Lemon-Blueberry Zucchini Bread

The zucchini in this quick bread makes it moist and light, while the blueberries and lemon make it pop with fruity zest and summer goodness.For the past week, our refrigerator has been playing host to a pint of blueberries, a large zucchini, and some lemons that need to be used. So when a recipe for blueberry zucchini cake with lemon buttercream frosting appeared in my Facebook news feed, it caught my eye.

The original recipe was very high in sugar and the frosting used butter, so I decided to fiddle with the ingredients and convert the cake into a glazed quick bread. The taste testers at my house (not the Man of Steel since he eats very few desserts these days) all liked the tasty treat. They thought it tastes more like pound cake than quick bread, and I have to agree. We enjoyed one loaf and froze the other to avoid overdosing on too much lemony goodness.

Lemon-Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Bread Ingredients

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup white sugar

2 cups finely shredded zucchini
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 pint fresh blueberries

Glaze Ingredients

juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 to 1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 2 loaf pans.

In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Fold in the zucchini. Slowly add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix in by hand. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide batter evenly between prepared loaf pans.

Bake 40-50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

 

Put lemon juice, zest, and water in a small bowl. Whisk in powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until it is the consistency you like for glaze. Use a fork to poke holes all over the top of each loaf. With a spoon, drizzle the loaves with glaze until the top is well coated.

The zucchini in this quick bread makes it moist and light, while the blueberries and lemon make it pop with fruity zest and summer goodness.

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Family Camp’s Brown Sugar Snaps

These Brown Sugar Snaps are easy to make dairy-free, but way too addicting to have in the house.Galavanting from here to there and back again doesn’t leave much time for cooking. So today, because of present galavanting at Shadow Valley Family Camp, this recipe comes from the camp cookbook. A dairy-free fix would be easy with Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks and coconut or cashew milk. But even if there was time to fiddle with the recipe, I wouldn’t dare…because having a batch of Brown Sugar Snaps in the house would be way too tempting.

Family Camp Brown Sugar Snaps

Warning: These cookies are addictive. Unless you like to live dangerously, don’t read another word.

Truth be told, all the food at Idaho Family Camp is addictive. Every time a nummy recipe is posted, I’m enabling an addiction. Usually it’s my addiction. But post-wedding and post-family camp, inundated with veggies from our CSA, and deep into a twelve step, healthy eating program (which means Hiram puts the key to the padlocks on the fridge and pantry twelve steps up on a ladder I’m scared to climb), I’m feeling strong enough to resist temptation.

I’d never tasted these before or even heard of them before this summer. Brown sugar snaps are sort of ginger snap meets snickerdoodle, molasses crinkle meets sugar cookie. And as mentioned before, they’re addictive. Very addictive. Give them a try and leave a comment with your description. But remember, you’ve been warned. So don’t blame me when you can’t stop eating them!

Brown Sugar Snaps

Cream:
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
4 sticks butter
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Add: 2 eggs and beat again,

Add:
5 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Chill dough for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough into balls, dip in sugar, and place on a cookie sheet. Turn oven down to 375 degrees just before putting in cookies. Bake about 9 minutes. Cookies should have nice deep cracks. You will need to reheat the oven to 400 degrees between pans.

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Non-Dairy Strawberry Crisp

Today's recipe for strawberry crisp is the latest in a long series of fruit crisp recipes at Gravel Road.Just a few weeks ago, I posted my recipe for low sugar rhubarb crisp. Until today, it was the most recent installment in a Gravel Road unintentional series of crisp recipes such as blueberry crisp, apple crisp, and strawberry-rhubarb crisp.

But not anymore. Because strawberries were on sale at the grocery store last week, so I bought several boxes to make strawberry-rhubarb crisp. The son-in-law is not a big rhubarb fan, though he said he thought a strawberry crisp would be just fine. Here’s the recipe I fabricated, and which he said was mighty fine.

Strawberry Crisp

6 cups washed strawberries, hulled & sliced
1/3 cup softened, non-dairy, softened non-dairy shortening substitute like Earth Balance
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 375°. Place strawberries in 2 quart baking dish. In medium bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle on top of fruit. Bake for 30-45 minutes until fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.

Low Sugar, Non-Dairy Rhubarb Crisp

Rhubarb season means rhubarb crisp. Man of Steel means making a low sugar version of this delicious dessert.Rhubarb season is here and the crop is bountiful. After picking and freezing three bags full, just enough remained to make a small rhubarb crisp. With the Man of Steel watching his sugar intake, I decided to see how much sugar could be cut from the recipe in my 1977 Betty Crocker Cookbook.

Below is the adjusted recipe, which the Man of Steel and I agreed was still a bit on the too sweet side. However, when I took a small helping down to Mom, she made a face and said it was too sour. So adjust the sugar to your taste buds and enjoy rhubarb season.

Low Sugar, Non-Dairy Rhubarb Crisp

4 cups diced rhubarb
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
1/2 cup unbleached flour1/2 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°. Place rhubarb in an ungreased baking dish (10x6x1 1/2″ baking dish). Measure brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix well. Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over rhubarb. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until topping golden brown and rhubarb is bubbly. Serve warm.

 

Some Days 87 Looks Really Good

After a visit in which Mom had dessert first and last, 87 started looking pretty good.When I walked into Mom’s room last Wednesday, she was sitting in her favorite chair reading a book and munching on Russell Stover’s chocolates.

“Did my little brother give you those for Mother’s Day?” I asked.

“Yes,” she replied and, with a twinkle in her 87-year-old eye, held out the box.

“No thanks,” I answered.

“Oh, I forgot,” she replied, still twinkling as she flashed a mischievious grin, “you’re allergic to chocolate.” She took another bite. “Yum!”

We played a few games of Rummikub and went to Chili’s for supper. We ordered a fried pickles appetizer, a classic 6 ounce sirloin for her and margarita grilled chicken for me. While we waited for our food, we read the dessert menu to pass the time. When our food arrived, we both ate our fair shares of the fried pickles and dug into our entrees.

After 2 bites of mashed potatoes, 3 bites of meat, and not a speck of her steamed broccoli, Mom laid down her fork and declared, “I’m full.” Then she flagged down the waitress. “Bring me one of those toffee brownies,” she said.

Full as she was, she managed to down the ice cream, the caramel sauce, the hot fudge sauce, and over half of a good-sized brownie. “Mmmm,” she exclaimed and held out a spoonful of ice cream in my direction. “Want a bite?”

Some days, I thought while declining the offer and reflecting on Mom’s agenda for the day–reading a good book, eating chocolate for an afternoon snack, going to dinner with her darling daughter, eating fried pickles, ignoring green vegetables, and eating more chocolate for dessert–87 looks really good.

Buttermilk Brownies

These buttermilk brownies can be mixed, baked, and frosted in 40 minutes flat. The butter doesn't even need to be softened!A couple weeks ago, our Connection Group prepared the meal for a church fundraiser. I was in charge of dessert–buttermilk brownies with ice cream, as well as non-dairy buttermilk brownies without ice cream for those who needed that option, and Rice Krispie treats for the gluten-free, dairy-free contingent.

The brownies were a hit, and I was assigned brownie duty for all upcoming fundraisers. In case you’re looking for an easy recipe that will please a crowd, here’s the dairy version as the non-dairy recipe has appeared on Gravel Road before.

Dairy Free Buttermilk Brownies

Bars:
1 cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup water
2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon soda
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375°. In saucepan, combine butter, cocoa, and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, soda, and salt. Stir in eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add cocoa mixture. Mix till well-blended. Pour into a greased 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 inch baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Immediately pour frosting over bars. Spread evenly. Cool and cut into squares.

Frosting:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In saucepan, mix 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup buttermilk, and 3 tablespoons cocoa. Cook and stir until boiling. Remove from heat. Beat in powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Pour over bars as soon as they come out of the oven. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.

Dairy Free “Buttermilk” Brownies

non-dairy buttermilk browniesYes, you read that right. Dairy free, “buttermilk” brownies.

Oxymoronic to be sure.

But it’s true. Thanks to the original Coffee Rich non-dairy coffee creamer, “buttermilk” brownies can now be part of a non-dairy dessert menu.

The original recipe comes from the 1983 Camp Crook Centennial Cookbook and was submitted by Betty Louks, the woman who babysat our son when he was just a baby. The recipe is super easy, as you will see, and it is delicious! The above picture shows a batch and a half because I needed enough for a church fundraiser.

Dairy Free “Buttermilk” Brownies

Bars:
1 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup water
2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon soda
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup soured original Coffee Rich*
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting:
1/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick
1/4 cup soured Coffee Rich*
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375°. In saucepan, combine Earth Balance, cocoa, and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, soda, and salt. Stir in eggs, soured Coffee Rich, and vanilla. Add cocoa mixture. Mix till well-blended. Pour into a greased 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 inch baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Immediately pour frosting over bars. Spread evenly. Cool and cut into squares.
In saucepan, mix 1/4 cup Earth Balance, 1/4 cup soured Coffee Rich, and 3 tablespoons cocoa. Cook and stir until boiling. Remove from heat. Beat in powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Pour over bars as soon as they come out of the oven. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.

*To sour Coffee Rich, put 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Fill cup to the 3/4 cup mark with Coffee Rich. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes before using.

Dairy-Free Lemon Zucchini Bread

dairy-free lemon zucchini bread

Okay, I admit it. Lil’ Luna’s Facebook link to her recipe for lemon zucchini bread had me salivating with the best of them. But since the recipe called for buttermilk and had more sugar than the man of steel will eat, I ignored it for quite a while.

But it kept showing up and the zucchinis tucked into our CSA share for three weeks running brought me to the breaking point. So finally, I caved and got out the mixing bowl. I used a milk substitute for the buttermilk, cut the sugar in the bread and the glaze by half, and was very surprised to discover the results were delicious. In fact, the man of steel and I agreed it’s worth a second try with even less sugar. And, I’m going to add blueberries to the next batch and see what happens. Stay tuned for an update, but until then give this recipe a try. It’s a keeper!

Dairy-Free Lemon Zucchini Bread

Bread ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk substitute
zest of one lemon (minus 1/2 teaspoon for glaze)
1 cup grated zucchini (do not peel first)

Glaze Ingredients:
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons almond milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350°.

Create buttermilk substitute by putting 1 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar into a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Add 2 tablespoons Coffee Rich and fill cup to 1/2 cup measure with rice milk. Let sit for 15 minutes.

In large bowl, beat eggs. Add oil and sugar. Mix until well blended. Add lemon juice, milk substitute, and lemon zest to this mixture and blend well. Fold in zucchini until mixed well. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and blend until all ingredients are combined.

Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake for 40–45 minutes. Remove from oven when toothpick poked in middle comes out clean. Let sit on wire rack for ten minutes. Then slide butter knife around edge of pan and flip over loaf pan to remove bread from it.

Put loaf on a plate right side up. (Poke some holes in the top with a fork if you want the glaze to soak in more.) Mix glaze while loaf is warm and spread over the top. Let cool before cutting and serving.

 

Dairy-free, Gluten-free Rice Krispie Bars

gluten-free dairy-free Rice Krispie bars

Today’s recipe is so easy I’m almost embarrassed to post it. But I know many, many parents of kids with food allergies. I know how much they dislike telling their children “No, you can’t eat those treats.” And I know that with a few simple ingredient substitutions, they can say, “Yes, you can eat what all the other kids are eating.”

That may not sound like a big deal to you and me, but for parents who have to say “no” to their children and to kids who can’t eat what their friends do, it can be a very big deal. So today’s post is for them. To make the gluten-free and dairy-free version, you’ll need gluten-free Rice Krispies and Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks. Both can be found at the grocery store. The pictures below can help make sure you get the right ones.

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Once you have those ingredients, use them while following the traditional Rice Krispie treat recipe found at their website. You can click the link or follow the directions below.

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Rice Krispie Bars

Put 3 tablespoons of Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks in a large, heavy saucepan and melt over low heat. Add a ten ounce bag of miniature marshmallows and stir until melted. (Or put the shortening and marshmallows in a microwavable bowl. Put in microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes.

Add 6 cups of gluten-free Rice Krispies to the melted marshmallows and stir until cereal is evenly coated. Put mixture in a well-greased, 9 X 13 pan. Use a buttered spatula or waxed paper to press the mixture into the pan. (I just spray a little cooking spray on my fingertips and use my hands.)

Cool. Cut into squares and serve.

Rhubarb-Strawberry Pie: An Encore Performance

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Just like yesterday’s post, this one is an encore performance. Why? Because I need to work on page proofs of The Caregiver’s Notebook instead of testing new recipes and blogging about the results. And since the rhubarb in our little patch is almost ready to pick…and maybe at your house, too…here’s the recipe for strawberry-rhubarb pie that first appeared on this website in July of 2009.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Filling:
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups sliced rhubarb
2 tablespoons Minute Tapioca

Topping:
1/4 cup softened butter
3/4 – 1 cup brown sugar (depending on your taste)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine filling ingredients and pour into an unbaked, 9” pie shell. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of fruit mixture. Bake for 15 minute at 425, then turn heat to 400 and bake for 30-45 minutes more, until fruit is bubbly.

To make strawberry-rhubarb crisp, heat oven to 350 degrees. Omit the pie shell and put fruit mixture in a 9 x 9 Pyrex baking dish. Sprinkle on the topping and bake for 30-45 minutes. I usually double the recipe and bake it in a 9 x 13 Pyrex baking dish.

If you want more pie recipes, you can download the Philo Family Favorite Pie Recipes. Enjoy!