Food, Food Medicine, Health, Herbal Medicine, Travel

Time for Food Blogging – Jackfruit

Time for Jackfruit

Jackfruit is like some weird alien, put on the earth to confound people, and to get your hands sticky. I am still waiting for one to possibly hatch. I don’t let that stop me – it’s really tasty!   It is this a humongous, amazing, weird, tasty fruit, which you’ve probably never seen. Unless you went to an Asian market…or apparently you local Meijer’s Store.

Used to be, we had to drive an hour and a half to Grand Rapids to find a jackfruit. Finding them was spotty, and still is.  However, my husband brought home a large jackfruit from our local Meijer’s store! This is a large box/grocery store chain in Michigan.

The fruit looks similar to a Durian, another fruit you are unlikely to see, unless you frequent Asian stores, which I admit to doing, obviously!  The durian’s outside is very sharp and very spiky. To be honest, I was rather intimidated by the durian’s sharp pokey outside. I would not want to have to pick one up – an obstacle for me trying them.  Since I’ve never eaten at durian, I can’t compare the taste of the two. However, one author called durian, ”the stinkiest, spikiest, weirdest fruit of them all” and said durian smell is like ”sweaty socks sitting in sewer water near a fishery,” and tasted like “a sweet almondine onion-sherry chocolate mousse with hints of garlic and farts. Delightful! And completely incomparable to jackfruit.”   Thank goodness!  Durian are seemingly easier to come by and crowd out our Asian markets for shelf space. Not sure why. Maybe as weapons of war! You’d understand if you’d seen those thorns!

But we are here to talk about Jackfruit: Jackfruit looks similar, but the scaly bits are soft, making it look like an alien egg pod, coated in dinosaur skin. Green, a foot and a half tall by 8+ inches wide, with a reptilian skin, it does look out of this world. Inside the outer dinosaur skin, are yellow-orange pods of delicious fruit, each with a large seed in the center. A bunch of latex fingers and tongues hold them securely in place. Our job is to wrestle these pods-of-goodness out of the latex alien egg, without getting stuck to the thing. Don’t despair – it’s a battle worth fighting!

I followed the directions taped onto the fruit – they were useless. The best way I‘ve found to get to the good fruit is to put on clean rubber dish gloves, cut the fruit in half, and go to it, grabbing the pods and twisting. They twist out readily.

The fruit that you’ll receive is sweet. I (force-fed) it to friends, who (still liked me afterwards, and) described as a cross between cantaloupe and pear, or a cross between bananas and mangoes. It does have a slightly musky odor, no one else mentioned it, but it tastes great.

Jackfruit is supposed to be good for your energy, and libido. I have to be honest and say I have never noticed any affect on my energy or libido. We like it because it’s weird! Also because it’s tastes wonderful.

We are an adventurous bunch of eaters.

I hope you are too.


Jackfruit Information

Jackfruit is related to mulberries – something I did not know, and never would have guessed. They grow on the trunks of trees rather than a fruit from the branch – a popular choice in the tropics. They’re used for juice and jams, fresh edibles, and it is gaining popularity as a meat substitute. Yes, a meat substitute. Weird. Love it! Unripe jackfruit, when cooked, makes a product resembling pulled pork. I’d even heard of this, although I didn’t put the two together – my luscious orange gigantic fruit, and a vegan meat substitute.

Once harvested the fruit only lasts a number of weeks, so has to be processed and eaten fairly quickly. The trees grow in tropical and subtropical in tropical areas. In many parts of the world they’re considered trash trees, and trash food that would “only be eaten by the poor.” Similar to another of my favorites – mulberries. This bias keeps large populations from utilizing this fruit, which grows naturally everywhere within its region, and has many benefits. It could provide much needed nutrition in areas where grows naturally.

The orange bark from the tree can be used to make a dye, the color of the traditional orange robes of monks in Asia. The latex can be used as a glue – no surprise. Wood is a very hard, suitable for many items, including musical instrument. Plus the wood has a neat yellow color.

Skins have medicinal qualities – including reducing the heavy metal cadmium which damages are DNA and is a common heavy metal contaminant. The seeds are also edible, can be roasted with a little salt, and eaten. I will have to try that next time. Apparently the seeds are high enough in protein to “replace lentils in the diet.” Roasted seeds can also be ground and made into a gluten-free flour.

The jackfruit is high in antioxidants, phyto-nutrients, and vitamins including the vitamins and vitamin C. The fruit has a low glycemic index fruit, giving a slow releasing glucose – that would be a good option for diabetics. It’s also very high in fiber and helpful pre-biotic for our pro-biotics.

When jackfruit is cooked, the water is traditionally used as well. It’s particularly high in potassium and Omega-3 fatty acid’s.

In addition it’s high and all the trace minerals and vitamins, and almost anything else you think of. It is supposed to be soothing the G.I. tract, and good for G.I. ulcers.

It’s high in magnesium and so helps with insomnia.

Below are some internet references to studies, showing that Jackfruit may e helpful in people with cancer. I have yet to look up the original studies. However, in one study, women who a jackfruit regularly had reductions in multiple types of cancer, including endometrial cancer. It’s also under research or has been researched for colorectal cancer.


Website on Durian

Cover Photo by Chasmac on, other photos by Tama’s Kitchen3 (3)2 (4)1 (16)

Food, Food Medicine, Recipes

Elimination Diet: Dessert – Vegan Carrot Halva (Halwa)

Elimination Diet: Dessert – Vegan Carrot Halva (Halwa)  


2 1/2 cups grated or shredded carrots (I am lazy and I just chopped them and it turned out okay.)

2 T olive oil,  (can substitute butter, ghee  or other oils)

1 1/4 cup rice milk (substitute coconut milk or other)

2 T  honey

1 tablespoon olive oil, vegan butter or safflower oil

Pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder



Place  carrots and oil/ butter in a skillet and cook for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  I like mine a bit browned, as the canalization tastes good to me.  Once soften, consider mashing a bit, especially if you were lazy, like me, and chopped rather than grated the carrots.

Add rice milk and mix well. It is optional to add 1/4 cup cooked rice at this point.  Reduce heat to low-medium. Cook for 15-20 minutes.  Add honey, oil/vegan butter, salt, and cardamom. Mix and cook until all the rice milk has been absorbed, time will vary. Stir occasionally.

Taste and adjust sweeness. Cook to a consistency and color you like. Serve warm.

Usually this dish has chopped nuts, nut flour, raisins, butter or ghee. Sounds fabulous! None of it is on my diet of chicken, rice, papaya carrots (and salt, pepper and honey). So I adapted this dish from a vegan site (link below).


by – Tama Cathers, lover of warmed honeyed carrots, and other sweet things.



Credits: The original inspiration for this dish came from the website below, and has been altered to suit my purposes:

Photo by Nisha Ramesh on Unsplash

Food, Health, Recipes

The Elimination Diet Recipes – Second Edition: Dinner, Dessert, Snack, and Gingerbread Cookies

The Elimination Diet Recipes – Second Edition

So, if you thought the last set of recipes were good – GREAT!  Here are more!          Cookies! (I love cookies!)

If you thought the last set of recipes were bland; good news – sweets and dinner. Bad news – same ingredients! Chicken, Rice, Carrots, Papaya, Honey, Olive Oil, Cinnamon.  What do you expect!?!  (Okay, Maybe a few extra spices for the cookies.) You try eating the same thing for more than 2 days – then you will think I am a genius!

I have to admit the dinner, crackers and dessert were my husband’s creation (genius). After I saw how he made pizza dough, I created the gingerbread cookies with my daughter. I do love cookies!


Elimination Diet: Lunch/Dinner – Grilled Chicken, Rice Noodles, Maple Carrots


1 chicken breast per person, cut horizontally in half so to be half as thick

salt and pepper to taste

Maple syrup

Baby carrots

Rice Noodles


Olive Oil

Sal and Pepper to Taste


Salt and pepper chicken breasts. Grill chicken breasts on high for ~ 3 minutes each side. This seals in the moisture, allowing for a more tender cut of meat. Cook on Medium low for an additional 10 – 15 minutes or until done, cooked all the way through, or registering 180 degrees internally with a meat thermometer.


Add 1/3 cup of baby carrots per person and 1 teaspoon maple syrup per person to a small amount of water in a sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender.

Rice noodles are cooked in boiling water as package label instructs. Drain and serve with a pair of scissors to ease serving. Kids love cutting their portion of noodles. Top with a sprits of oil and season to taste with chicken broth from the chicken plate, salt and pepper.



Elimination Diet: Snack – Rice Crackers


3 cups cooked white rice

1/3 c rice flour

Water as needed to blend

Honey, salt and pepper, or sea salt for topping


Very heavily oil a sheet of aluminum foil, and turn the dough out on this. Top with plastic wrap. Roll dough out to 1/8th inch thickness with a rolling pin, or spread with hands, on top of plastic wrap.

For savory version – sprinkle salt or salt and pepper.

For sweet version – drizzle lightly with honey, and cut cooking time by 5-10 minutes. Watch closely as the sugar in the honey tends to caramelize quickly and then move on to becoming burned.

Cook at 350 for 10 – 15 minutes.



Elimination Diet: Dessert – Fried Carrots with honey


1 carrot per person, sliced on the diagonal

Olive oil


1-2 t Honey

Fry carrots in olive oil until mildly caramelized. They will be browned in some spots. Transfer to a bowl. Add honey and cinnamon. Serve hot.



Elimination Diet: Dessert – Rice Based Gingerbread Cookies

Okay – So the Picture above does NOT represent the gingerbread cookies we made. I just have to fess up. These are pictures of regular old flour based gingerbread.  But ours were DARNED good! So good, we ate them all up without one picture!


3 cups cooked white rice (Bo-Tan)

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup honey

¼ cup molasses

1 T Baking Powder

1 t Salt

1 t cinnamon

2 t+ ginger

2 T minced candied ginger (optional)

½ t nutmeg

6 T rice flour

rice flour as needed for cookie dough consistency

rice milk as needed for cookie dough consistency


Beat Cooked Rice for 5 – 10 minutes until most of rice is broken, and a doughy consistency is formed. A hand mixer works, but a stand mixer would be better. Mix dry ingredients together: the salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and 6 tablespoons of rice flour. Add this mixture while stirring well. Add molasses. Add candied ginger.

Add rice milk or rice flour as needed to form a cookie dough consistency; dry enough to pull away from walls of mixing dough, but not so firm it cannot be worked.

Oil a sheet of aluminum foil very heavily, and place the dough on this. Top with plastic wrap. Roll dough out to ¼ inch thickness with a rolling pin. Using cookie cutters, cut out cookie shapes, transfer to a well oiled cookie sheet or silicone baking liner.

Cook at 350 for 12 – 17 minutes.


(Cooling the dough is an additional option that will make working with the dough easier. The key is to get it the right consistency. If you can’t cut a cookie shape out – it’s not right.)

Top with frosting if allowed on diet. Two sites list vegan royal frosting. They both use chickpea juice and sugar. Neither are on my diet, but maybe in the future.





Food, Food Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Recipes

A Recipe for Winter: Oh, So Easy Bone Broth


I have a recipe for you.: Bone Broth. Its all the rage, right now. Despite that, I love it!  Very soothing. Endlessly useful. Highly adaptable. Good for you. The most impressive thing is how easy it is. What I can’t believe is that my mother, and my grandmother never seemed to do this. It seems like a no brainer!

In the past I made broths, by cooking the leftover meat usually on the bones, for a few hours. It was invariably disappointing – weak, and not worth the effort. This is officially called a ‘Broth.” I then read about making bone broth. It is really considered a ‘Stock’, in cooking terms. This is much more worthwhile! So much more flavorful!

Research shows that chicken bone broth actually does help you heal when you are sick. Researcher at Nebraska Medical Center found that chicken soup made the traditional manner decreases the symptoms of upper respiratory infections. Low calorie soup also has been found to reduce calorie intake.

I felt great getting to use my herbs at the end of their season. I did have to dig under the leaves to find the oregano, and though my pineapple sage had died with the first frost, the leaves were still fragrant. Our whole house smelled delicious for 3 days!

Plus, my daughter loves to say vegetable butts! These ‘waste’ pieces no longer feed my compost, instead they flavor my stock! We keep them in a collecting can in the freezer. Adding vegetables enhances the flavor and reduces the need for salt to taste.  The vinegar helps the bone release their calcium into the broth, just like that old rubber chicken bone trick!


Bone Broth Recipe


Meat bones

Vegetable butts

Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley


1/4 cup vinegar


Place bones in a large stock pot. Add vinegar, vegetable butts, and herbs. Cover generously with water. Bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer on low heat. Cook poultry bones for 24 hours. Cook pork or beef for 72 hours (3 days). Keep solids covered with water.

Cool. Drain liquid and discard solid remains. Refrigerate. Consider skimming the fat off once cooled, for lower calorie broth. Use within 48 hours or freeze for later use.

Happy cooking and Happy Holidays!

-by Tama Cathers, BS, MS, DVM, SC (sometimes cook), SG (sometimes gardener), SA (sometimes asleep), SN (sometimes not).


Chicken soup

Soup and calorie intake

 Cover Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


Forewarning: These pictures turned out a little gory!


Burnout and Stress, Food, Food Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Recipes

In Pursuit of GI Balance – An Adventure in Radical Elimination Diets (Don’t Try this at Home!)

In Pursuit of GI Balance – An Adventure in Radical Elimination Diets (Don’t Try this at Home!)

I started this blog following a decline in my vitality, after having surgery. I had my gall bladder removed, which was great.  However, then I got everything: GI thrush, Influenza, every cold in my daughter’s school. I was tired, stressed, and all I wanted to do was sleep. Maybe eat and sleep.

So I started by adding more herbs to my diet. Our family started eating more vegetables. Eventually we removed most carbs. We adopted a Mostly Reduced Lectin Diet, primarily as a means to eat more veggies. It certainly reduced our lectins (protective plant proteins) which are found in potatoes, legumes/beans, peanuts/cashews, and peppers.

I also have fought cravings for, well forever. Sometime in there, I gained 10 lbs, chalking it up to age. I accepted that, but then I started having GI issues. I have always been a person whose stress shows in their guts. I thought that now, post-Gall Bladder, post Career Change, I was supposed to be on the upswing!

No upswing.

I went hiking and drank untreated water, unintentionally. I got ongoing diarrhea. Wait, maybe I’d had this on and off – but never like this! I thought I had cryptosporidia. It’s a diarrheal disease from livestock – yup – that’s who shared our water sources. In 4 – 6 weeks I should be better.

6 weeks later – I wasn’t any better.. I got treated for traveler’s diarrhea, and for giardia. I didn’t get better, but I did get GI thrush. Again.

I stopped eating Sugar and Flour. This was tremendously helpful in managing my cravings. My tongue turned pink again. This was a first.  Pink is the color our tongues is supposed to be! Mine had not been that color longer than I can remember.  However, my GI system was not better. My doctor ordered a fecal culture and testing – no cryptosporidia, nor any other pathogens. She told me to stop eating dairy and eggs. Add in fiber and probiotics.

I shifted my diet again: no sugar, no flour, no dairy, no eggs, added fiber and probiotics. It did not change my GI system.  Maybe it was the nuts. I eliminated nuts, making my daily Walking Oatmeal with seeds and my sugarless flour-free chocolate cake with seed butter.

No better. Things might even be worse. I emailed Doc for help, to ask about a plan or an elimination diet.   I was told I could come in and talk with her……In a month.


I sat down and cried. I felt betrayed. I couldn’t go another month. What was I supposed to eat! I wanted to not wake up at 3 am every morning with GI pain or worse. I wanted to go to sleep with out my belly hurting, or to spend a day without it torment me all day. I wanted not to be filled with gas at times every day. And hot damn – I wanted to stop shitting 6 times a day.

My handsome husband stepped in. He’s a nurse. I am/was a doctor of animals. We know what to do. We were going off track – without a doctor. We were going to do an elimination diet!

His plan was radical. I mean radical radical.  Nothing I could find on the net was so radicle. But it matched what he would do to a human, and what I would do to a pet.  I choose 1 meat, 1 vegetable, 1 starch and 1 fruit, then add food back one at a time. I chose chicken, rice, carrots, and papaya. We added honey, olive oil, salt, pepper and black tea, just to make it do-able.

As a nurse….or a veterinarian feeding an animal…this likely makes sense. We can do that to the creatures under our care. You just – do it.

Well, it’s not so simple, when one is the creature!

On day 1, all my GI signs went away.  Day 2 was great, husband made me ‘pizza’ with a crust out of white rice, and topped with carrots and chicken. For dessert I got caramelized carrots with honey.

On day 3, I had to eat my dinner in the living room, away from all the other families food. I couldn’t stop Watching Them Eat!  By then I had already started cheating, a little. Adding a spice, or fennel tea, or wild rice instead of white… Little cheats.   On day 5, I decided to add new foods. I was going crazy! I did not mind eating these 4 foods, they were still good and the results were great, but I could hardly stand to not eat other food. I loved the happy pain free belly I now had!  It was great! But I couldn’t eat rice and chicken for the rest of my life! So we negotiated adding 2 foods at a time: White fish and sweet potatoes. I also cheated and ate a little brown rice and a bite or two of wild rice as well.

I was back to GI-sick for 2-3 days. Obviously, I went back to chicken and rice.

On day 9, I told my husband I was not going to be able to stay on this diet for more than a day or two. I wanted to plan my exit, not be rash. But exit I must –  I was about to just off a cliff, maybe with a parachute. I wanted to drink in the morning: Every morning! (I don’t drink much at all!) I wanted to drive race cars, or set the house on fire – just a little fire… Really, I felt crazy. We made a new plan.  I continued the 4 ingredient diet for another 2 days, actually traveling cross country, and attending a holiday potluck, without cheating. I knew relief was coming!  I wasn’t even tempted to cheat anymore, in the face of the relief, because I knew how badly eating regularly had made me feel. I was not at all tempted by the holiday desserts flooding the counters everywhere. Not one bit! I swear – and it was pretty weird not to be tempted.

At the potluck, I spoke with a physician. She could not believe I was going with out sugar, eggs or dairy. She thought that was the hard and amazing part. I thought to myself, Well, THAT ain’t nothing!” By talking to her, I realized just how hard the thing I had been doing actually was – enormously hard!

I returned home and started a new plan; a modified rotating diet plan. In this plan, you choose to eat from different families of food, and not eat that family again for 4 days. There are a lot of theories as to why this may work, and lots of information as to why it won’t work. In veterinary medicine, food allergy testing is considered of no use, but practically speaking, I have seen it almost always be of some uses. This is because food allergies, which are really intolerances, they shift around. So the science of testing does not work well, but the art of food trials – now that works. We are not talking about allergies here however, we are talking about sensitivities, or intolerances.  These things shift around, mostly flaring up against the things we eat the most.  My rotating, you avoid that.  Using this plan, I could rotate through more foods while ‘eliminating them.” Maybe I wouldn’t go crazy.

I modified it because I was still more interested in an Elimination Diet, rather than rotating through a vast array of foods. I limited myself initially to choosing 4 different food families and eating those for 2 days each. I found I couldn’t manage to eat the same 4 foods for 3 days, but I could for 2 days. Beef, green beans, white potatoes, and bananas. Pork, Quinoa, Squash, and Melon (that was a little tough).

After that it was Christmas. I really wanted to eat candy, drink eggnog, and share that big block of brie I got weeks ago! I choose Chicken, rice, corn , legumes, milk eggs and mangos. That might’ve been more than 4 foods! However, that way I could eat my candy (milk and corn syrup), drink my eggnog, and eat cheese. Guess what – I was great! (I might have felt a little nausea after downing 2 candy bars in 30 minutes, having not eating sugar for 3 months, but I don’t think that counts.)

The next round was Fish again, this time salmon (steaks and Lox’s!), broccoli, amaranth, and apples. OMG! I could not even finish the 2nd day! Wow! At least I know I am on the right path – it is food. I was beginning to wonder. Good feedback and – Ugh!


Since I started this blog, I have used myself as a laboratory. Weight loss has never been my primary goal, but eating healthy has been. Of course, I wouldn’t argue with 5 – 10 lbs off!  I tried the Low Lectin Diet, which increased our vegetable intake mild to moderately. I lost no weight.  I loved the psychology behind the Brightline eating diet, and am a big believer that sugar, corn syrup and likely flour are not our friends. I tried that diet, cutting sugar and flour. I think it was really helpful in controlling my cravings. Super really. It’s a bit obsessive if you ask me. I did not subscribe, or measure my food. I just cut sugar, flour, ate meals, avoided snacks (for the most part), and I got control over my cravings. I also lost 2-4 lbs, maybe. I don’t know because my scale broke, but I do have a mirror. I eliminated dairy and eggs with no effect.  I removed nuts, shifting to seeds. No help.

I tried a radical elimination diet, way more radical than anything out there on the web. I failed to stick to the diet. Yet I feel I succeeded. Now, I am using a rotating diet, to investigate what makes me tick, and what makes me – well, sound more musical, and less comfortable. By the way, I am pretty sure I am in the 5-7 lbs weight loss range. My cravings – still mostly controlled.  When I have eaten most of my regular foods, which will take a few rotations, then I will test out the failures in each group. After that, we’ll see. I might consider this rotational diet for the sake of an eating plan. I certainly plan on continuing to eat in ways I have learned controls cravings, avoids GI distress and focuses on balance. Even if I eat sugar sometimes.

It’s all about balance!

by Tama Cathers, an independent food laboratory with feet.



Food, Recipes

No-one-will-notice-the-Zucchini Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake

No-one-will-notice-the-Zucchini Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake –  Recipes to suit your tastes: gooey or cake-like, with Vegan, Nut-free Options  (All Recipes are No Wheat Flour, Low Sweetener & No refined Sugar)


I am reducing my processed foods. Specifically I am reducing refined sugar and flour. I like this cake because it is good for you; cocoa, zucchini, nut butter. Personally, I could skip the sweetener altogether, but it is more familiy friendly if you add a little honey. Even though I am cutting sugar and flour, I still need comfort foods. I need chocolate. I need to feel like I am being naughty. It’s good for you to be a little bad.

I made 3 or 4 versions of this cake before settling on a recipe the whole family liked. It felt like a veritable test kitchen at my house for a while! Because of this, I have a lot of options, from vegan, nut-free flourless, to my favorite listed immediately below. I have highlighted the changed ingredients in bold.

If you want a denser, more brownie like cake, follow the vegan recipe (#2) or the recipe below (#1). The apple sauce makes it more dense.

If you want a more cake like recipe, skip the and use the recipe with egg instead of apple sauce.  The egg makes it lighter.

If you want a gooey cake, follow the recipe below (#1), and be prepared to wait a while it cooks.

Happy cooking!


My Favorite No-one-will-notice-the-Zucchini Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake #1

(Gluten Free, Low Sweetener, No Sugar, Optional Nut-Free)


  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter or nut butter   (almond, peanut, sunflower seed, tahini will all work)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup ripe mashed banana (1 large banana)
  • 1 egg (non-vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 1.5 cups shredded zucchini, blenderized


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 10 x 8 in baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. Blenderize zucchini until light and airy.
  3. Add seed (or nut butter), banana, egg, honey, and vanilla. Blenderize until smooth. Transfer to mixing bowl.
  4. Mix in cocoa powder, almond flour, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
  5. Fold in chocolate chunks.
  6. Pour into pan and spread evenly.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool and serve.



This version is for my gluten intolerant, nut allergic pals, those who like denser brownie like cakes, or any vegans.

Brownie LikeNo-one-will-notice-the-Zucchini Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake #2 =

(Vegan, Nut-Free, Gluten Free, Low Sweetener, No Sugar)


  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup ripe mashed banana (1 large banana)
  • ¼ cup apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 1.5 cups shredded zucchini, blenderized


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 10 x 8 in baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. Blenderize zucchini until light and airy.
  3. Add seed (or nut butter), banana, or apple sauce, honey, and vanilla. Blenderize until smooth. Transfer to mixing bowl.
  4. Mix in cocoa powder, almond flour, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
  5. Fold in chocolate chunks.
  6. Pour into pan and spread evenly.
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool and serve.

Notes: It does have a tendency to look more uncooked when you cut it. If the cake still looks moist, but the toothpick comes out dry, it should be done. This cake is  somehow both cakey and gooey in texture.



I made the very first version of the cake using a found recipe similar to the one below. However, there were some problems: I cooked it for an hour, but found it was still gooey inside. I put it back in the oven for 20 minutes. Then my husband cooked it for another hour, after I went to bed. With that much cooking, I would have agree with him that the edges were perfect! The inside was still too uncooked for either of us.

This being said, we did eat the whole thing and liked some things about it.  The cake was not unsweet, but it was certainly less sweet – exactly what I was looking for and what my husband prefers. Note, this recipe has NOT been kid tested, but adults who are not big sweet fans will like it.

After eating up the first attempt, I adjusted the recipe to the one below (#3). I put it in a bigger pan, and used a blender to aerate the mixture into a lighter consistency, as well. That process was a bit messy, but well worth it.  No need to try using a food processor, or using a mixer on high – I already did. Neither of those options worked well. 

Gooey Long Cooking No-one-will-notice-the-Zucchini Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake #3

(No Flour, Gluten Free, Low Sweetener, No Sugar, No Egg)


  • 1 cup nut butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup ripe mashed banana ( 1 large ‘naner)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate – I used baking chocolate, and a shredder to get the chunky/ fine consistency I wanted.
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a round 9 x 9 baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together nut butter, maple syrup, banana, egg, and vanilla.
  3. Stir in cocoa powder, almond flour, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
  4. Add the zucchini mix well, on high, until light and airy.
  5. Fold in chocolate chunks.
  6. Pour into pan and spread evenly.
  7. Bake for 60- 125 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If a more gooey moist consistency is desired, do not mix as much and cook a shorter period of time.
  8. Cool and serve.

Notes: If you like gooey – this one is for you. We cooked this for over 2 hours and it was still very soft in the middle. Don’t get me wrong, we still ate it!  This one has no blender, no egg, and was not very sweet (a plus in our book.)



Food, Recipes

Cream of Zucchini Soup

Cream of Zucchini Soup

I still have Zucchini and sour cream left.  So, this is another recipe for the both of them. (I am going to repeat this soup ad nauseam with different vegetables, until I finally run out of sour cream.)   Cauliflower is next up and sitting in the oven ready to roast, because we ate all the zucchini soup up.  To be honest, I like zucchini, but even I am ready for a break.  How about you?  If I have any left over – I am making cake!

Notes on Nutrition: Well, it’s dicey.  The healthiness of this soup would go up if the 1/2 cup sour cream was reduced to 2 Tablespoons of Reduced Fat sour cream.  That is for normal people, in normal situations, i.e those lacking 1/2 gallon of sour cream they need to get rid of.  By the way, sour cream does not freeze well. It separates.  It may still be fine for soup, but I wasn’t ready to give up on yet.


RECIPE: Cream of Zucchini Soup


1 small onion, quartered

1 cloves garlic

3 medium or 1 large zucchini, skin on, cut in large chunks

4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)

½ cup sour cream (or 2 -4 Tablespoons reduced fat sour cream or fat free unflavored greek yogurt)

salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Combine chicken broth, onion, garlic and zucchini in a large pot over medium heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Lower heat, cover, simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat. Purée with a food processor or blender.
  4. Add the sour cream, blend until smooth.
  5. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust to taste. Serve hot.


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