What to do with that 5-pound behemoth of a zucchini that eerily resembles a lethal weapon wielded by an ogre in a Grimm’s Fairy Tale? Grate that puppy up and make zucchini bread. Lots of zucchini bread. Call it fate, kismet, destiny, luck or simply that it’s summer and everyone has at least one or two zucchini cudgels hanging about the kitchen, the recipe mentioned over at The Bear and the Blackberry for zucchini bread came just at the right moment. My tweaks were to reduce the oil by half and add unsweetened applesauce; reduce the sugar from 2 cups to a 1/2 cup (and I used maple sugar) plus stevia; add chocolate chips and change out the walnuts for pecans. This cake is absolutely addictive. It’s so good I’m looking around for an ogre who wants to unload an outsized zucchini or two.
The little beauty of a recipe above for dairy-free, no-bake cheezcake comes from Somer at Good Clean Food. Pure friggin’ genius. Never a traditional cheesecake fan, I tried this simply because it fascinated me – and I ended up loving the results. The secrets are cashews and Pomona’s Pectin. Soft and creamy with a little bit of lemony tang and then sweetness from the blueberries – you get the true cheesecake experience without a ton of sugar and scary dairy. I messed with the crust, using pecans instead of almonds and adding chia seeds and orange zest, but the only change I made to the cheez (other than coming close to complete disaster because I tried using a food processor for the whole thing rather than my Vitamix…) was to reduce the maple syrup by half and add a little bit of stevia. When you visit Good Clean Food to get the recipe (and you simply must get the recipe), note how much thinner Somer’s slices of cheezcake are. Oops.
Next, I offer up these beautiful bars inspired by breakfast #217 from Desayunos Veganos 365:
I followed Nihacc’s link to this easy recipe and played around with it a little bit, changing out some of the ingredients and adding some here and there. My take on it is below, but I encourage you to check out Nihacc’s mouthwatering breakfast blog (imagine: something different each morning!) as well as the blog she cites (The Sunny Raw Kitchen).
Date-Cherry-Ginger-Orange-Coconut Bars…with Cacao & Chia
Makes 12 or so bars
1 cup almonds
1 cup dates, roughly chopped
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1/4 cup crystallized ginger
1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
1 tbsp. cacao nibs
1 tbsp. chia seeds
Line a 9″ x 9″ pan with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a food processor, finely grind the almonds. Add the dates, cherries and ginger and process a few times just to break everything down. Add the remaining ingredients and process until everything is in small bits. If the mixture is not coming together, add a tablespoon or two of water.
Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and gently spread and pat it out until it reaches all sides and is fairly even. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours before slicing. I wrap mine in parchment paper and store in the refrigerator.
Just so I don’t neglect the beverage side of things: here’s a fruity-sweet peach and black tea drink from Compassionate & Passionate Cuisine. Since I just happened to have a boatload of fresh peaches hanging about, I couldn’t NOT make this (immediately) after reading her post.