Loading...

Paleo Zucchini Bread

I may not be the biggest green-veggie fan on the planet, but I adore cooking with zucchini. This innocuous, mild summer vegetable is a blank canvas for so many things: low-carb fritters, mock pasta, healthy chips for my salt fix,and one of my all-time favorites: Zucchini Bread!

 

I’ve recently graduated from gluten-free white flour based baking to using pretty much only almond flour and coconut flour when I bake. There are so many reasons I’ve chosen this road. I pay only mild attention to trends, deciding for myself is something works for me, feels right within my body, and ultimately reflects well on the outside. I’ve concluded there’s some definite traction with the Paleo movement. It feels good, tastes good, and yields good results where my waistline and energy levels are concerned.

 

Since this is a Paleo recipe I’ve keep the sugar-content low. Bread like this doesn’t need to be super-sweet. I prefer to keep the palate a little neutral and let the individual decide while eating a slice if they’d like more sweetness: fruit jam, honey, and maple syrup all work well with this bread. One trick I use in low-sugar (or no-sugar) baking is using generous amounts of vanilla…it just naturally softens the flavor and makes it more mellow – and calorie-free.

 

 

Knowing that sweetness is an individual preference, I understand if you deem the amount of honey called for in the recipe too scant. Keeping my overall sugar grams low is something I’m pretty ferocious about (menopause and all – such fun!) but if you want or need to increase the amount, please do. Anything up to a third of a cup shouldn’t effect the bread’s texture.

 

 

 

 

Which, by the way, is pillowy soft – zucchini does that to a baking recipe – its watery nature adds a luscious moistness to cakes, breads, and cookies. Hope you enjoy…there will be plenty of opportunities from here on out because zucchini is EVERYWHERE now!

 

 

 



One of the many options for coping with stress

Food doesn’t solve a thing…its escapism and comfort-call are but illusions. However…

 

I flipped off the news 40 minutes ago, adhered the headphones, and set out on a walk into the morning sun. There are horrific things going on in other locations on the planet, but here I am.  What do I do with the knowledge I have, thanks to 24-hour news? I feel empathy. I send prayers. I hope for better times and more empathetic actions from others in the future. And I realize amid the chaotic evil that has its own cyclonic power.  I still feel the presence of Light within and around me. It is real. I do more than acknowledge it. I call to it, play with it, nurture it.

My pace quickens involuntarily and I walk towards the sun. It soaks into me and increases that Light. I notice how good this feels and welcome it. A wave of beautiful fragrance has reached me. I look around for its source and see blossoms ahead. Delicate, powerful, and simple. I stop to inhale the sweetness, another reminder about what is true, what is here now. What I can be thankful for. While others suffer, it’s the best choice I can make. It’s true that others are going through horrible experiences; and it’s also true that I am feeling tremendous amounts of Love and Gratitude. I’m both cynical and realistic enough to know from loads of experience that I don’t always feel this way. There’s many a day when the Light within vanishes and I feel hopeless. All the more reason to embrace the Light while it’s so inexplicably abundant.  It is selfish in the most positive of ways because it’s something I will share with those around me. TheButterflyEffect. No matter how small its currents, they spread and spread.

May there be Peace On Earth.

 

 

Taking time to Be…

Best Paleo Banana Bread (to date)

I don’t know why I love this recipe so much (aside from the fact that it’s simple and healthy). Perhaps because it just plain tastes good; that and banana bread is imprinted as a positive memory from childhood. Even a day-old and room-temperature it’s fantastic. It’s one of the few breads that stands on its own merit, but we all know a slathering of peanut or cashew butter knocks it out of the park.

Unlike those antiquated recipes from the 70’s, this one is fully modern and ready to service your taste buds and your body. The former staple known as white flour has been replaced by my hero, almond flour (or meal), imbuing this recipe with Paleo flair. And since super-ripe bananas are plenty sweet, there’s no need for additional sugar. If you’re in the process of adjusting to less sugar, this may not taste sweet enough to you. Give it time, your palate will adjust. My prediction is, this will become one of your favorite sweet treats. And one your body won’t have to recover from. What a deal!

 

PS – How good is this recipe? Can you see my dog Sophia in this photo, trailing me around the house as I conduct my photo shoot? 

 

 



A Sweet Epiphany

I think Life was trying to tell me something when I had an epiphany about sugar-free maple syrup last week and then had a serendipitous encounter with one of the best maple syrup facilities in the state. The epiphany: I don’t enjoy eating sugar-free maple syrup and no longer want to do it. And I definitely find the list of ingredients unappealing.

 

Natural, Delicious, Golden-Glory

 

For years, I’ve been ignoring the voice that’s been seeking my attention, the one that lets me know she’s unhappy and wants things to be different. I know the syrup debate seems small on the surface, but it’s a microcosm of the macro:  denying myself pleasure. It’s the chess game I play daily, corralling the binge-eater inside me who doesn’t want any rules, making her sit at the table with the more rational side of me while we negotiate a plan that doesn’t feel like a diet, includes good-tasting foods, covers some nutritional bases, while also ensuring I don’t eat past the point of fullness into a food-coma (America’s No. 1 form of escapism).  Sometimes without knowing it, I can veer too far in one direction and dismiss the ‘I’m unhappy’ signals as the binge-eater wanting to be indulged. I gave it much thought with the maple syrup and realized this is not the case. I simply enjoy the aroma, flavor, and texture of real maple syrup and detest that of sugar-free. It’s my truth. And furthermore…I tend to embrace that which comes from the #earth as a beneficial friend to the body, not a foe. So I decided it was time. Time to let the real back into my life.

 

The flavor and enjoyment are incomparable.

 

This doesn’t align with many of the low-sugar philosophies out there and by no means am I getting back on the white stuff. But when I want a pancake, or a waffle, or some sweetness in my oatmeal, this is what I’m using. And when I’m baking or making homemade chocolate, I’ll be using raw honey. Both have nutritional properties. Both taste delicious. And I’m choosing to take back some pleasure and enjoy it. In moderation. Just wanted to share that. It’s my truth and I hope it helps. There’s no greater gift than being true to yourself. It’s the ultimate #kindness. Meeting adjourned.

 

 

 

The happiness that comes from allowing without judgement.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower Power! Let’s hear it for this amazing, unassuming, cruciferous vegetable that’s no longer just for steaming and stir-frying. It roasts beautifully, is brilliant in mimicking cream soups and mashed potatoes, and its latest incarnation is in the form of a low-carb, high-fiber pizza crust.

Cauliflower is the star, which means no gluten-hangover!

 

When I first heard of this trend I was skeptical. How could it possibly possess the crispness of a pizza crust, let alone taste good? The secret lies in the addition of generous amounts of shredded cheese, which, when heated properly, melds the minced cauliflower into an aromatic, delicious, and crispy crust.
Forgive me for being a wet blanket, but even when using a cauliflower crust, the pizza won’t be necessarily low-calorie. The crust is already chock full of cheese and most people count it as one of their favorite toppings. Back in my eating days, my regular phone calls to Dominos always included an ‘extra cheese’ admonition, in addition to the other salty goods such as sausage, pepperoni, olives, and meatballs.
The beauty of this cleaner, more nutritionally dense pizza crust is, you can make it as low-key or decadent an affair as you’d like. I’m a huge fan of Mediterranean vegetables so I tend to load mine with olives, olive tapenade (recipe in my first cookbook Clean Comfort), roasted peppers, caramelized onions, and lots of fresh oregano.  If you’re feeling carnivorous or vegetarian, adjust your topping list accordingly.

The balanced adult has traded olive tapenade for the binge-eater’s fluorescent-orange pepperoni discs

Like a lot of cleaned up versions of classic comfort foods, there’s some effort involved with this. Effort that I’ll gladly expend because of how much better (and infinitely more energetic) I feel after eating this. Ah, the days of lying half-awake on the couch in front of the TV after devouring an entire takeout pizza…how I don’t miss them.
Give me the sweet taste of freedom…ANYDAY!