Zucchini Bread with No Refined Sugar

I have been playing around with local honey yet again (as I did in this post), and I am happy to say I have worked out a delicious, ambrosial zucchini bread made with no refined sugar.  A while back I shared with you that I discovered my grandpa’s old recipe box and, tucked beneath oh so many recipe cards, I found one card explaining how to replace refined sugar with honey in baking recipes.  Ever since this card’s discovery, I enjoy playing around with recipes to try to make them free of any type of refined sugars.  Sometimes the recipes work great, other times, not so much.  But I am happy to share with you today a recipe in which the sugar-replacement worked, and I think it’s pretty darn tasty!  I hope you enjoy.

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Zucchini Bread with No Refined Sugar

In a medium bowl, mix together:

1 3/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Set this dry mixture aside.  Then in a large bowl, whisk together:

1 1/4 cups honey (I love using this great measuring cup when baking with honey because it allows me to use honey, but not have the sticky mess that normally results when doing so.)

1/2 cup canola oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 to 1 1/2 cup(s) grated zucchini

Next, mix the dry mixture into the wet mixture.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.  (For baked goods like breads and muffins I love using the Pampered Chef Stoneware because the yummies not only bake up great, but it allows for toxin-free baking and the pieces are made in America.  For this recipe, I use this Stoneware Loaf Pan.)  Bake in a 325 degree oven for about one hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

*Honey tends to burn faster than refined sugar.  For this reason, your bread may brown on the top before the inside is fully cooked.  If you notice this happening, simply cover the top of the bread with foil and then continue to bake.  This will help to prevent further browning on the bread’s top.

Enjoy!

*A note about all my recipes: I use all organic ingredients, local when available. I use non-homogenized milk, and all of the dairy we use is from animals raised on pasture. I also use oils that are non-GMO verified. All our meat is raised locally on organic feed, and our beef is grass-fed, grass-finished. All our spices and cane sugar are fair-trade certified and purchased through a cooperative.

Honey-Sweetened Oatmeal Cookies

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Again, in an attempt to lighten our refined sugar load, I have been playing around in the kitchen a bit to find some alternatives to our favorite dessert recipes.  Replacing the granulated and brown sugars in traditional oatmeal cookies with local honey, created a wonderful cake-like cookie.  The floral taste of the honey, paired with the nuttiness of these local oats, makes this cookie one you just must try!

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Honey-Sweetened Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup butter (softened)

1 cup local honey

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

2 cups rolled oats

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and honey.  Then add the ingredients to the mixer in the order listed, being sure each ingredients is fully incorporated before adding the next.

Scoop out the dough by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes.  Enjoy!

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*A note about all my recipes:  I use all organic ingredients, local when available.  I use non-homogenized milk, and all of the dairy we use is from animals raised on pasture. I also use oils that are non-GMO verified.  All our meat is raised locally on organic feed, and our beef is grass-fed, grass-finished.  All our spices and cane sugar are fair-trade certified and purchased through a cooperative.

Forget About It

It seems as if it has been a very long time since I posted a recipe in this space, so here goes nothing.  As I’ve said a lot over the past few months, finding my grandfather’s recipe box has been a fun adventure filled with cooking experiments and taste tastes.

This particular card has been one I have played around with quite a bit over the past few weeks. And this weekend, after a lot of testing and even more tasting, I think I’ve come up with a great pumpkin bread recipe that allows you to forget about adding in all of that refined sugar and unhealthy oil.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 cups honey

1 cup coconut oil (melted)

4 eggs

2/3 cup water

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

15 ounces pumpkin puree

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  In a large bowl, beat the honey and melted coconut oil with an electric mixer.  Next add the eggs and beat until smooth.  Then add the water and beat mixture again.  Set aside.

In another large bowl, mix both flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture slowly, beating with an electric mixer.  Finally, beat in the pumpkin puree.  (I add dark chocolate chips at this point sometimes too 🙂 )  Pour into two greased loaf pans.  Bake for 55-65 minutes.

Apple Sauce

A sure fire sign that fall is upon us is when we start to find apples popping up here and there at the farmers’ markets.  Last week, we found our very favorite farming family at market with their tables loaded down with the most beautiful apples.  There were Cortlands, Jonathans, Honey Crisps, and Crimson Crisps.  Each more delicious than the next.

With all of this goodness to choose from, the girls and I decided it was high time to start making apple sauce.  So yesterday, with much fanfare and hullabaloo, we began our apple-sauce-making soiree.

The girls did all the work, while I took pictures and drunk in the sounds of 2Cellos on the IPad.  They used our very favorite apple peeler/corere/slicer to do the majority of labor, and then took turns adding some yummy local honey and spicy cinnamon to the mix.  We make our apple sauce in our slow cooker, so we just set it and forget it 🙂

A few hours later, once the aroma of the sweet and tangy apples, floral honey and spiced cinnamon fill the air, we have the perfect apple sauce for our family’s liking.  Fall is here.

Breakfast From Scratch

Apparently I am on a DIY food kick this week!  After writing about our home brewing yesterday, I started to think about the other foods we make from scratch and soon thoughts of our delicious, and incredibly easy to make, granola popped into my mind.

I have been in a constant battle recently for something easy to serve my girls in the mornings when we are a bit rushed.  Of course I would love to make my little ones bacon and eggs or pancakes each morning before school, but we all know that some mornings do not play out the way we wish they could. We all know those mornings…When we wake up late, it seems to take years to get the kids even dressed, let alone to get them to use the bathroom and brush their teeth, and then we have exactly five minutes to eat breakfast before we have to leave for school.  Enter…Homemade granola.

I make my granola in giant batches and store it in an airtight container and it lasts up to several weeks. It is much, much cheaper than buying organic granola in the store, and the best part is that I know every single ingredient in my granola!  There are no long, four-syllable words that only someone with a PhD can decipher.  Just 5 yummy ingredients:

2 lbs organic rolled oats

1 lb raw slivered almonds

12 oz unsulphured, unsweetened coconut

1 lb local honey

cinnamon to taste

And here is the incredibly easy part:  You dump all of the ingredients, except the honey, in a giant bowl.  Mix it.

Put the honey in a small saucepan over low heat and warm just enough to make the honey a bit runny.

Then pour the honey into the dry ingredients.  Mix again.

Bake in batches in a shallow baking dish at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  (I stir the granola in the baking dish about every 10 minutes to assure it bakes evenly.)

And that’s it!  I store my granola in the bin pictured above and it lasts a long time.  Let me tell you, I can get A LOT of quick breakfasts out of one of these batches.  It is truly a breakfast time saver!