If there is one thing I have learned after years of avoiding gluten, dairy, refined sugar, and processed oils, it's that you really don't need any of those things to make something delicious.
I adapted this recipe from the Gluten Free Palate to include more veggies, protein, and gooey chocolatey goodness.
Over the past few weeks I have made several batches and I discovered that you cannot mess this recipe up. I have added protein powder and left it out. I used a small zucchini and then a large one. I got distracted and left the loaf in the oven about 10 minutes too long. And even though I suppose there were slight differences between the batches, they each received their own rave reviews.
Blender recipes are my favorite. There is nothing easier than throwing everything into the blender jar and giving it a whirl. Even cleanup is easier (I blend soapy water for 20 seconds and call it a day).
The trick to a nice blended batter is the order in which you add the ingredients. Wet ingredients go in before dry so that the flour doesn't get stuck under the blades. For this recipe, add all the wet ingredients in along with the zucchini that has been cut into 1-inch slices. Blend until well mixed and zucchini is in fine shreds. Add the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) and pulse 3-4 times, until just combined. You may need to scrape the sides. Add the chocolate chips and stir with a spatula. Use the same spatula to ensure all batter makes it into the loaf pan or cupcake liners.
Of course you can make this the old fashioned way. To do that, grate the zucchini with a grater, microplane, or food processor then set aside. Combine the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients (minus chocolate chips) in another. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in the grated zucchini and chocolate chips.
Because this recipe is so forgiving, feel free to make substitutions to fit your diet or the ingredients you have on hand. You can expect slight changes in consistency but very little change in flavor. While I haven't tried every suggestion below, my experience with this recipe tells me that just about any substitution will yield tasty results.
Note: Some of these substitutions are not on the Paleo diet.
Almond flour - You can substitute this for your favorite gluten free flour blend though it will no longer be grain free. This swap will result in a denser loaf. I would not recommend coconut flour unless you are familiar with it's unique properties and how to adjust the wet ingredients.
Maple syrup - Swap for 3 tablespoons honey (honey is sweeter than maple syrup). You may also use 1/4 cup granulated sugar (white or brown) but will need to replace some of the moisture lost. Try 1-2 tablespoons water, dairy free milk, or extra zucchini.
Eggs - Though I do not have experience replacing eggs myself, the most common substitutes for this type of recipe are 3/4 cups (1/4 cup per egg) mashed banana, apple sauce, or carbonated water.
Coconut oil - Just about any oil will do. Some favorites are avocado or grapeseed. You can also replace with apple sauce though I would recommend using apple sauce to replace either eggs or oil, not both.
Protein Powder - This ingredient is entirely optional but I love adding it because I often send this to school with my kiddos for lunch or have a slice for breakfast. While you can use any protein powder you have, we love Designs For Health PurePaleo chocolate protein because it is one of the cleanest, tastiest bone broth proteins we have found.
Chocolate chips - You can leave these out. I wouldn't ;-)
Fair warning! These are best the next day. You will want to eat these right away and if you do, they will seem "wet".
Store in a lightly covered container on the counter for up to 2 days, in the fridge for up to 4 days, or seal tightly and freeze for up to 1 month.
Tell me how much you loved it in the comments!