My warm-weather friend made my weekend infinitely brighter. I call Chelsea my “Sun Buddy.” She traded the mountains and snow for the desert to become an ASU Sun Devil. She is my beach lovin’ friend! Miss Chelsea and I can talk for 8 hours straight and always find fun in outdoor adventures or some sort of healthy cooking. Saturday we made the greenest cupcakes you ever did see with a modified recipe from the Oh She Glows cookbook.
Please make these cupcakes. Shred some zucchini. Bake it in a cake. Get a little fancy with pistachio crumbs. Impress your family. Don’t tell them it’s made with vegetables. Laugh about the lime green frosting. We call them Shrek Cakes!
Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cupcake Recipe:
(Adpated from Oh She Glows) Makes 12 large cupcakes
- 1 Tbs. ground flaxseed
- 3 Tbs. Water
- 1 1/4 cup almond milk
- 2 tps. apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbs. pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 Tbs. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (we used mini!)
- 1 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
1. Preheat over to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan.
2. Stir ground flaxseed and water and set aside. In a separate bowl, stir almond milk and vinegar and also set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
4. Pour flax mixture into almond milk mixture. Add in maple syrup, and vanilla.
5. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips and shredded zucchini.
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes; set aside to cool
- 1 large very ripe avocado
- 3 Tbs. confection sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Mash avocado. Using a mixer, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to frost cupcakes. Garnish with crushed pistachio pieces.
**We joked that avocado frosting would taste like sweet guacamole. It did not, though the avocado is still detectable and I think that is a very good thing. Californians have a special obsession with avocados. ;)
So Clean. So Green.
We loved the cupcakes (and so did our taste testers!) but I think everyone agreed they were best without frosting. The avocado topping is great for looks but the muffins are perfect just by themselves (or with fresh coffee, but that goes without saying.)
Baking aside, I had not properly celebrated Chelsea’s 21st birthday yet! We hit up downtown and stopped for a drink. At an espresso bar. Appropriate? I think so. :) I’m way too excited for our autumn plans, tailgate parties, football games, and all things pumpkin.
I am so grateful to have a friend with such a big heart. People who prioritize their friends and relationships, who can have a conversation without looking at their phones, who make an effort and make time to make silly memories are (sadly) rare. I’ve had too many experiences being someone’s friend when it’s “convenient.” This applies to relationships too. It is painfully obvious when someone values your friendship less than you value theirs. When you find a friend like Chelsea, count yourself lucky.
SUN BUDDIES FOR LIFE ;)
Now go get your green on and post it up on Insta!
Like fashion, there are always trending ingredients and current food fads. Among the “Popular Crowd” right now would be chia seeds, Nutella, Greek Yogurt, Pumpkin (as with every fall), and Almond Milk. I know it has been around for a while, but it seems like more and more people are making the milk-swap, vegan or not!
I was intrigued, and decided to forego my skim dairy milk for a carton of Silk Unsweetened Original Almond Milk. Since then, I have been told that Vanilla flavor is the way to go. Anyways, I poured myself a glass with dinner that night, a little apprehensive about the gray-ish color…(No one thinks it’s weird that it sits on the shelf in the cupboard until opening?!)
I gave it an honest try but I couldn’t get past the ‘bitter water’ flavor. It may be 1/3 the calories of skim, but I think I’ll stick with the Cow’s milk.
I still had a carton of almond milk left, and I wasn’t going to waste it! I made a cup of hot chocolate with the almond milk next:
Pure deliciousness in a mug! The almond milk was definitely a hit with hot chocolate (6 oz. Almond Milk, 2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 Tbs sugar, 140 calories). Also a fan of almond milk over cereal and in fruit smoothies. When it was combined with other flavors, the wateriness wasn’t as obvious. I think it’s worth it to go for this low-calorie, high-calcium substitute in baking and other dishes. Next I’m excited to try Coconut Milk.
Now, I would never consider becoming a vegan or vegetarian; however meat is not a big part of my diet. I probably have meat 3 times a week, predominantly chicken or fish. I get most of my protein from milk, yogurt, garbanzo beans, peanut butter, peanut butter, peanut butter, protein bars and peanut butter ;)
My favorite Vegan in my life is quite a character. You may recognize her from some previous posts…
It’s Missy! Missy loves her carrots, and practically any veggies. She’s got some food allergies and is sensitive to a lot of dog food. No she’s not really Vegan (I think her food is lamb-flavored?) but she does LOVE her dinnner-time vegetables. This dog eats canned carrots like nobodies business, my little bunny dog. When we were all out of carrots, we discovered she is equally as excited about beets, peas, green beans, potatoes, and ALMONDS. She will literally scarf down a bowl of steamed, sliced carrots in 3.6 seconds – if only we ALL were as excited about a bowl of veggies :D
Thoughts on dairy-substitute products?