I have that book by Jessica Seinfeld, Deceptively Delicious. You know, the one where she purees up all these veggies and sneaks them into her kids’ food?
I’ve got mixed feelings. On one hand, getting my kiddos to eat more veggies, willingly? Let’s do it. Carrot purée in mac ‘n cheese? Why not? Whir up that broccoli and sneak it into a brownie! After all, both J Man and Miss Rae are unaware that smoothies come in any color other than green because I always throw a handful of spinach into the vitamix.
But to play devils advocate, if I’m always “sneaking” their veggies into favorite foods, and they’re never just eating green beans or cauliflower in their unadulterated form, how will they ever make choices for these foods when they are grown up and away from my watchful (somewhat veg obsessed) eye?
So, the best of both worlds? Offer the purest of broccoli, peas and carrots, but sneak that spinach into their smoothie…or in this case, that zucchini into their granola…:)
Here’s the deal: 4 different ingredients are assigned, and the challenge is to create an amazing recipe using all four ingredients. Kind of like Iron Chef, only less scary and no random animal parts are involved. (Seriously, I am always interested in cooking shows like Master Chef, or The Next Food Network Star, but I would be 100% clueless if any meat was involved! And so far I haven’t heard of any auditions for Top Vegan Chef…) anyhow, recipes are shared and enjoyed. Simple!
And when I saw the four ingredients for this week’s showdown, I knew I had to participate: banana, dark chocolate, coconut and zucchini- all things in my kitchen RIGHT NOW!
But what to make? Some sort of quick bread? Everyone will be doing that. A smoothie? There again, a typical recipe. Something that isn’t too sweet. Something versatile.
And this amazing granola was born!
Dark chocolate double coconut granola!
Grate and squeeze your zucchini to remove excess water.
Miss Rae came to help. Quality control, you know. This picture is why the recipe calls for 3/4 of a banana, and not the whole thing…
Combine your dry ingredients.
We apparently had some questionable coconut that also needed “testing”. What a great helper:)
In a second bowl, combine your mashed banana, peanut butter, zucchini and extracts.
Once you’ve started “helping”, it’s hard to stop…
Wet and dry ingredients are combined and spread onto my second best friend (after the vitamix), parchment paper.
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Now listen carefully, this is the most important part. Once it’s out of the oven, you’ll taste it and think, “eh, it’s fine, but nothing special”. This is where the magic happens.
Chop up your dark chocolate bar, and while the granola is still warm, stir in half of the chocolate pieces. Then, and you must not forget this step, give the bowl two or three good cranks of sea salt.
The thin glaze of dark chocolate and the sea salt send this granola OVER THE TOP. And do you taste the zucchini? With chocolate, peanut butter, coconutty goodness, not a chance.
Make this now.
Dark Chocolate Double Coconut Granola
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup flake coconut
1 TBS cocoa powder
1/4 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed dry
3/4 small banana, mashed
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1 dark chocolate bar, chopped (mine had almonds)
1 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 350. Combine wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Save chocolate bar and salt for later. Mix wet and dry together thoroughly. Spread on a silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. While still warm, mix in 1/2 bar of chopped chocolate and sea salt. Let cool fully, then stir in the remainder chocolate bar. Eat every day.