One tip I like to give my clients to help make their baking just a little healthier is to cut back on the fat and sugar content by using pureed/shredded fruits and/or vegetables. They will continue to help keep the baked good moist, just as the fat would. And that’s what you do with a zucchini loaf and boy, did it ever stay moist!! Some fruits/vegetables I like to use besides zucchini are applesauce, bananas, pureed pumpkin, pureed lentils, pureed carrots and pureed dates are also a good option. What fruits or vegetables do you like to use in your baking?
This recipe comes from @gfshoestring. They have many great recipes, so check them out! I’ll repost the recipe on my blog; check out the link in my profile.
Double Chocolate Gluten Free Zucchini Loaf
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 ½ cups (210g) All Purpose Gluten Free Flour (I used President’s Choice)
½ teaspoon xanthum gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
¼ cup (20g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups (200g) grated fresh zucchini
2 eggs (100g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
6 tablespoons (84g) neutral oil (canola, vegetable, grapeseed or peanut oil all work)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease and line a standard 9 inch x 5inch loaf pan and set aside. In a small microwave safe bowl, place the chopped chocolate and microwave in 30 second bursts at 60% power, stirring in between, until smooth. Set the chocolate aside to cool briefly.
In a large bowl, place flour, xanthum gum (if needed), cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder and granulated sugar and whisk to combine. Place chocolate chips in a separate bowl and add 1 teaspoon of the dry ingredients to the chips and toss to combine. Set the chips aside. Add 1 ½ cups (150 g) of the grated zucchini to the dry ingredients and stir to combine, breaking up any clumps of grated zucchini. In a blender or food processor (I used a hand blender), place the remaining ½ cup of grated zucchini, eggs, oil and vanilla and blend or process until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and blend once more to combine.
Create a well in the centre of the bowl of dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and mix to combine. The batter will be soft. Add all but a few of the chocolate chips and reserved dry ingredients to the batter and stir until the chips are evenly distributed throughout. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and smooth the top with a wet spatula. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly on the top and press gently to help them adhere.
Place the loaf pan in the centre of the preheated oven and bake rotating once, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean (about 50 minutes). Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes in the loaf pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve!
*Not that there's anything wrong with dairy, but sometimes it's good to have options!
Why do I need calcium you ask? It's an important mineral that helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth. The average adult needs about 1000 mg/day. By getting enough calcium it can help prevent osteoporosis. For those who don't know, osteoporosis is a condition w...here your bones become weak from the calcium loss and can break more easily.
1 - Nuts/Seeds
Did you know that nuts and seeds can provide calcium? Albeit, it may not be a lot, but at least it's still some. 1 Tablespoon of sesame seeds can provide about 22 mg and about a 1/4 cup almonds can offer 75 mg. Consider sprinkling some sesame seeds onto your stir fry or salad next time!
2 - Alternatives to milk
Soy, almond, coconut oh my! There are many non-milk "milks" out there. The majority of them are now all fortified with calcium and vitamin D. A soy "milk" beverage is still the best bet with a calcium content quite similar to cow's milk. Just watch out for the flavoured ones, as their sugar content will be much higher!
3 - Leafy Greens
Now, we've all heard before that we need to eat our greens, but did you know that they also offer up a great source of calcium? Cress (watercress) packs a punch with 188 mg per 2 cup serving! Broccoli is also up there with 112 mg per 2 cups chopped.
4 - Beans/Lentils
Pulses continue to amaze with their nutrients! Along with protein and fibre, they also provide us with an excellent source of calcium. White beans (aka cannellini beans) for about 1 cup cooked, you'll get 132 mg! Chickpeas can also provide you with a smaller dose, only 99 mg for the same 1 cup cooked.
5 - Canned Fish
If you don't by salmon with bones, next time please do as 1/2 the can will provide you with about 200 mg of calcium! You'll get even more if you have 1/2 can of sardines, about 280 mg of calcium! By adding these guys into your rotation, you definitely won't be missing out on any calcium.
So you see, there are many other food options that you can choose from instead of relying just on dairy or supplements.
What are other ways that you get your calcium?
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.