Making Chocolate Bread from Pulp

Food to me is a constant source of fascination, and putting it together in meaningful ways is a never ending source of creative necessity, the kind of challenge I love!  I could go paint pictures or write a story, but then what would we all eat? So for now it is my creative outlet.  Beautiful food is not one of my strengths, but good tasting food…well I’‘ve been getting some very nice compliments from the taste testers. Cooking reminds me of the complexities presented in the game of Scrabble where letter tiles have to make sense together, fit with other letters already on the board, and have the most points for the highest score. (I love that game!)  For me cooking makes four demands on my creativity at the same time… to find recipes that:

1) taste good
2) deliver EXCELLENT nutrition
3) are affordable
4) won’t keep me in the kitchen too long

To win at Scrabble I could make a fantastic high point word from my tiles, but if they can’t be played anywhere on the board then I lose.  Likewise with cooking, I could make something that doesn’t keep me in the kitchen long and fits my budget, but if it isn’t nutritionally nourishing, then we all lose. 

This week I had a lot of fun making some great tasting, very nutritious sweet bread that can be eaten on the run, which is something I seem to need at least once a day.  Simultaneous to these requirements I was looking for a way to use the fiberous leftovers from juicing so that they would not be wasted to the garbage. Eureka! And the best part is that it had to be made chocolate in order to mask the green color of the vegetable pulp. If you don’t juice vegetables yet, I hope you will check this out for some inspiration, and then read ahead to see how healthy cooking requires creativity and effort. Let me tell you how the bread happened.

First I googled “baking with juicing pulp”, and then I started making some really yucky recipes. I waited a month or so for the pain to subside before starting over this week.  This time I stuck to one thing, sweet bread, because I’m tired of buying expensive and sugary protein bars for meals on the run and I figured that a chunk of dense bread could do the same things for me, only better.

I juiced carrots, green apples, celery and kale, used the orangish pulp and told the kids it was “carrot bread”. They really liked it, especially since I threw in a handful of chocolate chips. The next day I juiced a bunch of those enourmous collard green leaves, some kale, a few green apples, celery, and just a few carrots. This pulp was GREEN, and you know that mixing other ingredients in would make something rather gray…yuck. So it had to be chocolate. In went 1/2 c. of cocoa and that took care of the color problem. It actually came out an exceptionally dark, almost black looking chocolate color!  I changed the shortening both times to olive oil, and half of the applesauce I replaced with a super ripe banana to get more potassium in the mix.

What I liked most about this recipe was that it used 3 whole cups of pulp, which is simply moist vegetable fiber. To get more protein using seeds and nuts, I replaced the 1 1/2 cups of flour with ground raw almonds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds instead.  As always I used less sweetener than called for, and in this case it was 1/4. cup less honey. Throw in some healthy cinnamon and allspice, the required handful of chocolate chips, and out came a very dense, super filling, dark, rich, and not too sweet loaf of chocolate bread that I have eaten for a light breakfast the past few days before going to work out.  See how fun cooking super healthy can be?  It did take three or four tries, but hey, I already went through all that so you can just use the recipe. (smile)

Honestly I hope my narrative will also inspire you to make healthy foods and connect with your inner creative side as I do in the kitchen.  I need to make it again to get a good picture so you’ll have to tune in next week for the recipe, but you can start stretching yourself creatively with another changeover I made to some breakfast crepes. (See pretty picture above.) Berries of all kinds are extremely high in antioxidants so this was a great way to get the family eating them in great proportions at breakfast rather than a lot of syrup.

I would love to hear about something interesting you made this week, or something you changed to make healthier, and of course, I like to hear all of your experiences with cooking great food!  Keep the messages coming either to me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or in the comments section at the side, and happy cooking this week!

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