Fresh from the Market: France 2017

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I’ve had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in France this past month through the University of Minnesota. I’m so excited to come back and share some amazing recipes and talk about my experience with you all! I’ve been exploring Paris, Nantes and Angers while learning about the agriculture and food systems. One of the highlights of this trip was visiting the beautiful farmers markets with my host mom every Saturday. I have never been happier being surrounded by an abundance of fruits and veggies, all grown locally and organically.

The first thing I noticed was the connection to food in this country. I’ve been visiting so many organic farms with my classmates and it’s truly incredible to see the value that people put into their food. I’ve noticed that most French people are aware of where their food comes from and really strive to buy produce that was grown in France.

My message to you: shop local and know where your food comes from!

Some of the best apricots and cherries I’ve eaten on this trip came from my host family’s backyard. Also the best Camembert cheese I’ve tasted came from a small farm, where I got to meet the cows and watch the farmer produce the very product that he loves.

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Some amazing goat cheese I bought ❤

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Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

What do you do when you have leftover ripe bananas AND zucchini? Make this delicious zucchini bread of course! I made two batches last week and they are already gone (in my belly). This is the perfect breakfast, toasted and slathered with almond butter, or the easiest snack to just grab and go!

This zucchini bread is made with spelt flour, coconut sugar, coconut oil and dairy free chocolate chips! It is so simple to make, and very delicious. Oh, not to mention spiked with cacao powder for that double chocolate-y goodness.

Baking with zucchini is a really great way to get veggies into your diet without even trying! You wont taste the zucchini because it has such a mild flavor, but you will see little green specks. I highly recommend keeping the skin on because that is where a lot of the nutritional benefits are. For those of you who have never used zucchini before in your baking, get ready to be amazed!  Shredded zucchini  makes your bread (or cake) super moist.

Here are the ingredients that you will need:

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1 1/2 cup of shredded zucchini
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup dairy free chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (maple syrup or honey also works)
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1) combine mashed banana, coconut oil, shredded zucchini, eggs, vanilla and coconut sugar in a large mixing bowl

2) add spelt flour, cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and sea salt: stir until barely combined

3) add chocolate chips and walnuts!

4) pour batter into a greased loaf pan (I used coconut oil) & top with more walnuts and chocolate chips if desired 🙂

5) bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Let it cool completely before slicing!

6) enjoy! 🙂

Zucchini health benefits:

  • helps improve digestion
  • reduces blood pressure
  • helps maintain eye health
  • good source of antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium!
  • anti-inflammatory
  • rich in B vitamins
  • reduces risk of cardiovascular disease
  • aids in weight loss

Cacao powder health benefits: 

  • high in antioxidants
  • rich source of magnesium
  • helps build strong bones
  • detoxifies the liver
  • regulates blood sugar levels
  • anti-aging properties
  • improves your mood (due to the phenethylamine)

Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

This is my favorite chocolate chip muffin recipe! I always make it when I have too many ripe bananas that are past their prime.This recipe is easily adaptable, and you can use the same batter for making banana bread. Here are the ingredients that you will need:

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (or walnuts)

Instructions:

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line muffin tins

2) In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed bananas, coconut oil, eggs, cinnamon, almond milk, coconut sugar, salt and vanilla extract

3) Add spelt flour, baking soda and chocolate chips (I used dairy free) and mix until well incorporated.

4) Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full, and bake for 12-15 minutes. Feel free to top with extra banana, walnuts or chocolate chips.

5) Let cool completely before serving. Makes 18-20 muffins

6) Enjoy! 🙂