Friday, July 25, 2014

Banana Zucchini Bread {Refined Sugar Free}

I've gone off refined sugar this summer, but was dying to do something with the abundance of summer squashes that have appeared in my garden this week. A little tinkering in the kitchen with a nice ripe banana and some natural sweeteners produced a batch of muffins that knocked my socks WAY off—it's light, moist, sweet, and utterly delicious. And guess what? It's healthy, too! It's tweaked from my favorite-ever zucchini bread recipe that I got from my Aunt Jeannie several years ago. It's also fairly flexible depending on what you have on hand, although Mahon and I both agreed that the (real) maple syrup in it is the true secret ingredient that makes it lick-the-plate good. In the future, I'd like to try subbing some applesauce for some of the sweetener or oil, but I didn't have any today.

3 eggs
1 cup oil
1 T vanilla
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup real maple syrup (it doesn't have to be real, but if it's not, then it won't be free of white sugar...)
2 packed cups of zucchini
1 very ripe banana, thoroughly mashed
2 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1 t salt

Preheat oven to 350, and grease either two dozen muffin cups or 2 loaf pans (or one muffin pan and one loaf pan, or—you get it!). In a large bowl, stir eggs, oil, vanilla, honey, and syrup until well blended. Add zucchini and banana and combine. Gently add the flour so that it sits on top of the liquid ingredients and then sift cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the flour before incorporating the dry ingredients into the wet ones. (See what I did there? You managed the whole wet-and-dry-ingredients thing in ONE BOWL!) Fold into prepared pans and bake for 19 minutes (muffins) or 40 minutes (loaves). Enjoy!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

3 cups flour (wheat works great!)
3 T baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt 
8 T fat (butter, coconut oil, or a combination of the two)
1-1 1/2 cups plain kefir (my preference), buttermilk, soured milk, or 3/4 cup plain yogurt and 1/4-1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut in fat with pastry blender until dough is crumbly, with varying sizes of fat chunks (ie don't pulverize it - it only takes a little bit of cutting!). Add one cup of your liquid and use a fork to stir gently, just until liquid is incorporated and dough is moistened. If there's still a lot of dry flour at the bottom of the bowl, slowly add more liquid while stirring, until you have just enough to moisten it all. (It shouldn't be too sticky to touch.) How much liquid you use will depend on the weather, your altitude, whether there are fairies in your kitchen, the alignment of Jupiter, etc.

Take a spoon (or your hands) and drop rounded balls close together on your ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 14-15 minutes at 450.