September is upon us, and so is the coming of Autumn! I couldn’t be happier, honestly, as it’s unquestionably my favorite time of year. (September 1 = Halloween mode initiated!:) ) The leaves are just barely turning, a crisp, chill is in the air as the sun goes down. The garden is finally in it’s full, harvestable glory with carrots, squashes, onions, cucumbers and the end of the tomatoes and greens. It’s when I actually turn my oven back on and am bustling in the kitchen to preserve this amazing bounty.
Heart, mind, hands, soul,
balanced, open, loving, whole
Gather the harvest, grateful I’ll be
For the year of bounty blessed to me
Brownies, Bean-Tighe gather round
Enjoy the goodness to be found
Round my table, my hearth, my home
Ye are welcome in from wherever you roam.
Who doesn’t love carrot cake or banana bread? Okay, maybe some of you sourpusses (or allergic folks), but most of us do, including my kids who also hate, guess what? Zucchini. Zucchini bread is actually quite delicious on it’s own, but if I told my family that, they’d never eat it. So I have to sell it as this delicious mega-blend of carrot and banana (and oh yeah, by the way, ZUCCHINI, but sshhh don’t tell them that). I also add some magic ingredients to pump up the nutritional power, as if zucchini wasn’t enough, and use something special and different in the mix that is uniquely and magically my own.
What is it you say? Pumpkin pie spice! Pumpkin pie spice has that super combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove that you always look for in a nice, spicy carrot cake, but it also has fennel, ginger, cardamom, star anise, black pepper and citrus peel (orange and lemon, sometimes one or the other.) Super warming, super yummy. Super magical.
- 1 1/2 cup your choice flour (AP, GF or combination*), plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice (magic ingredient!)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar (or raw, local honey)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (or raw sugar, coconut sugar)
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup coconut oil, butter, nut butter or veg. oil of your choice
- 2 ripe bananas mashed
- 1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 cup loose, not packed)
- 1 cup grated carrots (also loose, not packed)
- ¼ cup either sour cream or Greek yogurt or kefir (I like this for it’s wonderful creamy, sour tang, but you can sub applesauce or almond milk or non-dairy yogurt if you want dairy free)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or pumpkin seeds (optional)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, goji berries or other superfood berry of your choice (optional)
- Other optional superfoods can include: maca powder, cacao powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds.
*My preferred Gluten-free flour blend is: 1 part brown rice flour, 1 part almond meal, 1/2 part coconut flour and 1/4 part tapioca starch + pinch or 1/4 tsp. of xanthan gum. So for this recipe, your blend would be 1/2c brown rice flour, 1/2c almond meal, 1/4c coconut flour and 1/8 c tapioca + 1 pinch of xanthan gum. Shh. Don’t judge my mean math skills. If it’s too runny, add up to another 1/4 cup of almond meal, a sprinkle at a time.
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Butter, spray or otherwise lubricate a loaf pan and then dust with flour
- In a medium bowl, stir together the dry goods: flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the sugars, eggs, oil, mashed bananas for about 3 minutes on medium speed to fully incorporate and smooth as much as possible. Turn mixer to low and add grated zucchini, grated carrots, sour cream (or yogurt), and vanilla.
- Fold in flour mixture and just mix until combined. Using a rubber spoon, add the nuts and berries and scrape down the pan.
- Pour the batter into prepared pan. Optionally sprinkle nuts or seeds on top.
- Cook approximately 50-60 minutes or until inserted poker comes out clean.
Mix and stir, cook and bake
Magic in the kitchen and family wakes
to scent of love and taste of joy
Goddess take my hands; employ
yourself through me and my food
with harm to none and all for good.
Namaste, Amen, So it is.