Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Bundt CakeIt’s that time of year again where zucchinis are taking over (and carrots). But, that means it’s also time for some great baking delights.

Instead of the usual zucchini bread or the fabulous zucchini cupcakes, I decided to use my new bundt pan as the basis for a recipe challenge: Find a zucchini bundt cake recipe.

My searching finally found this great recipe – almost a decade old – from an old issue of “Cooking Light” magazine. It looked rich and decadent with its chocolate glaze. So, let’s take a look at another way to use all those bushels of zucchinis from your harvests…

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Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

It’s that time of year where zucchinis are popping up like wildflowers. It can be hard to think of what to do with them after you’ve sauteed, roasted and baked them for weeks. But, if you have a few stray zucchinis lying around – like we did from our CSA crops – I promise that this recipe is SO well worth it!

Topped with a peanut butter frosting, the rich chocolate batter is so moist from the zucchini but sweet enough with hunks of chocolate melting in your mouth. If your kids are picky eaters (or perhaps you are), they’ll easily down a few of these before you have the chance to tell them the secret ingredient.

Chocolate zucchini cupcakesI hope you enjoy!

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Recipe: Garlic Scapes and Basil Pesto

A few weeks ago, we joined a CSA, or “Community Supported Agriculture,” with Farmer Dave’s based in Dracut, Mass. Each Monday, we pick up a share of fresh crops in Beverly, just a little hop from our place in Salem, Mass. The variety of veggies is different each week and depends on field conditions. For instance, this week we had beets, spinach, yellow and green zucchinis, fennel, Swiss chard, lettuce and more.

It’s more than enough produce for the two of us. It is also great since it makes us eat more healthy. We can get creative with our meals (I made some beet cupcakes with an orange cream cheese frosting from our second week’s crops), and we support local farmers.

We especially like the last part after watching documentaries like “Food Inc.,” which details how the government regulates the U.S. food supply. Plus, with the rising cost of fuel, those increases are then transferred to all of our food purchases. So, if we can buy locally, we save a little in the end by not buying produce from across the country or that is out of season. We always know what we have is fresh and local. It’s a good feeling to know that you’re supporting a local, small business, too.

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Wholy zucchini bread

I was gifted some very large zucchinis this week. We love zucchini bread at our house but we’ve been trying to cut out the white flour and granulated sugars from our diet. So, thanks to Google I found a really great recipe from Lemonbasil for 100% Whole Wheat Maple Zucchini Bread.

The results? Fantabulous! A moist, slightly sweet and refreshing summery quick bread.

I love that you can type anything that you want into Google and find a good recipe. None of our South Beach Diet books had a recipe for whole wheat zucchini bread, so this was a welcome surprise. It came out a lot better than other recipes we have tried. I’m sure you can substitute applesauce or a mushy banana in place of the butter if you want to remove some of the extra fat and calories. We decided to switch out the coconut oil (it can be kinda pricey and hard to find) with canola oil. We have lots of maple syrup in our cupboards from Vermont, but if you can’t find the real thing in your area, try molasses instead.

If you like zucchini bread or just would like to try it now that it’s in season, this recipe is a must! Plus, it has all the benefits of whole wheat flour. So, go ahead and splurge on that second slice already!

100% Whole Wheat Maple Zucchini Bread
from Lemonbasil

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup raw coconut oil, melted (We substituted the same amount of canola oil)
1 1/4 cup real maple syrup
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
3 cups well-packed shredded zucchini
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat eggs, butter, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and syrup together. In a separate bowl, whisk the flower, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir in the dry ingredients into the wet. Fold in the zucchini.

Pour batter into two greased 9-inch loaf pans. Bake 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!