Monday, 30 July 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Loaf
This summer is soooo hot. Maybe it's just that I've lived in a basement suite or a house with AC for as long as I can remember, but it feels hotter than most. We have taken to sleeping in the unfinished basement for now as our main floor runs at about 80-82 Fahrenheit on average in the evenings. That said, I haven't had many opportunities to bake. We had a couple rainy days last week and the temperature dropped just low enough for me to brave turning on the oven; let me just say it was well worth it!

I found a delicious looking recipe for double chocolate zucchini loaf on the King Arthur Flour website (original recipe here). It wasn't gluten free or anything, but it inspired me to try my very first zucchini loaf. While most gf loaves tend to fall in the centre, this one held its form perfectly and tasted even better than I expected! It has 2 whole cups of grated zucchini, which is a total bonus since it tasted like chocolate cake. I only put in 1/2 cup chocolate chips (original recipe called for a cup) and my husband said I should put less in unless I was planning to call it chocolate cake... then he proceeded to eat at least half of the loaf throughout the rest of the day. hehe.

I use my light flour blend, but you might be able to substitute other blends. I think the combination of rice, millet and tapioca starch gives the best texture to muffins and cakes.
This is a great way to use up zucchini from your garden or to take advantage of the low prices on zucchini this time of year. Enjoy!

(makes 1 medium sized loaf)

1/2 cup Brown Sugar (or 1/4 cup if you want it less sweet)
1/4 cup White Sugar
1 2/3 cups GF flour blend (my light flour blend works best)
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 cups Shredded Zucchini (don't peel, but do remove some of the middle seeded part)
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips (omit or use 1/4 cup if you want it less sweet)


Combine first 7 ingredients and mix well.
In a small bowl, beat eggs, canola oil and vanilla together.
Cut zucchini in to quarters lengthwise then cut off the part with the seeds (if some remain that's ok)
Grate 2 cups of zucchini (press down a bit in measuring cup to make sure it's full) - about 1 med-large zucchini worth
Add egg mixture to dry and mix until just combined.
Add zucchini and chocolate chips. Mix until just combined.
Pour mixture in to a greased loaf pan (preferably non-stick)
Bake at 350 for 70-75 minutes. Unless it's burning, I wouldn't cook it any less than 70 minutes or it's more likely to fall in the middle.

When done, let loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely (you may need to run a knife around the inside edge of the loaf to get it out of the pan)
It's easier to cut once completely cool, but if you're like me and can't wait that long, just be careful!
This loaf stores well at room temperature in an airtight container, or you can freeze slices for a late night chocolate craving attack!
Before Baking
After Baking
Cool on a wire rack
Slice and enjoy!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Mini Cheesecakes with Blueberry Sauce

Gluten Free Mini Cheesecakes with Blueberry Sauce

I love cheesecake. It is probably my favourite dessert. Even better when topped with homemade blueberry sauce...mmm. Because it's just the two of us around here, making a full sized cheesecake would be kind of ridiculous... I have no doubt we would eat it, but that's just the problem. For our anniversary this year, I decided to try a more sizable version of that delicious cake. It turned out amazing... and we finished all six mini cheesecakes within a day. Oops!
Last weekend we were invited to spend some time at a friends cabin a few hours north of Saskatoon. We had an amazing time fishing, swimming, trying out some water sports, and hot tubbing! Unfortunately, my attempt at a sort of wake boarding was a bit of a failure. When I fell the rope tightened around my arm and I ended up dragging behind the boat for a ways. No broken bones, but some serious rope burn and crazy bruising. Because I had that pulmonary embolism awhile back, I am on blood thinners which didn't really help with the bruising. As you can see, it's very pretty. I am getting good at using my left hand, but hoping to regain use of that arm fairly soon!

2 days after it happened... it's even more bruised now if you can believe it!

Ok, enough show and tell for now, on to the recipe.

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to feed more people. Also, you can change up the toppings however you like - fresh fruit, whipped cream, crushed up candy bar, etc.

(Makes 6 Mini Cheesecakes)

For Crust:
1/3 cup GF Graham Cracker Crumbs (or any cookie crumbs)
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Melted Margarine

For Cheesecake:
1 8oz Package of Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Egg

For Blueberry Sauce:
about 1 cup Blueberries
3-4 Tbsp Sugar
Just enough water to almost cover blueberries in a saucepan
1 tsp Lemon Juice (optional)


Crush graham crackers in a ziplock bag and mix with margarine and sugar. (you could also use other types of gf cookies)
Grease 6 muffin tin holes and press mixture into the bottom.
Bake at 325 for 5 minutes. Let cool.

Beat together cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth. (Use a hand mixer or stand mixer).
Mix in egg until just combined.
Pour batter into prepare crusts and bake at 325 for 25-35 minutes (until centre feels somewhat firm)
Let cool completely before removing from pan.
Chill cheesecakes in fridge until ready to serve.

For Blueberry Sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Let simmer 5-10 minutes, until it just barely starts to thicken.
It will thicken more as it cools.
Spoon over cheesecakes when serving.

graham cracker crust
mixing the batter
pour batter on top of prepared crusts
after baking
once cool, chill in the fridge
serve with blueberry sauce or topping of choice

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Blueberry Muffins

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins
I'm back! Well I didn't really go anywhere, but I haven't posted a recipe in almost a month... not sure how that happened. Must be the combination of the beautiful weather distractions, working on our new house, and actually working lately. Since my hubby is a teacher and I'm an EA, the end of the school year means we have more time to work on the yard and house... and hopefully time keep up on the blogging:)

We are loving our little house. It feels so good to be able to work on improving something that's our own. So far, we've removed the gravel, reseeded the left side, moved the garden, pushed back the fence, levelled the ground and added some extra nutrient rich soil. We still need to move the composter and plant the grass.


Yesterday was our 2 year anniversary. We celebrated by making BBQ steak and artichokes with homemade blueberry Italian sodas and blueberry mini cheesecakes. Delicious! I love blueberry season. I will be posting the cheesecake recipe another day, but today I want to focus on a recipe for blueberry muffins.

But first a little look at our anniversary dinner:)
mmm... smashed potatoes, steak and artichokes
Blueberry Italian Sodas
Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes
Ok so now that you're drooling, I'll get on to the feature recipe: Blueberry Muffins

(makes 14-16 muffins)

2 cups GF Flour (Use All-Purpose Flour Blend)
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
3/4 cup Sugar (or less if desired)
1/3 cup Margarine
3 Eggs
2/3 cup Milk
1 - 1 1/2 cups Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 tsp Orange Zest (or lemon zest)
1 tsp Vanilla


Combine Dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, combine wet ingredients (not blueberries)
Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined.
Fold in blueberries.
Pour batter into prepared muffin tins.
Bake at 375 for 20-25 mins.
Cool on rack.
Once cool these muffins should be frozen to retain texture. I use a ziplock freezer bag.

before baking
after baking
Cool on a rack

Once completely cool, freeze