Baking with Vegetables

We were endeavouring to empty the fridge of it’s contents before going on a big supermarket shop and so I was trying to use up left over veggies. We had some old onions, half a red pepper, a rather wrinkly looking sweet potato and one and a half courgettes. Cue, experimental baking with the kids on a saturday afternoon!

I don’t know about you but I really find that when the kids have been involved in making something they’re then so much more likely to enjoy eating it. When they’ve got their hands dirty peeling, weighing, mixing and measuring they’re always rather proud of themselves when something tasty appears at the end.

I have three kids so obviously none of them ever like the same things or want to have the same things for dinner. Obviously. No that would be far too easy. We are constantly having to negotiate tea time choices by taking it in turns or leaving something out for one and replacing it for another. Even sandwiches….I mean seriously….I have one for jam, one for peanut butter and one for marmite. Typical.

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So anyway it was sort of a miracle that between us we managed to make some delicious tea time treats that used up all the random veggies left in the fridge drawer. What did we make….

We started with cookies. It was a pretty easy child friendly type of mix that I found online somewhere. Only 5 ingredients:  oats, maple syrup, cinnamon, almond milk and sweet potato. Yes sweet potato!

I have to admit I wasn’t holding out much hope for these, the mix was pretty weird looking, they took longer to cook than I thought they would and when I took them out of the oven they looked decidedly suspicious!

But when trying to cook gluten free, to be honest I’ll try anything once to see if it works out.

But you know what they say….the proof is in the eating….and actually, they weren’t bad but I didn’t love the texture and the cinnamon was too strong. So I made them again.

This time I added some desiccated coconut to the oat mix and then I soaked some currants (I would have used raisins but didn’t have any) in the maple syrup on the hob with a teaspoon of ginger. I also added slightly less sweet potato.

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Sweet Potato & Maple Biscuits

  • Servings: 15
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  1. Cook 200g sweet potato until very soft and add 2 tbsp almond milk until it’s smooth
  2. Weigh 150g oats with 50g desiccated coconut and a pinch of salt
  3. Put 150g maple syrup, 50g currants (or raisins or sultanas) and 1tsp ginger in a saucepan and heat till gently bubbling then turn off and leave for 15mins for the fruit to plump up
  4. Mix wet into dry ingredients and stir through before adding in the sweet potato and stir until combined evenly
  5. Spoon tablespoons onto an oiled baking tray, flatten quite thin and bake for 15mins at 180c

And they turned out to be delicious!

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Gluten free dairy free nut free and egg free

They are sort of a cross between an anzac biscuit, an oatmeal cookie and a ginger biscuit!

They are crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle and the sweet potato makes them….well, sweet! Sweet enough with the maple syrup that you don’t need any extra sugar which is great. The kids seemed to love them, or rather, they seemed to eat them all so I suppose that’s the same thing?!

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Now, I have to be honest with you, even more suspicious looking was our next creation. I combined a couple of recipes I’d seen online for a chocolate courgette loaf and mucked about with a bit to make our version. It took twice the time to cook than it should have, it slightly burned on the top (so I had to cover it with foil) and when I put the skewer in it to check if it was cooked it kept coming out slightly moist so I was convinced that it wasn’t even cooked properly…..

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And then I ate some. OMG. Chocolate heaven!!! Who knew?!! Seriously moist from the courgettes, which seemed to have completely disappeared on cooking, slightly tangy and bitter from the little chunks of dark chocolate chips hidden inside and sweet from the honey.

Totally moreish, totally a surprise and I’m totally making it again next week.

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Chocolate Courgette Loaf

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

GF DF

You will need this:

  • 150g grated courgette
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g Pure sunflower spread
  • 150ml honey
  • 50g coconut flour
  • 2tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g dark chocolate chips (over 80% dark chocolate is naturally dairy free or use a dairy free milk chocolate if you’d rather)

You make it like this:

    1. Preheat the oven to 180c
    2. Line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment all the way round and set aside
    3. Grate a courgette or two depending on their size using a cheese grater or the grater attachment of a food processor
    4. Pop the grated courgette into the centre of a dry and clean tea towel and squeeze out the excess water over the sink
    5. Blend together the vegetable butter, honey and vanilla paste using a hand mixer or a food processor until well combined
    6. Add the eggs one at a time
    7. Sieve over the coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder & bicarbonate of soda and stir to combine
    8. Stir through the grated courgette
    9. Lastly stir in the chocolate chips
    10. Pour into your lined loaf tin and bake at 180c for 40-50mins or until a skewer comes out clean

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Oh and by the way they are also refined sugar free, being simply sweetened with honey and chocolate chips, as well as being nut free, dairy free and gluten free. Clever baking. If you are following a Paleo diet I believe this is allowed (?!) because it has natural sugar content and no grains.

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All in all a fun family feast of cooking and eating and enjoying some of our strange but successful experimental creations! It always pays to be brave and try new things in my book otherwise you never know what you’re missing. And I don’t think I could handle life without this slice of chocolately heaven……

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