Desserts

 

 

Dark Chocolate Zucchini (or summer squash) Cake 

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Description:
Dark chocolate the bitter sweet treat! It's more than wishful thinking - chocolate can be good for you. Studies show that eating chocolate, primarily dark chocolate, may contribute to improved cardiovascular health. Packed with natural antioxidants, dark chocolate and cocoa sit in the same good-for-you category as green tea and blueberries. That's because chocolate comes from cacao beans (or cocoa beans), which grow on the cacao tree and are full of natural plant nutrients. Most of the studies to date highlight dark chocolate's health values because it has the highest percentage of cocoa solids, therefore more antioxidants.
*Health Fact! 40g of cocoa powder a day for 4 weeks has been proven to increase HDL (good) cholesterol by 5% while decreasing LDL (bad cholesterol by 14%!
As a part of the summer squash family, zucchini not only offers delightful taste and texture to many dishes, but also carries with it many health bene?ts.


Ingredients:
3 ounces good-quality, fair trade dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/4 cups sifted organic all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, softened
3/4 cup organic sugar, or less, according to taste (can also use stevia)
2 organic free range eggs
1 teaspoon pure organic vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups grated organic zucchini or summer squash


Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and dust with some unsweetened cocoa powder.

2. Melt the chocolate along with the oil in a double boiler or in a saucepan over low heat, taking care not to scorch.

3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium mixing bowl.

4. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk, beating until combined, then fold in the chocolate and oil mixture, and the zucchini.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for about 10 minutes on a wire rack, then invert it on the rack, remove the pan, and cool completely.

5. May be served plain, iced with your favorite icing, dusted with organic confectioners' sugar, or with fresh raspberries nestled around it.


Nutrient Information:


Category: Desserts


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Vegetarianism
A plant-centered dietary style that excludes meat. This may include a number of variations. For many people this becomes a way of life that extends beyond dietary practices. Strict vegans often avoid using any product, for example leather or silk, that has animal origins. Some of these dietary styles may be combined. For example, a lacto-ovo-vegetarian includes dairy products and eggs as part of his or her plant-centered diet. For many people, a well-balanced vegetarian diet, high in micronutrients and fiber and generally low in saturated fats, is quite healthy. Although a plant-centered diet is recommended for nearly everyone, some people do not respond well to a diet in which there is no animal protein.


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