Paleo Dark Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

The Casual Classic | Zucchini Bread

Yes, this is as good as it looks. And yes, it's also decently healthy (aside from the chocolate part). This is my dark chocolate chip zucchini banana bread, and it's gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and absolutely delicious - even for breakfast if you feel so inclined. I make my regular banana bread so darn often that I decided I needed to try something new this time around. And although it's not as amazing as my original banana bread, this version is a great twist on the original recipe.

The Casual Classic | Zucchini Bread

Zucchini is super high in fiber and low in calories, making it a great food to incorporate into any recipe. It's also rich in potassium, just like bananas, so you're really getting your fill with this recipe. I used coconut flour, as usual, which is also super high in fiber and even better, low in carbs. But really, how good is this recipe!? This bread is also sweetened naturally (aside from the chocolate chips which are totally optional), and fulfills my constant dessert craving that I have throughout the day. Luckily, I don't feel guilty snacking on this one, which is exactly why I make recipes like this!

The Casual Classic | Zucchini Bread

Recipe:

  • 1 cup organic shredded zucchini, or about 1 medium sized zucchini
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed up
  • 6 organic eggs
  • 3 tbsp REAL maple syrup, or raw honey
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I used pink Himalayan)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup dark chocolate chips (optional, depending on your preference)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Squeeze the excess water out of the shredded zucchini either in a paper towel or dish towel.
  3. Throw everything together in a food processor (minus the chocolate chips) on low until well mixed.
  4. Fold in about 2/3 of the chocolate chips to the mixture.
  5. Pour mixture in to a greased (I used ghee), 8x8 pan, and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and you can insert a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean.

The BEST 3 Ingredient Paleo Pizza Crusts

The Casual Classic | Paleo Pizza

Pizza. The one thing I can't live without and refuse to cut out of my diet, so I'm always on the hunt to find a healthy alternative if at all possible. I love the idea of the cauliflower crust, but gosh that is a lot more work than I feel like doing sometimes, plus I don't always have cauliflower and parm cheese on hand. I just want a crust that's ready to go that I can throw toppings on and pop in the oven. This crust is literally 3 ingredients and takes two seconds to make. I loved how easy it was and of course how quick it was. Pizzas we're done and on the table within a half hour max.

The Casual Classic | Paleo Pizza Crusts

Pizzas are one of my favorite meals to cook with Nick because it's a meal that we can do together. It's fun to pick the different toppings and create all kinds of different versions. He usually goes heavy on the meat though, and I go heavy on the greens, as you can see from these photos. We love adding truffle oil to pretty much every flavor that we make though - it just takes them up a notch. You don't need many ingredients to make a delicious pizza. Some of my favorites are olive oil, tomato sauce, parm cheese, mozz cheese, sausage, prosciutto, mushrooms, squash, arugula, spinach, truffle oil, and the list could go on and on. 

The Casual Classic | Paleo Pizza

Now let's talk about these pizza crusts. 3 ingredients people. That's IT. And they are ingredients you'll always have on hand, so you can whip them up anytime (that is, as long as you own and/or purchase some coconut flour). Eggs, coconut flour, and any time of milk you have on hand (I used almond of course). This is one of my new favorite recipes, and perfect for a girls night or a stay in date night. The recipe below is for 8 flatbreads/crusts. Enjoy!

The Casual Classic | Paleo Pizza

Recipe

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 & 1/4 cup almond milk (or any milk you have on hand)
  • Salt & pepper, oregano & any other spices you'd like to add
  • Pizza toppings!

Directions

  1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Let sit for a minute or two to allow the batter to thicken. Batter should be runny enough to pour into the pan though - if it isn't, add slightly more milk.
  2. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into a heated, greased skillet. Immediately tilt the pan in all directions to spread the batter around until it is evenly distributed on all sides of the pan.
  3. When the edges start to curl up, flip the crust over and continue to cook. Continue flipping until both sides are evenly browned.
  4. Do this with the rest of the batter until all is cooked. The recipe will make about 8 pizza crusts.
  5. Top the crusts with all your favorite ingredients, throw in the oven on a pizza stone at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and cook for about 20 minutes or until crispy and bubbling.

The Deliciously Ella Sweet Potato Brownies

The Casual Classic | Sweet Potato Brownies

I finally hopped on the bandwagon and tried the famous Deliciously Ella sweet potato brownies that everyone seems to rave about. Honest opinion? I wasn't obsessed with the flavor and texture of them, but these are almost completely added sweetener free and pretty darn healthy. That is the appeal of them though, right? Eating dessert without actually getting the bad side effects of it? I just think they taste a little more like a Luna bar then a brownie, but I'd make them again. That icing though... I'm planning on making just that and eating spoonfuls of it. It was AMAZINGGG. 

The Casual CLassic | Sweet Potato Brownies

Sweet potatoes are the star of this recipe as they are the base of the brownie. Nothing like mixing some healthy starch and fiber into dessert right? This recipe also calls for almonds and coconut oil, so they're also a very good source of healthy fats. They're super simple to make and full of good for you ingredients... Read on for the recipe if you're willing to give them a try.

Ingredients:

  • Brownies:
    • 2 medium sweet potatoes
    • 12 medjool dates
    • 6 tbsp maple syrup
    • 1/2 cup ground almonds
    • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup ground oats
    • 6 tbsp cacao powder
    • a pinch of salt
  • Icing:
    • 2 tbsp coconut oil
    • 2 tbsp almond butter
    • 1 tbsp maple syrup
    • 2 tbsp cacao powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat the over to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into chunks and steam them until they are soft. I believe you could also boil them in water until soft too if you'd like.
  3. Place cooked sweet potato and pitted dates in a food processor together and blend until well mixed.
  4. Mix remaining brownie ingredients in a bowl together and stir.
  5. Next, pour the sweet potato/date combo into the bowl with the remaining brownie ingredients and mix well. 
  6. Grease or line a brownie pan with parchment paper, and pour the brownie mix into the pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until you can pierce the brownies with a toothpick and it comes out dry.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 10-20 minutes - do not touch it! It is important for them to cool down before you cut them up.
  9. To make the icing, simply put all the ingredients into a bowl and melt them in the microwave (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Stir well and place in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes to harden it up a bit so you can spread it! 
  10. Allow the brownies to cool before icing, otherwise it will melt fast! Or just eat the icing on it's own like I plan to do. :)