Snack

Chocolate, Dessert, Fall, Gluten Free, Snack, Winter

HONEY FUDGE

They are four and a half and almost three. My babies are potty trained, can buckle their own car seats, and clear their plates from the table. The crib will be passed to a friend next month and I’ve been donating the toys that seem, well, baby-ish. We finally went on a family vacation last month, where we all slept in one room and it was great - no one needed to sleep in the bathroom and the equipment we had to schlep along was minor. While still not easy (is it ever?), I feel like we’ve crossed some sort of parenthood threshold where I can breathe a little easier. The exhaustion scale is tipping more towards mental than completely physical as they become more little people and less baby.

I think I’ve mentioned before that Curran (4.5) is pretty emotional. High highs and low lows. Cries easily, loudly, and feels his 4-year old feels deeply. He LOVES to eat. Is not a toucher/cuddler. Thrives off quality time. A collector of gadgets and junk. He hoards his treasures in various bags, backpacks and cases, and takes them around with him everywhere… a little seasonly obsessive, like his father and my sister. Right now we’re in a police man season, so lots of walkie talkies, badges, the jacket, etc. Cleo adores him, but mark my words Curran will be the one keeping her out of trouble in high school.

She likes to pester him and scream at the top of her lungs if he tries to give her a dose of her own medicine. She LOVES cuddles and touches and passes out “I love you’s” generously. She has a will of steel. She insists on dressing herself in the clothes I like least in her closet and no matter the question, the answer is always “pink!” She has my favorite intonations and facial expressions. She is a charmer and a little bit crazy.

Both kids have beautiful blue eyes, are tall for their ages, are quirky, and look like each other, while not a spitting image of either parent. How wild it is to get to know them - to observe what makes them tick or make their eyes light up. These things are equally magical and incredibly frustrating, all in the scope of a day. I somehow feel surprised that we’re in a new phase. So much of the past few years has been head down survival, but gradually, I feel I can stop and SEE them now, instead of just keep everyone fed and alive. Does that make any sense? Obviously I’ve always been “aware” of them, but now, more so them as the people they are becoming. Anyway. It feels really special. Parenthood is pretty wild, in so many more ways than just being tired, like everyone tells you you’ll be. I feel extremely lucky to be their mom.

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Chocolate Honey Fudge

This honey fudge was from the first week of Sprouted Kitchen Cooking Club and it was a raging success (shameless plug that I still think you should join because it’s been so neat to cook dinner along side people and share ideas). It is not often you can please all the dairy free, gluten free, egg free, honey eating vegans, and vegetarians all at once, but we’re working on it! Cheers, us.

As this may be the most favorited recipe I’ve ever written, I figured it needed to live here too.


RECIPE INGREDIENTS

2 ounces dark chocolate, well chopped
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup cocoa powder (natural or dutch) or raw cacao, plus more for dusting
pinch of sea salt

1/3 cup honey plus 1 Tbsp. 
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup crisp rice cereal

RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate along the bottom of the pan. 

In a food processor or a strong blender, combine the almonds, cocoa powder and sea salt. Pulse the mixture until it resembles coarse sand, about 10 times. You want some crunchy bits of almonds. 

In a saucepan, combine the honey and coconut oil and bring it to a gentle boil. Stir to mix. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Add the almond mixture and the rice cereal into the wet mixture and stir to combine. Any extra add-ins would go in here. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, smooth the top and put it in the fridge to cool for at least an hour. 

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Bread, Breakfast, Gluten Free, Feeding Babies, Snack, Summer

GLUTEN FREE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

gluten free zucchini muffins

Loves! I posted about this zucchini loaf/muffins I've been working on over on Instagram and you were like hungry little wolves insisting that I post the recipe asap. So, here we are, a few weeks later, which is as asap as it'll get around here. 

Because most of the cooking I do is simple assembly and layering basics rather than advanced skills and technique, the dishes I write for work *usually* turn out by the second time I test them. I can often run this success rate with baking by just tinkering with other recipes and changing the flavor profile. However, I have made about 8-10 rounds of zucchini carrot muffins, all edible, but certainly not eligible to post on the internet with my name on them. I tried to make them maple sweetened (too much moisture), all almond flour (too heavy, also wet),  I squeezed the moisture out of the veg and still, resembling a frittata more so than a muffin, and so on. I mentioned in this peanut butter oatmeal entry a couple weeks ago that my kids are all about baked goods, so I will not rest until I can pack vegetables in them!

I'm not going to say what we have here is perfect but I am happy with where they are and I need the tweaking to just be done. I have a painter friend who says sometimes she just needs to call the piece finished. Lacquer it, take a picture, and move on, even when she knows she *could* keep working on it, because she can end up ruining it instead. I listen to podcasts of entrepreneurs who suggest to put things out there; let people see them and use them and respond, instead of keeping your project quiet, hoping you get closer to perfect. So, if you do make these, tell me what you did or what you would change. I love chatting about food in this space with ya'll, so if you have tips, share them with others in the comments.  

gluten free zucchini muffins - shredded zucchini

GLUTEN FREE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

Makes 10

I have used super fine brown rice flour in a baking before and many of you noted that it is a bit tricky to stock. I buy it here, but there are alternatives. If you do not need these gluten free, simply use unbleached all purpose flour in its place. I would still suggest using the almond flour or meal in combination, as it keeps the muffins more tender. These are on the low end of the sweet scale, if you want them more of a treat, add a few more tablespoons of sugar. 

The timing is written for 10 muffins, and I find their delicate nature is best in that format. You can bake the batter in a greased loaf for closer to 45 minutes, sticking a toothpick in the center to make sure it isn't too wet.
This muffin tin is my favorite forever and ever.

Ingredients

2 eggs
1/3 cup avocado or coconut oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup superfine rice flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 cup grated zucchini, about 1 medium/large
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chunks

turbinado sugar, to finish, optional

Instructions

Start by grating the zucchini (I do a blend of small holes and large holes on a box grater because I can't decide). Preheat the oven to 360' and grease a muffin tin. 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, vanilla, vinegar and buttermilk or yogurt, until well combined. Add the almond flour, rice flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon, sugar and stir until combined. Add the zucchini and chocolate and fold it in.

Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full (they don't rise much) and sprinkle turbinado sugar on top, if using. Bake on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes, or until golden around the edge and a little tap on the center bounces back at you. 

Remove to cool completely. Keep covered at room temperature for 2 days, or in the fridge any longer than that.

A split and toasted muffin is the best muffin, but straight out of the hand is delicious too. 

gluten free zucchini muffin
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Dessert, Gluten Free, Chocolate, Snack, Feeding Babies

DATE + SEED BUTTER COOKIES

Date & Seed Butter Cookies . Mixer

I'll try to do another lunchbox post in a few weeks, as I get ready to send both off to preschool (tear! but also yay!). These would be a perfect addition, but I suppose they are a nice summer treat as well, while we're enjoying the last couple weeks of it. I personally can't wait to get back to a regular routine, while still having the beach weekends, warm nights, watermelon and corn. September here is my very favorite. 

I saw these on Dana's site a few weeks (months?) ago and haven't stopped thinking of them. We make nearly the exact ones, without the oats, and I figured it may be nice to have these in the repetoire here for all the nut-free people either by way of school rules or allergies. I generally prefer peanut butter to sunflower seed butter, but 'tis the season of lunchbox prep. 

Date & Seed Butter Cookies . Rolling
Date & Seed Butter Cookies . Dipped in Chocolate

DATE + SEED BUTTER COOKIES

Makes about 20-24 cookies

Recipe barely adapted from these and  Minimalist Baker

I make these pretty small so I can pack them in a lunch box, or use them for vegetable eating negotiations without bracing for a sugar high. They should be kept in the fridge as they fall apart and the coconut oil melts at room temperature. I'll make them without the cocoa dip for packed lunches to avoid the mess.
 

Ingredients

cookies:
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup unsweetened seed butter
1 Tbsp. chia seeds, optional
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon

chocolate glaze:
3 T. coconut oil, to a liquid
1 Tbsp.. maple syrup
3 T. cocoa powder
 

Instructions

Put the dates and oats in a food processor and pulse a dozen times until well chopped and sticky. Add the seed butter, chia seeds, pinch of salt and cinnamon, and pulse a few more times. If mixture looks dry and crackly, add a splash of water or coconut oil, and pulse again until combined.

Line a plate with parchment paper. Roll the mixture into small, tablespoon-ish, sized balls. Press the centers down with the tins of a fork, cross hatched if you wish. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.

 In a small bowl, stir together the coconut oil, maple and cocoa powder. Dip the cold cookies, halfway, into the cocoa mix. Replace them back on the plate and refrigerate again to chill. Keep them stored in the fridge until ready to eat. 

Date & Seed Butter Cookies . Sprouted Kitchen
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