zucchini bread oatmeal

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i was planning on sharing a different recipe here today, but i got a few requests for this one and i aim to please! can’t say i blame you all for wanting this one though. just imagining the smell that wafted through my apartment as i made this is making me want to make it again! but as i type this, it’s dinner time and i’m going to be an adult and have a real dinner ;)

this recipe came about by accident. i was craving a baked good pretty badly, but it was early and i had to leave my house in an hour. so that wasn’t happening. i’ve also been reading a lot about macrobiotics recently and getting really into it. and if you know anything about the energetics of food, you know that we should aim to achieve a balance between yin and yang foods- yin foods being cool, dark and moist and expansive while yang foods are warm, dry, light and contractive. i won’t get too into it, but basically any cooking method that increases the moisture content of a food is more yin and one that decreases the moisture content of a food is more yang. And since grains are a slightly yang food, yin cooking methods are much more balanced. therefore, making porridge = balanced, baking = more yang. did i lose you guys yet? sorry if i did, but all you really need to know is that in macrobiotics while baking is certainly allowed and done, cooking a porridge is much more advisable for regular consumption.

you can start calling me a hippie at any time now.

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grain-free, paleo and vegan carrot zucchini muffins!

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Hello my lovely veggies! Thank you all so much for all your votes in the Vegan Recipe Challenge! I came in 3rd and that was way more than I was hoping for!

It’s been a busy week around here- I'm so sorry to my fellow bloggers whose blogs I've been neglecting. I am trying the best I can to catch up and will read every one of your wonderful words. But I’m back and eager to share a ton of stuff with you! You can expect some delicious food coming up on the blog!

I'm constantly playing around with my diet, trying to come up with a combination that helps my tummy feel it’s best. For those of you who are new readers, I’ve suffered from very uncomfortable digestion for years and I’m on a quest to correct it! Read this post for a few things that I’ve found helpful recently.

So in playing around with my diet, one thing I’ve tried is cuting out grains. I know, crazy right? It’s something I never thought I would do and I always thought that “paleo inclined” eaters were insane! What do they do without quinoa? Fresh baked goods? No sushi? No BREAD?

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turns out you just need to find the right kind of baked goods!

Just goes to show you the lengths I’m willing to go to fix this problem. And it actually isn't too bad! .

You see, due to the make-up of grains, people with delicate digestive systems often find them aggravating. The carbohydrate content of the grain is primarily made up of starches as well as some sugars that require extra steps to digest. If you are unable to digest them properly due to a weak system, we are left with undigested fragments that are then used to feed the no-so-good bacteria in our system. This can lead to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and a crowding out of the good guys. The bad guys can also begin to produce toxic substances that can damage our intestinal lining, leading to something called leaky gut. And what leaky gut basically means is that the tight junctions between your intestinal cells become “loose” due to damage and now undigested proteins and particles can make their way into your bloodstream and cause inflammation, allergic responses and general havoc! All in all, not a pretty picture for proper digestion.

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So through cutting them out, healing can be brought to the digestive system. I by no means think this should be a permanent move, but can be extremely therapeutic for a time!

Now for the fun part- grain-free kitchen experiments! Grain-free baking was really daunting to me, but my recent success with my berry crisp and now these muffins is making me feel like all that fear was unwarranted. Now I can say I LOVE grain-free baking!

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I love that when you bake with nut meals and coconut flour, there is a ton of natural sweetness and healthy fats in there- meaning you can use less added oil and sweetener! Not only that, nut meals and coconut flour are so healthy! Lots of healthy fats and fibre! While they are not exactly low in calories, you’ll find that you are wonderfully satisfied after a small portion.

Like take these muffins. They certainly are not light bites. BUT they are filling, nutritious and delicious. And they surprisingly don’t feel heavy- they have a wonderful crumb that would satisfy the most traditional baker. I hope you all try them- I’m certain you’ll love them!

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Grain-Free Carrot and Zucchini Muffins (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-Free, Paleo, SCD)

Adapted from these at Amazing Paleo.

Ingredients (12 muffins)

Dry

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt

Wet

  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup melted raw honey
  • ¼ cup melted organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Add-ins

  • ½ cup of grated carrots
  • ¾ cup of grated zucchini (unpeeled)
  • 1/8 cup of raisins (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Grease with coconut oil or line a 12 muffin pan.

Mix all your dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix your applesauce, honey, coconut oil, vanilla and cinnamon. In a final small bowl, whisk together the 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, water, baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Now add the applesauce mixture to your dry ingredients and combine well. Now add in the coconut oil and baking soda mixture. Finally, mix in the carrot, zucchini and raisins.

Spoon the batter evenly into your muffin pan. You want to do this fast since you want to make sure the baking soda and vinegar will still be reacting to give some lift in the oven. Bake for 35min, or until tops are browned and a knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

raw “baked” fettuccine alfredo

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My dears!

Oh my goodness it seems a lifetime ago since we last spoke! So much in my life has changed since then and I barely know where to begin.

I finally made the move I’ve been talking about for the last few weeks! Yes, Saturday (promptly at 6 am I might add) I began the drive to bustling Toronto to move into my new apartment. The move went fairly smooth and I am already settled in nicely. I am in love with my room and while my kitchen is small, I was able to fit all my dishes and gadgets in (thank goodness my roommate didn’t have a ton of stuff!). I also probably have the best stocked pantry of anyone who has ever moved. I carted most of my food from my parent's to this apartment after failing to eat through anything so now I’m wonderfully prepared to start creating loads of delicious foods to share with you all. It’s actually pretty hilarious to look in our pantry. It is so packed it threatens to spill out with the slightest provocation. Luckily my clumsiness has not made an appearance and everything has stayed in tact.

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Anyway, I’m sure NONE of this is interesting to you. You’re here for the food and I don’t blame you. So I’m going to share a recipe for Raw “Baked” Fettuccine Alfredo that I concocted a few weeks back and I’ve eaten it so many times since. It’s quick and easy, versatile, seasonally appropriate and super nutritious! Let me delve into these points just a little bit further.

  1. Besides the couple hours of dehydrating, this is a snap to prepare. You can fix it up then forget about it for 2 hours while it dehydrates to perfection
  2. It takes very little culinary skill to prepare and uses all pantry staples. Well at last my pantry staples ;) And I’m sure most of you reading out there have most of these on hand.
  3. You can make this in the oven instead of a dehydrator, I’m sure, on it’s lowest setting. You can use almost any nut you feel like and can totally mix up the spices with whatever you’d like.
  4. Can easily halve this to make one portion or double it to make 4! You can even make the whole sauce recipe, set half aside and make half for dinner, then the other half the next day. Just assemble everything right before dehydrating.
  5. The sauce can be used to top ANYTHING. Cooked pasta, salads, grain dishes, veggies, anything you want!
  6. For those of you lucky enough to have a garden overflowing with zucchini, this is a great way to use up those zucchinis in a different way. With one zucchini per serving, that can add up fast, depending on how much you make. No colour of zucchini is discriminated against either.
  7. This uses zucchini noodles as the base providing lots of phytonutrients and keeping it light, uses nuts for the sauce for lots of healthy fats and cayenne pepper to kick up that metabolism!

Woo, so seven reasons you should make this! Have I lost you or are you ready to learn the recipe? I hope the latter.

For my version I used walnuts. You all know how much I love walnuts after this post. They improve cardiac function, strengthen you bones, make you smarter and pack an antioxidant punch with loads of vitamin E. Can you say glowing skin? That being said, feel free to use any nut you have in your pantry! Cashews would be dreamy.

Without further ado, I give you the recipe!

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Raw Baked Fettuccine Alfredo (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Raw)

Adapted from Rawdemption.

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 2 zucchini, sliced thin with a vegetable peeler
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped sundried tomatoes (without sulphites)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped walnuts
  • generous sprinkling of cayenne

Sauce

  • 1 cup walnuts, soaked for a few hours
  • 1/2 cup homemade almond milk (or store-bought for mostly raw)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp white miso paste
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

Toss the sliced zucchini with the salt. Place in a single layer in a colander to sweat for about 30 minutes. When done pat them dry with a clean towel and move to a bowl.

In the meantime, make your sauce. Toss all sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Combine the sauce, sundried tomatoes and zucchini in a bowl and toss to evenly coat the noodles in the sauce.

You can either dehydrate these in 2 ramekins or 1 large one. Either way- spoon the mixture into your pan of choice. Sprinkle the tops with chopped walnuts and cayenne pepper.

Dehydrate for 2 hours, until warmed through and the top looks crispy and browned, kind of like baked pasta would! (Alternatively you could bake in the oven on it's lowest setting. I would keep my eye on it though, probably doesn't need 2 hours)

Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Look at that creamy goodness!

I'm sharing this recipe on Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Allergy-free Wednesday, Keepin' it Real Thursday, Raw Foods ThursdaysGluten-free Friday, Foodie Friends Friday and Wellness Weekends!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe! Now for all you Torontonians out there, I need advice! What should I do in my new home? I tested out Mylk Uncookies yesterday and fell in love. Coffee and tea lattes with homemade almond milk accompanied by vegan, gluten-free treats- could it get any better?

Enjoy the rest of your weeks everyone!