Chocolate Chip Squash {or Zuchini} Bread

zukbread

This is our third summer participating in a CSA {Community Supported Agriculture} and WE. LOVE. IT.

But.  Our first time belonging to the CSA we received one of our weekly shares in August containing some zucchini and squash.  I love the aforementioned vegetables {or are they technically fruit?}, so we threw them in a skillet and gobbled them up.

Nom. Nom. Nom. 

Then.  There was zucchini and squash in the next week’s share {OK, let’s try a casserole} . . . and the next week’s {OK, let’s make a soup} . . . and the next week’s {OK, um . . .} . . . and the next week’s {really??}  . . . and . . .  DEAR GOD, WHY DO SO MANY OF THESE FLIPPING THINGS EXIST!?!?!?!  PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!!

I started just giving them away at school . . .

Me: “Congratulations to the seven students who earned the highest score on the Macbeth test.  I have a special treat for y’all!  So special, in fact, I bet no one has ever given you anything of the sort as a reward before.”

{Proceeds to throw green and yellow zuks at the children}.

A year went by and after some counseling {I kid} I was now mentally ready to tackle the onslaught of another season full of the cucubita pepo with some new recipes in mind.

One of my favorites is my CHOCOLATE CHIP SQUASH BREAD.  That’s right. You’ve probably heard of zucchini bread before.  Did you know you can change it out for yellow summer squash? They’re basically the same thing and both taste just as yummy as the other.  This weekend, I had a hankerin’ for this bread and opted to make it with yellow summer squash {since it was, of course, in the CSA box this past week}.

P.S. I was salivating while taking the picture above.  I couldn’t wait to dig in.

INGREDIENTS:

  • PAM cooking spray
  • 2 eggs {beaten}
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons applesauce
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups finely grated squash {or zucchini}
  • 3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips {optional, but why wouldn’t you?}
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Bring together beaten eggs, sugar, and applesauce in a KitchenAid Mixer and mix on medium speed for one minute or until creamy {if you don’t own a mixer, mix by hand with a spatula}
  • Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix on medium speed until blended thoroughly
  • Add in the grated squash {or zucchini}, chocolate chips, and vanilla and mix on medium speed until blended thoroughly
  • Using a spatula, scrape blended ingredients into a greased 9×5 bread pan.
  • Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  The middle tends to be pretty moist, so I usually end up baking it for an additional 15 minutes.

Let cool for about 30 minutes.  Then slice it up and enjoy.  YUMS.

What are some of your favorite squash and zucchini recipes?  I may need some more ideas.  {Wink}.

Love,

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For other fun recipes, check out http://www.skiptomylou.org.

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Fresh Salsa Recipe {Mild, Medium, or Hot}

salsa It’s that time of year.  Tomatoes are in full force.  We joined a CSA three years ago and started getting more tomatoes than I knew what to do with.  I made a lot of BLT’s and marinara sauce, but my favorite recipe was fresh salsa. This salsa is seriously the best I’ve ever eaten. Just about every fresh ingredient came in our CSA share this week, so it was obviously a sign I needed to make it.

INGREDIENTS:

{For MILD Salsa}:

  • 4 ripe medium-sized tomatoes {cherry tomatoes are fine, too—about 1 cup of uncut cherry tomatoes = 1 medium tomato}
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper {seeded and finely chopped}
  • 1/2 white onion {finely chopped}
  • 1 green bell pepper {seeded and finely chopped}

{For MEDIUM Heat}:

  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper
  • 3/4 white onion
  • add 1 more jalapeno {seeded and finely chopped}
  • add 1 Serrano pepper {seeded and finely chopped}

{For HOT Salsa}:

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper
  • 1 whole white onion
  • add 2 more jalapenos {seeded and finely chopped}
  • add 2-3 Serrano peppers {seeded and finely chopped}

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, cumin, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper in a blender and blend until liquefied.

salsablend Finely chop the jalapeno pepper, onion, and green pepper and put in a large bowl. peppers Pour the ingredients from the blender into the bowl and mix thoroughly with a spatula. salsamix Makes four cups. TIP: If you’d like it chunkier, skip the blender and dice all ingredients {but who has time for that?}. Use in salads, on your tacos, or just dip for tortilla chips. salsaeat Enjoy. Love,

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Check out more fun recipes and craft ideas at http://www.skiptomylou.org/2015/08/10/made-by-you-monday-250/

Chocolate Banana Green Smoothie

smoothieI seriously heart this smoothie.  In fact, I drink one almost every morning on the way to work.  It’s only 300 calories, delicious, and super easy to make.   Oh, and it’s packed with nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, dietary fiber, phytochemicals, calcium, and potassium . . . just to name a few.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup Light Silk Almond Milk (60 calories)
  • 1 ripe banana (100 calories)
  • 1 cup (or handful) of rainbow chard (35 calories)
  • 2 tablespoon Ovaltine (40 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon  chia seeds (65 calories)
  • 2-3 ice cubes, optional (0 calories)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Simply dump all the ingredients in a Nutribullet (my preference), Magic Bullet, or blender.   Stick a straw in it and enjoy.

TIPS:

  • You’ll want to make sure you include the stems of the chard as that has more nutrients than the leaves.
  • You could substitute the chard with kale or spinach, but chard is actually more nutritionally dense than either of those.  I also feel that it gives the smoothie a creamier texture and a better taste.
  • Another substitute you can make is two tablespoons of  PB2 instead of Ovaltine if you’d rather have a peanut butter-y taste than chocolate-y.  Or better yet, do one tablespoon of each for a peanut butter-y and chocolate-y taste.
  • You will want to make sure you drink this as soon as you blend it.  Chia seeds tend to gel up once they’re in a liquid.  After about an hour, the texture will become thick and quite gross.
  • If you’d like your smoothie to be more filling, add 1/2 cup of dry oatmeal, but that’s going to add an additional 150 calories.

Do you have a favorite green smoothie?  Tell me about it in the comments.

You can also go to http://www.skiptomylou.org to check out other great recipes. 🙂

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The BEST Recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

This week we received rhubarb in our CSA basket and strawberries were on sale at Dillons. This was clearly a sign from above that I needed to make one of my favorites:

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.

My family can’t get enough of this recipe!  I have to keep myself from spooning it straight out of the jar–it’s that good, y’all.  Here’s the recipe so you can enjoy this little heavenly spread as well.

*Fills four small (8-ounce) mason jars

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. strawberries
  • 1 c. rhubarb
  • 1 & 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 & 1/2 tbsp. low sugar pectin (powder, not liquid)
  • 1 & 1/4 c. water
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds {optional}

STEPS

  1. Before you begin, make sure thoroughly wash your strawberries and rhubarb and sanitize your mason jars.  Click here to see how to sterilize jars.
  2. Cut your strawberries and rhubarb into small pieces.
  3. Mix strawberries, rhubarb, water, and lemon juice into a large pot and bring to a boil on the stove.
  4. Mix together the pectin and sugar into a separate bowl.  This helps break up the pectin so that it doesn’t get chunky or gooey in the jam.
  5. Once it’s bowling, stir in the pectin and sugar.
  6. Boil for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove from heat and pour into jars using a large canning funnel.
  8. Mix in the chia seeds.  These will gel up after being in the liquid to give it a better consistency + it adds some nutrition.

You can keep this in the refrigerator for two weeks, or if you’d like to preserve these for several months, continue with the canning process.   My family rips through this jam so quickly, we don’t need to preserve it.  This is an awesome tutorial to watch if you want to learn how to can jams.  If you need canning equipment, click here to buy a kit online.

I hope you enjoy this jam as much as we do.  Have a question or want to share a tip of your own? Leave a comment.

Check out some other awesome recipes at http://www.skiptomylou.org.

Love,

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