Friday is upon us, my friends, which means the weekend is so close I can almost taste it! With plans for helping host a friend’s baby shower, getting my hairs cut, and soaking up the sun while it lasts, all signs point to it being a good couple days. Plus, my mom is coming to visit next week, so I have that to look forward to!
Those who’ve entered my house lately will tell you that I’ve been on a mission to hide fruits and vegetables in as many treats and baked goods as possible. Bananas and broccoli comprise the only fresh produce that Eowyn will easily eat, so I’ve taken to sneaking it into her diet in more subtle ways. Pumpkin pancakes? I’ve been making those. Apple carrot muffins? They’re a staple. With these recipes in my back pocket, there’s usually no trouble getting orange veggies in her, but in recent weeks, I’ve had to redouble my efforts to get her to eat green.
We tried avocado chocolate pudding, which wasn’t completely horrible, but I felt like the amount of sweetener needed to mask the strong avocado taste made it not worth it for us. But then I tried this chocolate zucchini bread yesterday. I found the recipe on Joy of Baking, and I tell you, this one’s a winner! It was easy to make, and Eowyn loved being involved in the cooking process. Of course, I can hardly cook anything without making mods to the recipe, and in this case, I increased the zucchini from 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups, swapped half of the flour for whole wheat, and used applesauce instead of oil.
The result? A rich and nutritious quick bread that is moist, delicious, and most importantly, Eowyn approved! It’s on the dense side (which I like), and I found the texture to be best the day after baking (I wrapped the loaf in plastic wrap once it was cool, and I wonder if trapping the moisture in that way is what led to the awesome, almost brownie-like crumb?). The next time I make it, I may use coconut palm sugar as the sweetener and increase the amount of applesauce to 3/4 cup to make it even more moist and brownie-like.
Oh – one more thing I want to mention! You may have had one of these snazzy blue plastic bags show up in your mailbox this week, right? Well, it’s for Stamp Out Hunger, the nation’s largest single day food drive that is now in its 21st year. All you have to do is fill it up with nonperishable food items and place it near your mailbox before your carrier arrives tomorrow, Saturday, May 11th, and the post office will take care of routing it to a Feeding America food bank or agency near you. Easy peasy, right?
If you’re able to run to the grocery store to purchase items to fill your bag, that’s awesome, but if you’re short on time, you might be able to donate food you already have sitting in your pantry. I did a quick 1-minute purge of my on-hand nonperishables and filled my bag with several cans of tuna, canned chicken, coffee, canned veggies, and Top Ramen. While it may not look like much, it’s amazing what can happen when we all work together. Last year, this event raised 70 million pounds of food for those in need, and with hunger becoming an increasing problem in our nation, my hope is that even more food will be donated this year!