Happy New Year!
As usual, I over planted. It was so warm in February that I started the zucchini seeds outside mid-month, along with the cucumbers and winter squash. The cucumbers took off, but the zucchini seemed pretty sluggish. So about a month later I planted a few more seeds, and a few more after that. Anyone who has ever grown zucchini knows what happens next…
I made plenty of grilled “zucchini steaks”, zucchini noodles, and zucchini salads. I gave a lot away. But after a while, you just can’t eat any more green. So I found some incredible creative recipes. Below are some of my favorites. For all recipes I used lite coconut milk whenever milk of any kind was called for. I use raw walnut oil in place of any other oils. I also usually add more cinnamon and vanilla than the recipe calls for. All of the recipes are gluten free, some are vegan. Some recipes call for lining the pan with parchment paper – I don’t do that (except for the cookies) but I do lightly grease my baking pans with coconut oil. My freezer is full and my tummy is happy.
Simply Taylor Maple Zucchini Bread
I added 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Very moist, mild banana bread flavor. Probably good with some chocolate chips. 8×4″ loaf pan and took about 10 minutes longer in my oven.
Chocolate Covered Katie Zucchini Brownies I used twice the amount of melted chocolate she calls for in the frosting and to me it was the perfect amount.
Home to Heather Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake I’m usually an “everyone in the pool” baker – wets and drys get all jumbled up at once, pulse in nuts and chips at the end. This calls for 3 bowls – one for wets, one for drys, and one for egg whites that need to be whipped and folded into the batter. Way too complicated for me but it called for 1 1/2 cups of shredded zucchini and I had a lot to get rid of. WORTH THE EFFORT!!
Zucchini / Banana Bread with Buckwheat Flour – I made this as a loaf instead of muffins. 9×5″ loaf pan, 350 x 50 minutes. Much denser than the maple zucchini bread but still very good.
Hummusapien Flourless Peanut Butter Zucchini Brownies – I made these with raw cashew butter instead of peanut butter. 9 x 13 baking dish, gobbled up by staff (and me) in about 3 days.
Quinoa Zucchini Breakfast Cookies – Soft oatmeal -type cookies. I added chocolate chips. Because everything is better with chocolate.
Please add links to your favorite zucchini recipes!
It was a great year for the garden! I removed what little grass was left, so the growing space expanded. I had a respectable crop of spinach, but a small crop of sugar snap peas, broccoli and blueberries – likely due to the very warm and dry winter. This summer I had my first “real” (more than a handful) crop of raspberries, blackberries and figs, and as usual, the strawberries were delicious.
The tomatoes went crazy – and I still have a few sungold orange cherries (in December!)- they just won’t quit! While the plant has gotten quite spindly, I can’t bear to dig it up since it’s still flowering and fruiting. Time will tell if it will make it through the winter. One of my most prolific tomato plants came up as a compost volunteer in a relatively shady spot, so I might intentionally plant there next year.
Although the calendar says spring does not arrive for a few weeks, since the clocks have changed and we have had barely a hint of winter (2 nights of “frost” in December and rain last weekend), it’s spring as far as I’m concerned. Oh – and it was 80 degrees yesterday. I’ve previously written about how much I love this time of year – and 2014 is no different. While we don’t have the cold and dark winter that much of the country experiences, there is still something magical about how the garden just comes to life in early March. Everything is lush, green, and growing. It gives me hope and it makes me smile.
I joined the “3 Words” club in 2012, with this New Years Day post, followed a few months later by an update. I loved the idea of starting the year with a few words, a mantra of sorts, that would inspire and motivate me. I’m not sure what happened in 2013 – I think I was still stuck on Resilience, Rejuvenation, and Serenity.
Yes – it’s time to assess 2013 – as seen through the garden…
Anyone who spends just a few minutes with me knows how important my garden is – it’s my inspiration, my therapist, and my friend. I’m still relatively new to gardening – just 2 years in – but I’m fortunate to be able to take advantage of the mild Southern California climate and a fair amount of beginner’s luck.