Hazelnut Zucchini Brownies

Hazelnut Zucchini Brownie

I’ve been trying to stay on top of the zucchini in my garden, but as I pointed out in my post about tips for a backyard garden, It’s been pretty difficult! So I’ve been on the lookout for recipes experimenting with zucchini. After some googling and experimenting I came up with the perfect dessert that puts to good use all that zucchini from the garden: Hazelnut Zucchini Brownies!

Backyard Garden

We’ve been roasting and sautéing the zucchini with dinner as much as we can, but that gets a little boring after awhile. So I’ve been wanting to make some sort of zucchini brownie but all the recipes I’ve been seeing online call for almond butter. Unfortunately I just used the last of my almond butter on some protein cookies that I made last week. So then I looked up recipes for almond flour and zucchini brownies and I found this one – I was all ready to go then I realized I was out of almond flour! So – I happened to have a bunch of hazelnut flour on hand from making buns from this book and I said hey lets try to sub out the almond flour for hazelnut flour. Bob’s blog said you can sub it out 1:1. So that’s what I did and man these brownies turned out super fudgy and moist! So this recipe is a tweak of the one I linked above and it turned out great. It’s super easy to throw together and it makes good use of that zucchini coming out of your ears from your garden. Enjoy!

Zucchini
Our zucchini is growing like crazy right now!

Shred and chop, chop, chop
Shred and chop, chop, chop

Ingredients ready to go
Ingredients ready to go

Skillet before oven
Skillet before oven

Skillet after oven
Skillet after oven

Brownie plated
Brownie plated

Ready to eat
Ready to eat!

Hazelnut Zucchini Brownies
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Ingredients
  1. 1½ cups shredded zucchini
  2. 1 cup hazelnut flour/meal
  3. 5 oz dark chocolate, 85% or higher cocoa content
  4. ¼ cup coconut oil
  5. 2 eggs
  6. ¼ cup honey
  7. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  8. ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  9. 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  10. ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. My microwave has a setting for melting. If yours doesn’t, just do like 15 seconds over and over and keep checking on it until it melts. Once it’s melted add the coconut oil and honey to the bowl and throw it in the fridge while you put together the rest of the stuff.

  3. Shred the zucchini then chop it even finer and put it in a bowl.

  4. Then mix the rest of the ingredients all together in the bowl with the zucchini: the hazelnut flour, cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla extract, baking soda and salt. Then add the chocolate mixture after its cooled down a little bit.

  5. Once you got it all mixed well in a bowl dust a skillet or glass dish with hazelnut flour then pour the mixture into the skillet or dish. I’m partial to my skillet and I pretty much do everything in it so that’s why I went with my cast iron. Bake for 25–30 min and let cool for at least 5 minutes before you cut into it.

  6. Enjoy!

Adapted from Real Healthy Zucchini Brownies
That's So Primal https://www.thatssoprimal.com/

7 Tips for Backyard Gardening

7 Tips for Backyard Gardening

When we first moved into our house we were so excited to have such a big backyard that one of the first things we did was run to Home Depot to get stuff for a backyard garden. A backyard garden is a great way to get in the sun and dirt and switch up your daily routine. We have been doing a garden for the past few years and I’ve learned a few things along the way that I wanted to share. Granted I could still learn way more, but these are just some things that seemed to stick out over the years of trying to operate a little backyard garden. Most of my help comes from this book which is specific for my area of Southern California. If you’re not in Southern California try to find a guide specific to your area. So whether you already have a garden or would like to start one, here are 7 tips I have for running a mini farm in your backyard.

Kale

1. Plant only the things you will actually eat

When we first got our square foot garden going we made 3 boxes. 2 shallow boxes and 1 deep box for root veggies. It was a great learning experience but I soon realized as our crops started to grow that I didn’t really like most of the stuff I was growing. Sure it was nice to experiment growing and eating things that are new, but it’s hard to be devoted to a whole garden if you don’t even like the stuff growing in it. So this year when we got our garden back up and running, I decided to only plant the things that we were going to eat. So we have a whole box for herbs, another box for veggies, and our deep box for roots that was taken over by our daughter so she could plant flowers. The veggie box only has the stuff we eat and is easy enough to grow in the backyard: kale, romaine, summer squash, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, watermelon and pumpkins. Sure there are other veggies we love to eat like cauliflower, but it takes so much time to harvest and it only yields one head of cauliflower – whereas we go through too much cauliflower to try to grow it in the backyard. The crops we did plant are perfect to pick off when you need them and they still keep coming back.

2. Install a drip line

This was a lifesaver for us and our crops. When we first started our garden 3 years ago we were going out there everyday with a watering can or hose and it became very stressful if we missed a few days and our crops would start to suffer. Especially when we went on vacations for a week or more at a time – our crops were destroyed by the time we came back. So I hit up my dad for help to install a drip line and it was super easy to run soaker hoses and a timer. Now our garden is hands free and flourishes even when I fail to give it attention.

3. Check on your garden every day

Now just because you have a drip line doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out your garden everyday. It’s always good just to get outside and get in the sun, especially if you’re stuck in an office all day looking at a computer, but more than that you need to check to see how your crops are doing. There may be snails tearing up your romaine or there can be those scary green worms attacking your tomatoes. You need to be out there everyday killing all those things that aren’t good for your garden. You don’t want to resort to spraying your precious beyond organic crops with something to ward off bugs – so you and your fingers need to be the “pesticide”. Just pinch them and kill them or if you’re a hippie you can collect them and release them in a field or something. I prefer to pull the snails off my romaine and throw them as hard as I can at the wall. I get angry when snails ruin my burger buns or taco shells.

4. Don’t go crazy washing your crops

This one is a little controversial because even if you don’t use pesticides in your backyard garden, your soil or municipal water may contain contaminants. What we’re looking for here is some of the good soil based probiotics to still remain on the crops. So go ahead and wash off the snail juice that’s all over your romaine or bird poop on your squash, but don’t freak out if you can’t get off all the dirt from your crops. You’ll be getting more soil based probiotics which is what we need most. Most probiotics you can get in a pill or from fermented stuff isn’t soil based. The best way to get soil based probiotics is to eat a little soil still left on your crops before you eat them. Just be sure to use the highest quality soil in your square foot gardens and do your own composting.

5. Actually eat it

The whole point of a garden is to grow food that you actually eat. It’s easy to get in a routine of tending to your garden and have it be self sustaining with the drip line and all but the whole point is that you’re growing food to eat for you and your family. So try not to let backyard gardening turn into a drag or a chore – let it be a fun thing and actually eat what you’re spending all your precious time and water growing.

6. Experiment with different recipes

Anyone whose grown zucchini before knows how to experiment with different recipes because once your zucchini starts to take off, you’ll have a hard time keeping up with cooking it all. You’ll also go crazy if all you do is make zucchini noodles for your spaghetti alternatives. Try to use your zucchini (or other veggies) in recipes you’ve never tried before. Feel free to have fun and experiment and if something turns out terrible – well now you know to never try it again.

7. Get your kids involved

Like I said at the beginning of this post, we converted our deep box that was intended for root veggies into a flower garden for our 2yr old. At the beginning of March we went out there and my wife helped our daughter plant a bunch of flower seeds we picked up from the store. So far it’s been really cool to see the flowers grow and for her to get excited about her garden. Our daughter is also really into the raspberries and strawberries we have growing. We pick them right off the plant or vine and we eat them right there on the spot. Getting your kids involved with a backyard garden is a really fun thing to do that gets you outside the house and into the dirt and sun.

Garden

Hopefully you found some of these tips helpful and will inspire you to get started on a backyard garden! If you have any tips for growing a backyard garden feel free to share them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!