October. Sup. Thanks for stopping by. Did you happen to see January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August or September on your way in? I’m so happy to see you, I just didn’t get to talk to them much.

I love the Fall, especially here in Virginia. Basil and I got married in the Fall, we get to put pumpkin costumes on our dogs in the Fall, and it’s the prime-time for holiday excitement because you haven’t felt stressed about them yet so you only associate them with Santa and hot chocolate and Elf and loved ones and fluffy hats. Oh, and food. Warm, baked goods. With butter or some other topping melting on top.

I am a sucker for baked goods with vegetables in them. It feels so right, and that’s something I think about when planning my garden every year. (Gardening rule number one: plant stuff you actually like to eat and cook with.) One of my favorite plants to cook with is zucchini, so a couple years ago I ambitiously went online to order seeds but I couldn’t decide which variety of zucchini I wanted. I played it safe and ended up ordering seven different variations of zucchini and squash seed packets.
(Side note: zucchini and squash are both amazing and you can almost use them interchangeably. Yellow squash is a little sweeter than a black beauty zucchini, but it has way more seeds. Who cares Amber, get back on topic.)
When they got here I grew all 28 seeds indoors until they were ready to be planted outside, but when I started transferring them I realized I was running out of space. I called my gardening-guru mom to see if I had done something wrong and when I told her I had 28 plants, she said “Honey ...if you’re only feeding Basil and yourself, you need two plants.” Humph. I planted what I could and gave the rest away, but once the zucchini started blooming, they were growing out of my ears. I could not escape the zucchini jungle. Every time I went to pick some it was like Jumanji.

But in the end, one of the many joys of gardening is to give your vegetables away to your friends, so I did a lot of that.
We ate a lot, too.
And, I got a little more creative with zucchini recipes. That’s where this one came from.
Double chocolate gluten free zucchini bread. Yes, that’s two kinds of chocolate in a bread that’s made out of zucchini so it’s at least kind of healthy. It’s a perfect recipe for any season :)

1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use this kind because they are gluten, soy and dairy free and taste amazing)
2 cups organic zucchini, shredded
2 tablespoons organic cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut Sugar
1 cup quinoa flour (try making it on your own with my recipe, or if you'd rather buy it, my favorite is from Bob's Red Mill
   *you can substitute all-purpose gluten-free flour, quinoa is just a little better for you
1 teaspoon guar gum (Bob's Red Mill again) 
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 organic eggs
2/3 Cup sugar free applesauce (optional for a gooey-er loaf. May need to be in oven longer.)
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside. (If using a non-stick pan, simply grease it and dust with quinoa flour.) 

3. In a small saucepan (or microwave in a glass container) melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil.

4. Grate the zucchini (I use my Cuisinart with the shredding disk attachment) 

5. In your mixing bowl (I use a KitchenAid but you can mix by hand if you don’t have one,) combine the cocoa powder, coconut sugar, flour, baking soda mix, guar gum, and salt.


6. Add eggs, vanilla, melted chocolate, and zucchini. Stir to combine.

7. Pour into lined pan.

8. Bake for 40 min. (You may need more or less time depending on your oven. Wait until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.)

9. Let cool for an hour. But if you can’t wait, serve it warm with butter. :) 

10. Store in a covered container in the fridge for up to one week.