Tag Archives: zucchini

Raw Zucchini Noodles and a Thai-Inspired Chicken Curry

Do you know what this is?

It’s zucchini noodles!

What are zucchini noodles? Well, they’re not really noodles, but rather, they are very thin strips of raw zucchini. I have a spiral slicer, and thought I’d put it to use making noodles. I wanted something grain-free to eat with a chicken curry, and this was just the thing.

The spiral slicer does make this super-easy, but if you don’t have one, you can use a vegetable peeler to make wide, flat noodles. Just peel the zucchini lengthwise into long strips, rotating as you go, until you get to the seeds. If you want, you can saute the noodles really briefly (like for a minute, tops), but I even enjoy them totally raw. They make the perfect base for any saucy dish. While I enjoy spaghetti squash as well, zucchini is a lovely change. (and since zucchini is in season, why not?)

So how about that curry?

This is definitely an easy weeknight curry. I didn’t make the curry paste from scratch. (shocker, I know) I used Thai Kitchen red curry paste. This made the whole dish come together much more quickly. While it’s not a traditional Thai curry (I haven’t seen many Thai curries with red cabbage and yellow squash…I just threw them in there because I had a ton of vegetables in the house that needed to be eaten, and it sounded tasty to me.), the flavors still worked well together. It was warm, slightly spicy, and comforting – all great attributes in a curry. (Aren’t saucy curries like, the ultimate comfort food? They are to me – and it doesn’t matter if it’s an Indian curry, a Thai curry, a Jamaican curry, or a totally-new-invention curry. They all make my belly happy.) And those zucchini noodles? They kept it from feeling heavy. In the summer, that’s a definite plus.

Thai-Inspired Chicken Curry

2 T coconut oil, divided

1 T Thai Kitchen red curry paste

1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

1 c coconut milk

1 5-inch piece lemongrass, smashed with side of knife (you can find this at Whole Foods or an Asian grocery, or omit)

3 Kaffir lime leaves (you can find this at Whole Foods or an Asian grocery, or sub a bit of lime zest)

1 medium yellow squash, sliced

1 ½ c sliced red cabbage

1 tomato, chopped

2-3 T cilantro, chopped

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil. Swirl to heat, and add curry paste. Stir the paste around for a few seconds to get it sizzling. Season the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper, and add to the skillet. Stir until the paste is evenly coating the chicken, and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add the coconut milk, lemongrass, and Kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened well and flavors have melded. Adjust seasoning to taste.

While the curry is simmering, heat another skillet to medium heat. Add the remaining coconut oil and swirl. Add the squash and cabbage and saute, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the squash is lightly browned and the cabbage is starting to wilt. Add the tomatoes and stir for a moment. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the vegetables to the curry and stir. Serve on top of zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or steamed rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serves 3-4.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Vegetables

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

A few weeks ago, my husband surprised me. Little did I know he’d been tucking away money, but he sat me down, whipped out some cash, and told me that it was for a new VitaMix. I nearly cried, I was so excited. I ordered it right away, and it arrived at my doorstep a few days later.

Of course, the first things I made with it were my morning smoothies. No real recipe there – often I toss a fruit or two, some spinach, some protein powder, and give it a whirl. But now, the smoothies are creamy. No more chewing bits of spinach! This Blueberry Spinach Mint Smoothie is even more of a delight in my new blender. Lately, I’ve been throwing fresh, ripe peaches in the blender and making creamy peachy concoctions. Delish.

But the VitaMix can do so much more than just make smoothies. You can actually “cook” soup in the blender – just blend on high speed for a few minutes, and I promise you, your soup will come out creamy, smooth, and HOT! It’s amazing. But it can also blend batters for baked goods. My first attempt? A chocolate zucchini muffin – without the addition of oils.

I wanted a little treat for breakfasts that wouldn’t be too rich, too sweet, or too indulgent. This muffin definitely delivers. You’d never know there was zucchini in the batter, as the VitaMix takes care of all of those little pieces. The muffin is denser than some, but I found it really enjoyable. Just the right amount of texture for a good, hearty muffin.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

1/4 c brown rice flour (30 grams)

1/4 c potato starch (35 grams)

1/2 c sorghum flour (60 grams)

1 t baking soda

1/2 t baking powder

2 T cocoa powder (12 grams)

1/4 t guar gum

1/4 t salt

1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t allspice

1/4 c egg whites

1 t vanilla extract

2/3 c coconut palm sugar (100 grams)

2 c coarsely chopped zucchini (255 grams)

1/2 c chopped pecans

1/2 c raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with papers.

Combine brown rice flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, guar gum, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a large bowl. Whisk until completely blended.

Place egg whites, vanilla, coconut palm sugar, and zucchini into blender and secure lid. Select Variable 1, then turn machine on and quickly increase speed. Blend for 15 seconds or until everything looks uniform. Stop blender and add dry ingredients. Secure lid and continue to blend for 20 seconds or until everything is uniform. If necessary, use tamper to press any ingredients into the blades.

Stop machine and pour mixture into large bowl. Mix in nuts and raisins by hand. Spoon into muffin papers 2/3 of the way full. Bake 16-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 1 dozen.

This post is linked to Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free, hosted at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.

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Filed under breakfast, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Quick and Easy, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Menu Plan June 27-July 1, plus a Summer Squash Chicken Frittata

Where have the menu plans gone? You might be asking. They haven’t been posted on my blog for a few weeks now. Well, long story short, I was on vacation for 2 weeks. While I had vague ideas of what I planned on cooking, I was in the midst of testing so many recipes for my upcoming book, and our schedule was so lax, that I didn’t have an actual “plan.” (In fact, there were evenings where, after hours of cooking and testing recipes, my husband asked what was for dinner, and my only plan was something like “There are brownies, a cake, crackers, bread, some tomato jam, and I’m working on a meatloaf. Would you like any of that?”  I had tons of food around, but often, there wasn’t a cohesive meal in sight.) Last week, I was still in post-vacation recovery mode, and a lot of the meals were last-minute compilations of what we needed to use up. Finally, this week, we’re back into the swing of things.

One of the recipes I was testing during my time off was a recipe I debuted last year, albeit in a slightly different form, as an appetizer for a crowd of guests (gluten and dairy eaters) that were visiting. Originally it was called an “appetizer square”, and was made with zucchini and crumbled pork sausage, rather than summer squash and chicken. It obviously went over well, as the pieces were gobbled down fairly quickly. When I came across it again, I remembered the abundance of squash in the refrigerator, and decided to make a different version. It turned out to be even better than the first, in my opinion.

What’s lovely about a recipe like this is that it’s versatile. Zucchini or summer squash can be used – and this time of year, most of us have more of both of these veggies than we’d like, so it’s a great way to use it up! Any leftover cooked meat can be used – or even beana (I could imagine black beans tasting scrumptious here!). Spice it how you’d like. Serve it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as an appetizer. The sky is the limit here.

Summer Squash Chicken Frittata (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

½ c olive oil, divided

½ c diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 t minced fresh sage

½ lb diced cooked chicken

½ t ground cumin

1 t herbs de Provence

1 t chile powder

4 whole eggs

½ c almond flour

¼ c coconut flour

1 T baking powder

3 c grated summer squash or zucchini

½ c Daiya cheese (or other non-dairy cheese)

1 T nutritional yeast flakes

½ t salt

¼ t ground black pepper

Heat a skillet to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add onions to skillet and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, sage, and chicken and sauté for another minute. Remove and allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Grease a 13X9 baking dish and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until blended, and add the rest of the oil and whisk. Add in the flours, baking powder, onion-garlic-chicken mix, grated squash and remaining ingredients. Spread into prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes and cut into squares. Makes 16 appetizer servings.

And now, for the menu for this week!

Monday

Breakfast: Healthy chocolate zucchini muffin, scrambled egg whites with spinach and tomato

Lunch: Roasted turkey breast, leftover veggies from Sunday dinner (grilled asparagus, green beans)

Dinner: Chicken with mole sauce, steamed brown rice, steamed broccoli

Tuesday

Breakfast: Smoothie with strawberries, spinach, protein powder, almond milk and chia seeds, scrambled egg whites with Daiya cheese

Lunch: Roasted turkey breast with baby carrots and steamed spinach, unless there are leftovers from dinner

Dinner: Garden salad, Meatballs

Wednesday

Breakfast: Healthy chocolate zucchini muffin, scrambled egg whites with spinach and tomatoes

Lunch: Garden salad with roasted turkey breast or tuna

Dinner: Brined pork chops, roasted sweet potatoes, steamed cauliflower and spinach

Thursday

Breakfast: Smoothie with acai berry, protein powder, banana, spinach, and chia seeds, scrambled egg whites

Lunch: Tuna, shredded carrots, and spinach in a brown rice tortilla wrap

Dinner: Grilled salmon, okra and tomatoes, grilled potatoes

Friday

Breakfast: Healthy chocolate zucchini muffin, scrambled egg whites with spinach and tomatoes

Lunch: Creamy tomato tofu soup, gluten-free crackers

Dinner: Fried brown rice with shrimp, green beans

Snacks this week will include fresh peaches, black bean dip on brown rice cakes, and apples with peanut or almond butter. I also have Tanka bars on hand if I need a bit of protein.

Want more great menu ideas? Check out Celiacs In The House and the Gluten-Free Menu Swap!

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

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Filed under Appetizers, breakfast, Budget-Friendly, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Eggs, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Meal Plans, Quick and Easy, Vegetables

Zucchini and Sun-Dried Tomato Casserole and Meal Plan May 30-June 3

Hope those of you here in the United States enjoyed a wonderful long weekend. I know we did…but it goes by so fast!

Here is another version of the squash casserole I made the other day. I can’t decide, honestly, whether I like this one better than the previous one – but they were both satisfying and delicious. This one had a lovely combination of sweetness from the sun-dried tomatoes and freshness from the herbs. It took some considerable self-control not to eat the entire casserole in one sitting. I even enjoyed some of the leftovers for breakfast. (Of course, I’m a big fan of just about any tasty leftovers for breakfast!)

This week’s meal plan is somewhat short, and not quite as organized as usual. We’re eating a lot of what’s already on hand – we have some meat in the freezer, a lot of swiss chard that I pulled from the garden today, and the pantry holds quite a few goodies. In addition, we have activities that aren’t allowing for much in the way of dinner preparation time. So while I’ve written down a few things, it’s mostly a chance for me to wing it a bit.

Monday:

Breakfast: Teff and Millet Pancakes (I thought they were pretty tasty, but the family didn’t agree. Still trying to come up with a whole grain pancake recipe that everyone else likes!), fruit smoothies

Dinner: Shepherd’s Pie (made with slow-cooked shredded lamb shoulder), Sauteed Swiss Chard (without onion, but with a bit of carrot and celery)

Also making hard-boiled eggs and beef jerky for the coming week

Tuesday:

Breakfast: leftover pancakes with nut butter, 1/2 banana, and maple syrup

Lunch: leftover shepherd’s pie, swiss chard

Dinner: grilled chicken on salad

Wednesday:

Breakfast: gluten-free cornflakes with almond milk, raspberries, hard-boiled egg

Lunch: grilled chicken with salad

Dinner: Quinoa pizza with spinach or swiss chard

Thursday:

Breakfast: green smoothie with spinach, pineapple, and mint

Lunch: leftover pizza

Dinner: Lettuce wraps (made with turkey, and omitting oyster sauce, using gluten-free soy sauce)

Friday:

Breakfast: gluten-free cornflakes with almond milk, banana, hard-boiled egg

Lunch: leftovers or egg or tuna salad sandwich with gluten-free bread, baby carrots, celery sticks

Dinner: the husband might be in charge of this one for the kids, as I have a soccer game during dinner time

Snacks include baby carrots, oranges, Tanka bars, and brown rice cakes

 

Alright, I’ve kept you long enough. Here’s the zucchini and sun-dried tomato casserole!

Zucchini and Sun-Dried Tomato Casserole

2 T olive oil

4 c sliced zucchini

1 t chopped fresh sage

1 T chopped fresh parsley

½ t chopped fresh thyme leaves

½ c soaked and chopped sun-dried tomatoes

½ t smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

1 T ghee or olive oil

¼ c almond flour

½ c cheddar cheese alternative (I used Daiya)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a casserole dish and set aside.

Heat a skillet to medium heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat. Saute zucchini for about 8-10 minutes, or until softened. Add herbs and sun-dried tomatoes and continue to sauté for another minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Using a paper towel, squeeze the excess juice from the vegetables (otherwise, you’ll end up with a wetter casserole than you desire) Transfer the vegetables to the casserole dish. Top with Daiya cheese.

Melt the ghee in a small microwaveable bowl for 30-45 seconds. Combine ghee and almond flour along with a pinch of salt in a bowl. Blend together with a spoon until crumbly. Spread over the Daiya evenly.

Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.

This meal plan post is linked to Gluten-Free Menu Swap over at Celiacs In The House.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Meal Plans, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger: Celiacs in the House

I don’t know why I’ve missed the “Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger” events for the past few months. I’m regretting that I haven’t participated. It’s fun, and it’s an excellent opportunity to try out gluten-free recipes from my gluten-free blogger friends that I have been meaning to make for what seems like forever. I think somehow, it’s just slipped from my mind for a while. This month, I decided that I’d change all that.

Sea at Book of Yum was the original creator of this event. It continues to be a wonderful opportunity for those of us that blog gluten-free. Shirley at Gluten-Free Easily is hosting the Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger event this month, and she will have a roundup of all of the recipes in early September. Be sure to check it out!

I adopted a new-to-me blog this month – Celiacs in the House. Wendy, the author, writes about everything gluten-free, from new packaged goods to recipes to everything in between. She and her two teens have celiac disease, and so they follow a gluten-free diet. Wendy recently took a new look at her eating and lifestyle habits and blogged about a journey she took to become healthier as she approached the big 5-0. (Read more about her journey here.) I’ve only recently begun reading Wendy’s blog, but I’m hooked – Celiacs in the House is a delight to read.

As I was reading through numerous posts, I came across one recipe that stood out to me – a chickpea, zucchini and quinoa salad recipe. It’d been a while since I prepared quinoa, and so I opted to try Wendy’s salad. I decided to substitute pecans for the chickpeas, as chickpeas and I just don’t get along. Otherwise, I followed the rest of the recipe exactly – even adding some shredded carrot along with the zucchini as Wendy suggested. It was a delicious salad. The dressing was sweet, but had a bit of bite from the ground chipotle chile powder. I enjoyed more than my fair share for dinner last night, and then had a generous helping for lunch today. I think I could definitely incorporate this salad into my lunches on a routine basis. Can’t wait to see what else comes out of Wendy’s kitchen.

Visit Celiacs in the House to check out the recipe for this quinoa salad, and while you’re there, be sure to browse around and get to know Wendy a bit. You might just find a few more ideas for delicious gluten-free munching!

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Filed under Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Lamb Stuffed Eight-Ball Squash or Zucchini

 

I love stuffed vegetables. I think it’s because of the whole meal-in-one-package appeal. Or maybe it’s like a surprise is hiding inside an already delicious vegetable. Or maybe the real truth is that the flavors meld and do wonderful things in the oven, and the results are greater than the sum of their parts. Whatever the reason, I felt that it was worth turning the oven on in the middle of July so I could enjoy the lovely mix of fresh flavors in this dish.

We’ve been eating a lot of lamb again lately. In May, we purchased another whole, organically raised, grass-fed lamb from Good Earth Organic Farm. This has to be the best lamb my husband and I have ever tasted. I’m sorry to say that I have not really shared a lot of recipes that I’ve made with it. That’s not on purpose, I promise. There are just days when the camera doesn’t seem to make its way to a plate of food before the food is eaten at our house – especially when lamb chops are involved. And many times, I neglect to write down the recipe as I go. Before the chops are gone, though, I will promise you that I will share my no-fail way to make perfect lamb chops. It’s simple, easy, and delicious.

Anyway, today, we’re not talking about lamb chops. We’re talking about the ground lamb I used for the eight-ball zucchini found at the farmer’s market. I love to embrace the flavor of lamb by adding fresh, bright flavors – herbs work well here. I am growing lemon thyme in my garden this year, and it pairs beautifully with lamb. If you don’t have lemon thyme, regular thyme or rosemary also work well. I went with my instinct on the rest of the seasonings, feeling that a bit of Mediterranean flair would work in my favor. I incorporated za’atar (a spice blend of sumac and sesame seeds) and a touch of cinnamon. The result was bursting with flavor, and without the addition of cheese (a popular ingredient in many stuffed vegetables), it was light – perfect for a summer meal.

If you can’t find eight-ball squash, don’t despair. Making boats out of zucchini would work well, or you could also use bell peppers, or even tomatoes. When winter squashes start appearing in the coming months, I can imagine this stuffing in an acorn squash would also be amazing (that’s when fresh rosemary would really play well). Yum. I’m hungry again just talking about this!

Lamb-Stuffed Eight-Ball Squash

4 eight-ball squash

1 T olive oil

¼ c red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tomato, chopped

½ t lemon thyme leaves

6 oz ground lamb

1/2 t za’atar

½ t ground cumin

1/8 t cinnamon

Pinch crushed red pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

1 c cooked brown rice

½ t lemon zest

1 T lemon juice

1 T parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the tops off of the squash and with a paring knife and/or a melon baller, scoop out the insides of the squash, leaving about ½ inch of flesh in tact. Chop the insides and set aside. Place the squash on a microwave safe dish and microwave for 4 minutes. Remove and place squash in a baking pan (I used an 8X8 inch glass baking dish). Season the insides with salt. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 1 minute. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the tomato and chopped squash “insides” and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until tomatoes start to break down. Remove and set aside. Season the ground lamb with za’atar, ground cumin, cinnamon, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Wipe the skillet clean and add ground lamb. (if your lamb is really lean, you might need to add additional oil to the pan first.) Saute until meat is no longer pink. Add the sautéed vegetables and the rice to the pan and stir. Add lemon zest and juice. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Turn off the heat and stir in parsley.

Spoon the filling into the squash. Top with the squash “lids”, if desired. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until squash is tender.

Serves 4.

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Filed under Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Lamb, Main Dishes, Rice, Vegetables

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Zucchini Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Frosting

cupcake 003Don’t be alarmed by all of the descriptors. Chances are, if you happened upon these cupcakes, you wouldn’t know that they were without flour. Or dairy. Or even sugar, hardly. Because when you take a bite, they have a perfectly moist, tender crumb. They’re sweet, but not artificially so, as many “sugar-free” treats often are. Cinnamon and nutmeg perfectly compliment the richness of the coconut cream frosting. What’s even better? One cupcake is enough to satisfy. In the world of cakes and sweet treats, this is a rare occurence for me.

The world of gluten-free baking is still quite new to me. So far, most of my baking has relied upon packaged baking mixes (thank you, Pamela’s – your bread mix is heaven!). However, I decided it was time to think “outside the box.” After finding that I had a surplus of zucchini in my kitchen (after all, I can’t resist buying too much sometimes at the farmer’s market!), I decided to bake a quick bread. But not just any old quick bread, I wanted something a bit fancier (without much more work)! Cupcakes – I could make zucchini cupcakes. They would be spiced similarly to carrot cake, in sort of a carrot-meets-zucchini cupcake concoction. Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free posted a carrot cupcake recipe that set off the inspiration for these beauties.

In addition to being gluten-free, I wished for these cupcakes to have a speck of nutrition. Also, knowing that many celiacs and other people cannot have dairy, I wished for them to be dairy-free. I wanted to make something without using cupfuls of sugar, or nutritionless flours. I decided upon agave nectar for the sweetener, and coconut and almond flours in place of regular flour (or a gluten-free baking mix).

Agave nectar is a natural sweetener made from the juice of the agave plant. It has a texture similar to honey and is slightly sweeter than sugar, but unlike so many alternative sweeteners, it is not bitter and does not have an “off” taste. It has a low glycemic index – around 30, substantially lower than sugar, which has a glycemic index of around 65. This makes it a good choice for those watching their blood sugar levels.

Almond flour, specifically blanched almond flour, has been around a long while, but recently came to my attention through Elana at Elana’s Pantry. She bakes only with non-grain-based flours, and typically uses almond flour. In my experiments, I’ve found almond flour to be great for baking – it creates a tender crumb and has a subtly sweet flavor, is very low in carbohydrates and is high in protein. I bought mine through Honeyville, as the almond flour they sell is more finely ground than what I typically could find in stores. As for the coconut flour, I heard about it through Elana as well. It’s also high in fiber and low in carbohydrates. I bought Bob’s Red Mill, and this was easy to find at Whole Foods.

Back to the cupcakes. That’s what you were here for anyway, right? I do want to share that these were substantially sugar-free, and not entirely sugar-free, although they could be easily modified. I used sweetened dried cranberries, and crystallized ginger as mix-ins, but of course, you could leave these out or substitute with things such as unsweetened cranberries, raisins, chopped walnuts, etc.

One of the best aspects of these cupcakes? They were pretty easy to make. You could leave them unfrosted and consider them a muffin for breakfast, or top with frosting for a more decadent treat. They are delicious to share, or perhaps tasty enough that you will need to stow away a few, just for yourself!

For the cupcakes, adapted from Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free:

1/2 c light agave nectar

1/3 c virgin coconut oil

2 T water

1/2 t vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1/2 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

1/2 t ground allspice

1/4 t ground nutmeg

pinch of cloves

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 t salt

1/4 c coconut flour

1/2 c almond flour

1 1/2 c grated zucchini

1/4 c chopped crystallized ginger

1/4 c dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with baking papers.

Whisk agave, coconut oil, water, vanilla, and eggs together until mixed well. In a separate bowl, mix together baking soda, baking powder, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, salt, and flours. Mix together dry ingredients into wet, and stir until just combined. (Don’t over-mix.) Fold in zucchini, ginger, and cranberries.

Pour even amounts into baking papers. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from tin as soon as possible. (I used a fork and, sliding it down the side of the cupcake, carefully lifted each from the tin.) This will prevent the bottoms from getting soggy. Set on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before icing.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Coconut Cream frosting, adapted from Elana’s Pantry:

1 14.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk (not light)

1 c agave nectar

pinch salt

5 t cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)

1-2 T water

1 1/4 c virgin coconut oil

1 c unsweetened coconut flakes

In a medium saucepan, heat coconut milk, agave, and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring.

Combine cornstarch and water and mix until you get a slurry. Add slurry to saucepan and bring to a boil briefly, stirring. Remove from heat. Gradually blend in coconut oil. Add coconut flakes and stir.

Place saucepan in freezer for 40 minutes or more, checking and stirring occasionally, until frosting solidifies. Blend again until fluffy. Spread over cupcakes. Top cupcakes with dried cranberries, if desired.

Note: I found that this recipe makes way more frosting than is needed for these cupcakes. The frosting freezes quite well. When you want to use the frozen frosting, just allow to thaw until the frosting is able to be stirred and spread, and use on cupcakes as needed.

Refrigerate cupcakes if they will not be served within an hour or so, to preserve freshness. I’ve found they keep in the fridge for several days.

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian