Embrace the season and put a dent in your zucchini surplus with this whole-grain, Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread with warming spices and tahini.
The Food: Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread with Warming Fall Spices
Whole-grain brown rice flour and almond flour create an easy gluten-free zucchini bread that works well as a warm breakfast slice or gussy it up a bit for a dessert option (think griddle + butter + pumpkin ice cream). Tahini adds a slightly nutty flavor, and spices like nutmeg and cardamom give it that fall warmth. The recipe yields two loaves. If I’m warming the oven, I figure, why not make two and freeze one loaf or give it to friends? It’s a fast way to people’s hearts.
The Personal: Find Your Way Back
Warm bread, the crunch of walnuts, the sweetness of local honey that tastes like caramel. Fall spices, crumbs, and a warm mug. Breakfast is a time I have come to appreciate as sacred. I find ritual in routine, and reverence in the first pour of coffee. Before I take my first bite, I utter a prayer, or at least, I did utter a prayer.
The prayer was not bound by religion or doctrine but a moment of pause, of gratitude, of centering. As my overall attitude shifted toward a more grateful place, and as I embraced the energy of summer, I fell away from the practice. Like the moon, these practices can wax and wane, but the lapse left me susceptible to my own criticism. Fittingly, I found my renewal and forgiveness in a mantra-style horoscope (specific to Aquarius – that’s me!) for the New Moon in Virgo:
With this New Moon, I recommit to the structures, rituals, and practices that keep me gathered and oriented towards recalibration. I don’t ever need to feel guilty or unworthy of a little refresh; in fact, so much of my growth depends on my ability to make a practice of it. –Chani Nicholas
I don’t ever need to feel guilty or unworthy of a little refresh. Through those words, I began a very forgiving return. I remembered that practice truly means practice, and forgiveness means self-forgiveness too. I felt curious again, and in curiosity, I found a return to the spiritual practices I had been cultivating. In an affirming way, several examples of synchronicity flickered around me. Through a Super Soul conversation, I received this affirming reminder:
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” -attributed to the French philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (though debatable?)
I had been saying “I need to get back to spiritual practice,” but that quote reminded me I hadn’t lost anything. I didn’t necessarily need to find my way back because I already am. That being said, I found the lyrics of Queen B to be another helpful reminder just in case. I’ve been on a deep Beyoncé dive, but this song played at just the right moment when all my aha’s were coming together.
[Daddy] said, “Find your way back
Big, big world, but you got it, baby
Find your way back, don’t let this life drive you crazy
Find your way back, come back home ‘fore the street lights on
Find your way back, find your way back”Daddy used to tell me, “Look up at the stars
It’s been a long time, but remember who you are
As the season is shifting, the light decreasing, and the mist settling on the morning, I find myself in a shifting season as well. After a summer of playing with sunshine and water, of saying yes to adventures and no to routines, I’m ready for a new structure. I’m ready to cozy into my home, into my curiosity, to create, and to listen more deeply to my desires. I’m ready for fall-flavored comforts, for warmth. I’m ready for rituals that begin with a warm mug of coffee and a slice of spiced bread with creamy butter, the crunch of walnuts, and a drizzle of the most caramel-like, golden honey.
You Might Also Like: Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Pie Bowl
If you too find breakfast to be sacred and want to embrace the season, try this recipe from my book, The Gluten-Free Grains Cookbook. More than just oatmeal, it’s a grainy mix of whole-grain buckwheat groats, millet, and rolled oats. It’s an easy and warming way to channel some pumpkin pie vibes and start the day wholesomely.
Happy Fall from Julep! It’s the perfect time of year for leaf-crunching hikes, rolling in stink, baths, and cuddling with all the blankets and plushy friends. 🙂
Gluten-Free Zucchini Spice Bread with Tahini & Cardamom
- 1 large zucchini (2 cups shredded)
- 2 cups brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
- 4 pasture-raised eggs, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup tahini
- 2/3 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted and cooled, more for greasing the pan
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- salted butter
- creamy honey or maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pans with coconut oil, and line them with parchment paper, leaving enough parchment to hang over each side.
- Grate the zucchini over the large holes of a box grater, then transfer the grated zucchini to a clean dish towel, and wring out the liquid. Use your fingers to fluff the zucchini, then measure out 2 cups and set it aside.
- Sift the flours and arrowroot into a large mixing bowl. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices, and whisk until combined.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the sugar and eggs until combined. Add the tahini, coconut oil, and vanilla, and whisk until combined.
- In three increments, add the dry ingredients to the wet until the batter is completely combined.
- Fold the shredded zucchini into the batter, then evenly divide the batter between the two loaf pans, smoothing the tops into an even layer.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 50-60 minutes, until a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove the zucchini bread, and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow it to cool, then remove from the pan.
- Store in an airtight container. Serve warm (toasted) with butter, walnuts, and a drizzle of honey. Enjoy!