they do tend to fall apart more easily than when prepared with spelt. Spelt is an ancient grain which is easier to digest compared to wheat, and also contains a higher amount of protein.

What I love is how versatile they are too. I like to leave out the herbs and add a bit more maple syrup and orange zest for a breakfast biscuit or cake for strawberry shortcake with coconut whipped cream!
Herb Garden Biscuits
  • 2 cups light spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup fresh herbs or ½ cup dry (We like to use parsley, rosemary, basil, oregano and sometimes use even up to 1 cup of fresh herbs)
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup of almond or soy milk
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 450 °F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the herbs and whisk again. Cut in the oil using a pastry cutter until a coarse meal is formed. In a small bowl, add the apple cider vinegar to the almond milk. Add maple syrup and then combine with dry ingredients.

The mixture will resemble a muffin batter; add more almond milk if necessary.

For the next step, we use a large trigger ice cream scoop and scoop the batter onto the parchment paper. Place in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes.
Makes 10-12 biscuits

Please visit Shanti Retreat’s homepage to order your copy of Shanti at Home.

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