Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

Last fall I did some reading about how to grow pumpkins.  I was astonished to find that many people said to simply discard of your old pumpkins in an area in which you want to grow pumpkins again.  Those pumpkins will decompose, the seeds will deposit into the soil, and then regrow the following year.  So, last fall, as our decorative pumpkins began to go soft, I simply placed them in a side bed in our yard.  Then as I processed some pie pumpkins, I scrapped out the seeds and placed those in this bed as well.  In the very early spring (early March), I covered the entire bed with a very thin layer of compost.

And voila…

IMG_3109…we now have pumpkins taking over our yard.

Some of the pumpkins are ready for picking this week, so I played around in the kitchen a bit and came up with this recipe.  I hope you enjoy it!

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Pumpkin Zucchini Bread (makes one loaf)

Mix the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl:

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon baking soda

In a separate bowl, mix together the following:

1 cup shredded zucchini

2 eggs

1/2 cup non-GMO canola oil

1 cup pureed pumpkin

splash of lemon juice

Next mix the wet ingredients into the dry.  Fold in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.  Pour into a bread pan and bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour.  Enjoy!

Cherry Crisp

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Last week my girls and I, along with my sister, ventured to my in-law’s home and spent the afternoon tangled up in branches and brambles.  It was picking’ time!  By the time the day was done, we ended up with two giant bowls of tart cherries and black raspberries.  Simply marvelous!

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The black raspberries quickly became freezer jam, with the help of my six and eight-year old sous chefs.  And the cherries, well, the cherries ended up going into an absolutely amazing cherry tart.  I don’t often like to toot my own horn, but friends, it was good.  Very good.  Let me share the recipe…

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Cherry Crisp

6 cups pitted tart cherries (This measurement was taken AFTER the cherries were pitted.)

1 cup local honey

2 T Non-GMO corn starch

Mix these ingredients in a large bowl and pour them into a 9×9 baking dish.  (I use this baking dish because then I can serve the crisp table-side and it looks as good as it tastes.)

2 cups oats

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 stick cold butter cut into cubes

Mix all these ingredients together in a large bowl (such as one of these sustainably harvested bamboo bowls) using a pastry blender.  Pour the crumbled mixture onto the cherry mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for one hour.  Allow 20 minutes to cool before serving.  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.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cream Crisp

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‘Tis the season of strawberry and rhubarb, and our kitchen is quickly becoming laden with these early summer lovelies.  This past weekend I played around a bit to come up with a variation to a traditional fruit crisp.  After some experimentation, I came up with this recipe that goes together very quickly, making it the perfect dish to bring to a summer picnic or backyard barbecue.

This crisp is not overly sweet, so it allows the flavors of the sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb to shine through.  Coupled with the rich, earthly flavors of the pecans and oats, this is a treat sure to please the masses.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cream Crisp

For the crumble:

1.  In a food processor, pulse 1/4 cup raw pecans.

2.  Add 2 cups rolled oats, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg to the food processor.  Pulse 2-3 times.

3.  Add 1 stick of cold butter (cut into bits) and 2 tablespoons raw honey to the food processor.  Pulse until a crumble forms.

4.  Set aside.

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For the filling:

1.  Combine 2 cups strawberries (diced), 3 cups rhubarb (diced), 1/3 cup honey, 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, 2 eggs (beaten), and 1 teaspoon almond extract in a large bowl.

2.  Add 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon to the fruit mixture.

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Assembling the crisp:

1.  Pour the fruit mixture into a 9X9 inch pan.

2.  Spread the crumble mixture over the top of the fruit.

3.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the top of the crumble is golden brown.

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.

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.

Homemade Granola Bars

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As I mentioned on Monday, we are prepping for a winter hiking trip, so I’ve been trying to come up with some homemade snacks to bring along.  I wouldn’t want the troops to get hungry on our fun, little adventure.

While the girls busied themselves in the playroom yesterday, crafting all kinds of Valentine goodness, I messed up the kitchen a bit and came up with this granola bar recipe.  We all sampled the granola bars last night for dinner and agreed the test was a success.  Enjoy!

In a large bowl, mix together the following ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons seeds of your choice (I used Garden of Life’s Super Seed, but you could use flax seed, chia seed, etc.)

1/3 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened dried bing cherries

3/4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries

Then, in a saucepan over medium heat,  mix together:

2/3 cup honey

1/3 apple sauce

Once the honey and applesauce mixture is combined, remove from the burner and mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Pour the honey/applesauce/vanilla mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.  Line a 13X9 baking dish with parchment paper.  Pour the mixture into the pan and pat down firmly.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan.  Cut into bars.  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.

Hearty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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I am constantly testing out recipes in my kitchen, attempting to incorporate local organic ingredients to amp up the healthiness of the goodies we love to eat, while also keeping them super yummy.  I still had some locally-grown rolled oats in my fridge from this farmer and whole wheat flour from this farming family, so I created this recipe to highlight those hearty grains and their lovely earthy, nutty flavors.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

1/2 cup granulated cane sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 baking soda

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)

4-6 oz. high quality milk chocolate chopped into chunks (I love using Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate in all my baking.)

Cream the butter, coconut oil, and both sugars using a hand blender or stand mixer.  Then blend in the eggs and the vanilla.  After all of these ingredients have been well incorporated, add the baking soda, followed by both flours.  Now, mixing by hand, add the oats and chocolate.

Scoop the dough out (about 2 tablespoon-size) and bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes, depending on whether you like chewy oatmeal cookies or crunchy ones.

*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.