Every season brings a plentiful produce item that I find myself creatively including in many meals and snacks. Right now that item is zucchini.
From muffins to cakes to cookies, from grilled, to spiralized and diced, my family has been eating it in all sorts of ways this season.
After combing the internet for the perfect zucchini cake recipe that used ingredients that I had available, I came up empty handed and decided to merge a few to create my very own cake.
My family hopes you’ll enjoy this as much as we do!
Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cake with Cinnamon Oat Crumble
- 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 Tbsp wheat germ
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups packed shredded zucchini (peel on)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Cinnamon Oat Crumble:
- 2/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325ºF. Prepare a 9 x 11 pan with parchment.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, wheat germ, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder.
- In a second large bowl, beat together eggs, yogurt, canola oil and vanilla until well combined. Add the sugars and continue beating. Stir in the zucchini until well combined.
- Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and stir just to combine ingredients.
- Add the chocolate chips and walnuts (if using) and stir just to combine ingredients.
- Add batter to prepared cake pan and leveled into the corners as needed.
- To prepare the crumble: combine oats, sugar, flour, canola oil and cinnamon until well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Mixture will appear like damp sand. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the entire cake.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack. Serve warm with ice cream for a decadent treat or slice and serve at room temperature for a coffee time snack.
A Little Blue Bin
Important conversations have started to take place in our home and they all began with a little blue bin of veggies and a farmer with a passion to feed people.
A passion to feed people
“I just love to Feed people” said Will Bergmann to a group of food enthusiasts this summer. And that he does. This growing season my family had the opportunity to join our first ever CSA garden with Bergmann CSA.
The end of a season
Today, Will handed over our last bin for the season. It was a bitter sweet moment. I’m sad that our weekly mystery box of locally grown, seasonal veggies will not enter our home again until spring but I’m also truly thankful to have been a part of this magical vegetable journey.
Lessons from our CSA bin:
1. You will #EatMoreVeggies
When you know a fresh bin of veggies is arriving each and every week you will eat more veggies. Veggies become the focus of every meal and you literally stuff yourself with them every chance you get.
2. Your heart will grow
Your heart will grow three sizes as you watch your kids literally vibrate with excitement over veggies. They couldn’t wait to unpack and pick out their first bite from the bin each and every week.
3. #FarmToFood conversations will take place
Something magical will happen when you get to know a farmer. The personal connection that my kids made with our farm family paved the way for many conversations at our dinner table.
I answered questions about: where our food comes from, who grows it or raises it, different types of farms and interestingly food waste.
It also created an “ah-ha” moment for my kids. My sister and her family farm too. They operate a mixed farm with beef cattle and grain. My kids suddenly realized the importance of all farmers. That all farmers feed people. My kids started asking deeper questions about where their Uncle’s crops go and who eats his animals.
These important questions are being asked, conversations are being had and it all started with our blue bin of veggies and a farmer with a passion to feed people.
Thank you Bergmann CSA for filling our plates, for entering our hearts and for feeding our souls!
Eat More Veggies
Vegetables are a consistent and large part of the meals and snacks that I prepare at home. This spring as I was getting excited about the prospect of growing my own backyard garden I realized that I only have a finite number of hours in a day and I don’t always want to make room for the time needed to grow everything that I want.
Finding a Farmer
Insert CSA – Community Supported Agriculture. This year, my family has invested in local farmer Will Bergmann‘s CSA garden. Will’s farm grows a garden and shares the produce with their CSA investors, that’s me! Each week since June we have been receiving a tote full of fresh Manitoba grown fruit, veggies and herbs.
Veggies: Fun, Delicious & Rewarding
It’s been fun using all the rhubarb through project #usealltherhubarb:
The Canola Oil Pastry recipe is really neat. You freeze the oil for a few hours so that it acts like a solid fat. Rhubarb custard pie always reminds me of my Grandma. She would make these pies every spring and I would walk over to her house after school every day in June until I found one waiting in her fridge to eat!
It’s been delicious getting creative with all the mint!
It was really easy infusing the canola oil into the mint and my favourite oil based chocolate chip cookie is Judy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. Judy is a fellow Home Economist, recipe developer and food stylist. I always know if it’s a Judy recipe that it will work, be tasty and a repeat in my kitchen.
And it’s been rewarding watching my kids get excited about what’s going to arrive in the bin.
It makes me feel so proud when my kids get excited about fresh, whole, healthy food. I truly believe if you get them involved in food young, you will have them involved for life.
Make it simple and teach your toddler the names of all the foods in the produce section or get complicated and teach your pre-schooler knife skills (yes, I was that crazy). Even the messiest of times have turned out to be rewarding and I take pride in teaching my kids the importance of learning to love good food.
My CSA adventure has saved time shopping so I can spend more time eating, planning and playing!