Sprouted Lentil Soup


This sprouted lentil soup recipe was inspired by a similar one in ‘Raw Living: The Uncook Book’, by Juliano. It has become one of my favourite non-dairy cream-base soups. Apart from being delicious, I love that it can be eaten in its raw state or heated up, which satisfies my occasional raw-food whims. I almost always sprout my own lentils (scroll down for the method) but you can save time by picking up some lentil sprouts from your local grocery store. I think any type of sprouts or sprout-combo pack will work. You could also adapt the recipe and substitute chopped fresh asparagus spears or fresh or thawed frozen peas for the sprouts. 

If you decide to sprout your own lentils, you will want to start them 2 or 3 days before you  make the soup. 

Yield: 4 generous servings


  • 1 ½ cups sprouted lentils, (recipe follows)
  • 600 ml (2½ -3 cups) nut milk (recipe follows)
  • 200 grams (or about 2/3 cup chopped fresh tomato)
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ½ red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small avocado, or ½ a large avocado
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill, reserve half for garnish
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • ½ tsp. Celtic or pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 small red chili, sliced in thin rings, optional
  • Dash paprika


Set half of the sprouted lentils aside and put the other half in a high-speed blender. Place the remaining ingredients except the chilli and reserved fresh dill (1 tablespoon) in the blender and puree. (Does not have to be completely smooth.) Divide the remaining sprouted lentils between 4 bowls and pour equal amounts of soup over each. Garnish with fresh dill and sliced chili or finely chopped red pepper.


Nut Milk

  • 250 grams (1 cup) raw, unsalted cashews (or almonds)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 750 ml water

Soak cashews in water for at least 4 hours. Rinse and drain. Place soaked nuts in a high-speed blender with enough water to cover (about 1 cup). Turn the blender on and blend until water and nuts have emulsified somewhat. Add 2 more cups water and blend until milk starts to look frothy, about a minute. Strain the nut mixture through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag into a clean pitcher. Use your hands to squeeze the pulp to release as much nut milk possible. Discard the pulp. 

Sprouted Lentils


I like to use organic, regular green lentils, French lentils  or “lentilles du Puy” but any  lentils that hold their shape will work.  The photo above shows the lentils after 3-4 days of sprouting. You can see that the tails are at least an inch long or longer but that isn’t a necessity. They don’t need to be that long for this soup. When the lentil has softened enough for you to bite into it or dig you fingernail easily through the legume, they’re ready.  

  • 1/3 cup dry lentils
  • Water

Rinse lentils in cold filtered water until the water runs clear. Fill a clean bowl or jar with fresh water and soak the lentils for 8-16 hours. Then, strain the soaked lentils through a fine mesh sieve or double layer of cheesecloth. Cover with the cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. Set the bowl or jar on the counter. Rinse and strain lentils twice a day for 24-72 hours or until lentils start sprouting little tails. When tail are ¼ – ½ -inch in length, lentils are ready to be eaten. Sprouted lentils should be refrigerated at this stage to slow the sprouting process.  



Nut Milk bags are available at health food stores but a double or triple layer of cheesecloth works just as well.

You do not need a Vita Mix to make the nut milk or for this soup recipe. The soup does not have to be completely smooth and I actually prefer it that way. I enjoy the colour and texture from small unprocessed bits of red pepper, tomato and dill. 

Incredible No-Cook Curry Sauce


The VitaMix makes light work of sauces. All kinds. This sauce contains a number of hard vegetables, including raw yams and carrots, and it easily blends them to a silky smooth consistency. I adore my VitaMix and I cannot imagine being without it. Of all my small kitchen appliances, my VitaMix is the one that gets the most use. Really. I use it for everything – sauces and smoothies, nut milks and nut butters, mayonnaise, hummus, and many of the things you might normally make in a food processor. 

This recipe is a breeze in a VitaMix – it is my take on a fast and easy yellow curry sauce that pairs well with raw or cooked vegetables to make a delightful meal. It was created with busy people in mind. On hot summer days, I pour the sauce over a bunch of raw vegetables, carefully chopped into bite-sized pieces and eat that as an entirely raw meal on it’s own. A unique variation on a salad, if you will. In winter, I gently warm up the sauce, steam the vegetables (just long enough to soften them slightly) and serve them over a bowl of steaming cooked brown rice. It’s excellent both ways. 


This is by no means an authentic Indian or Thai curry sauce. It is not spicy at all, although you could certainly add a bit of fresh chilli if you wanted. The colour of the sauce is dazzling, is it not? I blended the ingredients to a velvety smooth texture but you can make the texture as smooth or chunky as you like by adjusting the length of time you blend the ingredients. Either way your sauce will be ready to eat in minutes! 


A delicate blend of spices completely packs this sauce with flavour. One of my personal favourite spices is cardamom. I love, love, love cardamom! Cardamom imparts a bit of sweetness in this recipe and creates a blissfully fresh and fragrant aroma. 


To make this dish, start by making the sauce. Then chop your veggies and stir them together. This dish keeps well for up to 3 days in the fridge, covered.


  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes
  • 1 medium orange-flesh yam, peeled (about 1 ½ cups chopped)
  • 1 small carrot
  • ½ soft, ripe avocado, pit removed
  • ¼ small red onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom seeds, scrape seeds from 2 pods
  • ¼ tsp. chili flakes/powder
  • ¼ tsp. coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. pink Himalayan salt
  • 3/4 cup water


Coarsely chop all of the vegetables and add to blender with the 1/2 cup of water. Puree to the desired consistency. If necessary, add more water to keep the mixture moving.



  • 1 ½ cups diced or sliced zucchini
  • 1 cup broccoli, stems too
  • ½ yellow bell pepper
  • ½ red pepper
  • ½ cup frozen corn, thawed
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • ½ stalk celery, finely sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Optional steamed vegetables to add: 1 cup chopped cauliflower; 1/2 cup fresh peas or green beans



Coarsely chop the vegetables and set aside in a large bowl until your sauce is blended. Use my list of vegetables as a guideline, substituting your favourites as you like. I am particularly fond of lightly steamed cauliflower and red/yellow bell peppers. 

Pour sauce over prepared chopped vegetables and eat straight away. Alternatively, gently warm the sauce and vegetables over a low heat and serve with cooked brown rice.



The comments I made about VitaMix in this post are my own. I am not paid to advertise for VitaMix, nor am I  affiliated with VitaMix or any of the other manufacturers of the brands or products I mention on this blog. 

Chickpea “Tuna” Sandwich


Who didn’t grow up eating tuna fish sandwiches? I couldn’t begin to count the number of tuna sandwiches that were lovingly prepared by my parents and placed in my lunchbox throughout my school years. Without a doubt, I have made just as many for my own children as they were growing up too. This recipe is my spin on a variety of web-available recipes for chickpea tuna and it is always well-received my family and friends – even my non-vegan friends. I have another recipe for tuna salad on this blog where I combine sunflower seeds and walnuts with seasonings to develop the taste and texture of tuna fish. Although I like that recipe too, I find that using mashed chickpeas instead of seeds and nuts results in a lighter filling. This recipe conjures up memories of that classic tuna sandwich I ate when I was a child! Try it – I think this is a winner!


  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas 
  • 1-2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1-2  scallions, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. dulse flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. kelp powder
  • ½ cup fresh dill
  • 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


Process chickpeas until finely ground. Combine with all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir with a fork until well-mixed. 


Combine everything in a bowl and stir the ingredients with a fork. Adjust seasonings to taste.  (I sometimes add a few drops of lemon juice to help bring out the ‘fishy’ taste). 


My favourite tuna sandwich is actually a toasted tuna sandwich, with a little yellow mustard spread evenly over one slice. In the photo below, I added avocado slices, sprouts and a little red onion to my sandwich. Yum! 



The bread in my photos is a yeast-free natural sourdough that I picked up at my local health food store, but substitute your favourite gluten free bread if you have gluten sensitivities. 

It’s a wrap!


I made these several times last week! Once for dinner, twice for my lunch at work, and once for a 6-hour hike over the weekend. They’re so good! Just make sure you have a couple of napkins handy because they can be a bit drippy, but they’re really tasty!

For me, wraps are an excellent way to use up any vegetables and condiments I might have lurking around in my fridge. They just don’t require a special recipe or a lengthy list of ingredients. Any vegetables sliced and diced will work – seriously, use what you have. That said, you do need a tasty sauce, spread or condiment thrown in as these provide the flavour in a great tasting wrap. So pick your favourite hummus, vegan mayonnaise, pesto or dip and start emptying your fridge. I blended a couple of tablespoons of Kim chi with the mayo and that really added a punch of flavour to these wraps! They were over the top delicious!  Other dips and sauces you might consider are: tzatziki, guacamole, Thai pastes – the list is virtually endless. 

I like using collard leaves to hold everything together but I have also used chard and lettuce leaves. Try to find really large leaves and don’t overfill them. Collard leaves are stronger that lettuce and chard and won’t tear as easily.  Sometimes I cook the collard leaves to make them a bit more supple. Cooked collard leaves are easier to work with and help to pull the filling into a nice tight roll but they can be a little more fragile. 

The ingredients below are just what I had on hand and the measurements are approximate – you can use more or less of any ingredient listed here. You can also add your favourite foods or leftovers – just fill the wraps with whatever you have.


2 large collard leaves (as large as you can find, pick ones with as few tears as possible) 

  • 1 mini cucumber, sliced
  • 1 large tomato, sliced or chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, red or yellow, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • ¼ cup pickled onions
  • Handful of fresh sprouts or micro greens 
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tbsp. hummus, (try my zucchini hummus for a delicious raw hummus)
  • 4 tbsp. vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. Kim chi
  • 4 tbsp. sundried cranberries, (could use dried apricots or dates, chopped)


I don’t usually cut out the stem of the collard leaves but if really thick, I shave them a little. Lay collard leaves, stem side up, on your cutting board and run the tip of a knife down the thickest part of the stem to thin it out a little. Leave the thinnest part of the stems alone – no need to shave them. This step just makes rolling the leaves around the filling a little easier.


If cooking the collard leaves, fill a large pan with a little water and bring to a boil. Place the leaves in the pan and simmer for 6-8 minutes until supple and tender. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice-cold water. When the leaves are cooked, transfer them from the pan of simmering water to the bowl of ice-cold water using tongs, and leave them submerged for about 30 seconds. This will preserve the vibrant green colour. Lay the leaves on a clean towel or a couple of paper towels to dry completely.

If you are eating the wraps raw, just wash the leaves, pat them dry and start layering your filling ingredients.


Blend the Kim chi with the mayonnaise just long enough to break up any really large chunks of vegetables in the Kim chi – the mixture doesn’t have to be completely smooth.

Spread the center of each leaf with ½ the hummus, ½ the mayonnaise, and ½ the pickled onions. Divide the remaining ingredients between 2 large leaves.  Fold in the ends of the leaves and tightly roll up as tightly as you can – like a burrito. Cut in half and eat – with plenty of napkins close by!!

If you chose raw collard leaves, it will be tricky to fold in the ends of the leaves to roll them up burrito style. Just wrap the filling as best you can and enclose the bottoms in a napkin or piece of parchment paper, and hold onto the wrapped end to eat. 


Chocolate Walnut Brownies


Prepare to earn brownie points for these yummy chocolate brownies with walnuts! These can easily be made from scratch without any fancy appliances and they are quick from start to finish!  All you will need is a fork and a large bowl. 

If you’re looking for a heavy, dense fudge-like brownie, this is not the recipe for you. I may be the only person I know that likes brownies with a bit of crumb but that’s the the way it is! I am just not a fan of brownies with that heavy, dense fudgey texture – I much prefer brownies that are a bit cakey, and not excessively sweet.  


These brownies are rich and moist, very chocolatey and less-sweet than your average brownie. They are exactly what I reach for when I want to satisfy a chocolate craving but I don’t want to blow the whole healthy eating habit out the window! Incidentally, they freeze well too.




  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 tbsp. psyllium fiber husk
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Teeccino* (non-caffienated herbal flavoured coffee granules, optional)
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts


  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 100 ml unsweetened apple sauce (snack size container)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. vanilla


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the base and sides of an 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

Sift all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add in the chopped walnuts and stir to coat the nuts with the dry mixture.


Using a fork, mash the bananas until smooth, or place them in a blender with the apple sauce, maple syrup and vanilla. Puree. Pour pureed or blended ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix with your fork until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated. Using a spatula, scoop the batter into the parchment lined baking pan and spread evenly all the way to the edges of the pan.

Bake for 18 minutes in a preheated oven. Brownies are ready when a cake tester, inserted into the centre of the pan comes out clean, with just a few crumbs clinging to it. (Unlike baking with regular flour, I find that it is generally better to trust your timer rather than your instinct when baking cakes, cookies, etc., with gluten free flours, even if they look like they need a few more minutes baking time). In my oven, 18 minutes is perfect for these brownies. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan.


Once the brownies are completely cool, cut into squares and enjoy! If you like bitter chocolate, and this is totally unnecessary, lightly dust brownies with cocoa powder before serving.  Omit this step if unsweetened cocoa powder is too bitter for your palate.  


Yield: 16 (2-inch x 2-inch) brownies 

Notes: If you don’t have teeccino, you can substitute finely ground coffee granules. Follow link and scroll down to the Notes section of the recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Loaf for comments abut teeccino. (By the way, any comments, mentions or recommendations of products on this blog are my own. I am not paid to promote or review  the products I use, nor am I affiliated with any of the companies that manufacture them).

Raw Brussels Sprout Salad

If you have never eaten raw Brussels sprouts before, you should. Everybody loves this salad. Its pretty simple to make, doesn’t require a lot of ingredients and stands up well in the refrigerator for several days. This recipe contains salty, sweet, tangy, and earthy flavours all at once, and the toasted almonds finish it off nicely with a bit of crunch.   I actually crave this salad every now and again. It’s one of those perfect healthy and fresh salads for fall and winter.



  • Fresh Brussels sprouts,  enough to yield 5-6 cups shredded
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/2-cup cashew “Parmesan” cheese 


Wash, halve and trim ends of Brussels sprouts. Thinly slice and place in a serving bowl. Pour in the dressing and add the dried cranberries. Salad can be made ahead up to this point and stored, covered in the refrigerator.


When ready to serve, toss the salad with toasted almonds and about half the cashew Parmesan. Add more cashew Parmesan as necessary to balance the flavours of sweet and salty. 



  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Place all ingredients into a small bowl or coffee mug and whisk until completely blended.

Cashew Parmesan Cheese

  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
  • 1-2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

Place cashews and salt in small coffee grinder or blender. Pulse/process until the nuts are like crumbs. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and blend again. Add more lemon juice and salt as necessary – just enough to moisten and achieve desired tartness. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.


 Yield: 4 generous servings, (6-8 side-servings)



Creamy Gazpacho with Coconut “Bacon Bits”

This magnificent cool soup is one of the easiest things to make with your fresh picked, home grown tomatoes! Gazpacho is basically a blended salad and it can be made with just a few juicy, ripe tomatoes, a handful of red peppers, onions, peeled cucumbers, some herbs, and a blender. This version is thickened with a couple of slices of hearty bread and garnished with finely diced vegetables, avocado and crumbled coconut “bacon bits” but there are endless ways to adorn this soup. Be creative and add your own spin!

IMG_8624 (1)


  • 4 medium Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 mini cucumbers, topped and tailed, peeled
  • 1/2 large red pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 thick slices bread crumbs (GF, if necessary)
  • 1 litre (32 oz.) cold water


Place the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and onions cut into pieces. Season with salt and pepper, and leave to stand for 2 hours. Place  tomato mix wit the juices, bread and cold water to a high speed blender and puree until really smooth. Add vinegar and lime juice to taste. Store in the refrigerator while you prepare the coconut “bacon”.

Dice a little tomato, pepper, cucumber and sprinkle around the edges of the bowl. Add fresh basil and cilantro leaves.


Ladle or pour gazpacho into the centre of soup bowls and top with diced avocado and coconut  bacon bits.


Serve soup with garlic toasts (see Notes).

Yield: 4 generous servings (1 Litre)


Coconut Bacon Bits


  • 1 cup large unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Naked Coconuts (soy-free liquid seasoning available at health food stores)
  • Large pinch ground chipotle chilli pepper
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup


Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the coconut flakes with the seasonings in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well. Spread the coconut flakes as evenly as possible on your baking sheet.


Bake in the centre of the oven for about  for 10 minutes, spinning the pan around  after 5 minutes, until flakes are mostly dry and become dark. The coconut flakes will crisp up as they cool. when completely cool, crumble the coconut flakes to resemble bacon bits and store in a covered container until ready to use. (Coconut bacon can also be frozen).


Yield: 1 cup coconut “bacon”.



For garlic toasts: Rub the cut slide of a garlic love over both sides of the bread and place in a preheated cast iron or non-stick frypan. Flip the bread over when one side has turned golden brown or achieved desired markings and toast the other side. No need to oil the pan.

Almond Milk


As much as possible, I like to make most things from scratch. Making my own non-dairy milk means I can avoid unnecessary ingredients added to commercial alternative milks, such as preservatives, flavourings, refined sugars, emulsifiers and stabilizers. Some of those additives are used help to extend the shelf life of the milk but since it is really simple to make your own and your own will taste much better, why not make your own healthier version?


Homemade nut milk does not go through a homogenization process (mechanically done in commercial milks to ensure that the fat particles remain suspended evenly in the milk), which means that the fat will separate from the liquid and form a thick layer of cream after the milk settles. Generally, the cream will sink to the bottom of your pitcher although occasionally it happens the other way around, where the cream layer is suspended on top of the milk. Either way, I think this lack of homognization is great. That thick creamy layer is absolutely luscious! It makes a delicious substitute for half and half in your morning coffee. If you don’t need the cream layer for anything in particular, just stir it back into the milk before using to evenly distribute the particles again.

The ratio of almonds to water below will produce nut milk with the same consistency as regular cows milk. For a creamier version, add a little less water.



  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
  • 4 cups water
  • Pinch Celtic sea salt
  • 2 dates, seeded, or 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla, optional – see notes*


Rinse almonds thoroughly and place in a high speed blender with half the water, dates or maple syrup and salt. I would encourage you not to omit the sweetener. The sweetener does not make the milk taste sweet – it is included because it balances out the flavour of the milk. You can add vanilla now or you can add it at the end (see notes).


Turn the motor on slowly and gradually increase the speed. If using a Vitamix, blend for about 20 seconds, then add the remaining water. Blend another 20-30 seconds. (I don’t use the turbo speed on my Vitamix when making nut milk because I don’t want the milk to be completely smooth at this stage. If the mixture is too smooth, it is difficult to strain away any residual sediment from the nuts and this sediment tends to settle at the bottom of the pitcher once the milk stands for a few hours. I prefer to strain the milk through a nut bag or a double layer of cheesecloth and reserve the pulp for other uses).

Squeeze the pulp in the nut bag to release as much milk as possible into your pitcher.

Yield: 1 litre



*I add the vanilla only if I want to use the milk to replace the cream in a cup of coffee, pour it over breakfast cereal, or use it in a recipe for baked goods, such as cakes or muffins. For non-sweet, savoury dishes, such as sauces or cream-based soups, I omit the vanilla. If you will be using the milk in both sweet and savoury dishes, then add the vanilla at the end, after you’ve strained the nuts through the nut bag and removed the portion you need for savoury dishes. You might want to add a little less vanilla to start, and taste the milk before adding more. 

Cashews and Brazil nuts can be substituted for almonds in this recipe. Follow exactly the same process for soaking and blending the almonds. Both cashews and Brazil nuts make an ultra-creamy nut milk which is lovely, although milk made from Brazil nuts has a stronger flavour than milk made from almonds or cashew nuts. Just be aware that nuts have different flavours and each will impact the favour of the milk. 

Cucumber Salad with Chickpeas


Sometimes the best salads have only a few ingredients. This unfussy cucumber salad is one of them. You can’t go wrong with something as classic and refreshing as this.  Simple to prepare and cooling on a hot summer day or served along side any kind of hot and spicy food. The addition of fresh dill raises it from ordinary to a herbaceous, fragrant chef-d’oeuvre. Enjoy it as a light lunch or serve it along side other dishes at barbeques, potlucks and picnics. I like to make extra to ensure there leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day.

One large English cucumber is enough to yield 3 or 4 generous servings, more if served as one of several dishes at a barbeque or buffet. It’s a pretty good yield, I think. Mini cucumbers can be used as well. I often buy packages of 4 or 5 mini organic cucumbers and I will use the whole package in this salad. As long as you have enough dressing, the amount of cucumbers and chickpeas is somewhat arbitrary in this recipe so feel free to double or triple the quantities listed.  


  • 1 large English cucumber, thinly sliced, chopped (or cut any way you like)
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry (I used dried, but you can use canned)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely sliced or minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh dill, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh fat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Pink Himalayan salt or Celtic Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked 4 hours
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Add everything to a high-speed blender and puree until very smooth, about 30 seconds. 


Combine the cucumber, chickpeas, red onion, and dill and parsley in a bowl. Gently toss with enough dressing to blend and adjust the seasonings to taste. Sprinkle with a pinch of smoked paprika and serve.

This recipe is endlessly adaptable. I often add a half-cup of raw greens such as spinach, chard, collards or kale to build it up, but you could also add sliced celery, carrots, or peppers for variety. You can also use different beans – kidney beans, white beans or black-eye peas would be nice. 


Serves 3-4

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf


I have been experimenting with teff lately, both the whole seeds and the flour. Referred to as both a seed and a grain, if you are not familiar with this gluten-free nutritional powerhouse, you might want to look for it the next time you are out shopping. It is a tremendously versatile “grain” and cooks in much the same way rice or quinoa does but out performs them both in nutritional benefits. Add whole teff seeds to stews or salads, cook it into a porridge or use teff flour in baking. Teff flour blends particularly well with chocolate and makes one heck of a great chocolate zucchini loaf!

Anyone who knows me, knows I love chocolate. It’s my biggest weakness although to be fair, I am quite discerning, The chocolate I like is dark, decadent and rich with a high percentage of cocoa; dairy and soy free, and preferably flavoured with mint. I have no palate for the cheap supermarket varieties – I find them cloyingly sweet and pretty disgusting, actually. Bleh!


I used to make chocolate zucchini loaf regularly at the hotel I worked for years ago. It was a delicious recipe – moist and rich, but of course, it was not vegan; nor was it gluten, oil or sugar free. This chocolate zucchini loaf is just as moist and rich but without all the refined sugar, oil and eggs.  It is also gluten free if you omit the chocolate chips and the teeccino – which you can easily do. However, if you can handle gluten, I think the addition of teccino (herbal coffee grounds) contributes a HUGE amount to the decadence of this loaf (see Notes). 

This is lovely with your morning or afternoon cuppa and I would encourage you to give it a try, if for no other reason than to experiment with teff. It is best eaten within a few days and will last a week, covered and stored in the refrigerator. 


Yield: 10-12 slices



  • 1 cup teff flour
  • ½ cup millet flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (I used raw cacao powder)
  • 1 tbsp. Teeccino mocha coffee (grounds)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ cup Lily’s dark chocolate baking chips*


  • 1½ cups grated zucchini
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1¼ cups rice milk
  • 4 dates, pitted and soaked for at least an hour to soften
  • 2 flax eggs** (see Notes)
  • 1 ½ tbsp. vanilla

Topping (optional)

  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes, extra, optional
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips, extra, optional


Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Prepare the flax eggs first. Stir 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds with 6 tablespoons of water in a small bowl or coffee cup. Allow the mixture to rest while you prepare everything else. As it sits it will develop a gel-like viscosity, which is exactly what you want.

In large bowl, whisk the flours, teeccino, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Sift the dry mix twice (sifting method in recipe for Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins). Gently stir the chocolate chips into the sifted dry ingredients.

Drain the water from the dates and add the dates to a blender with the vanilla and about 1/4 cup of the milk. Puree the dates until completely smooth, adding a little more milk if needed to easily puree the dates. Spoon the puree into a small bowl.

Finely grate the zucchini, and add to the date puree. Add in the remaining milk and maple syrup. Stir the wet ingredients to blend and pour the mixture into the bowl with the flours. Stir the flax eggs and add to the bowl. Gently stir the mixture in the bowl until the dry ingredients are completely moist but don’t over mix the batter. 

In a parchment lined 9X5-inch loaf pan, carefully pour the batter. using a small offset spatula, spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 55 -60 minutes in a preheated oven. If adding the topping, remove loaf from the oven and quickly sprinkle the top with coconut flakes and extra chocolate chips. Return the loaf to the oven and bake for 5-6 minutes more or until the coconut is golden and a cake tester inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.

Read this before adding the topping … For a couple reasons, I won’t use this topping again. The chocolate chips didn’t melt the way I anticipated they would (another brand might though) and in fact they were quite bitter to taste. Apart from that, it was difficult to slice through the topping once the loaf had cooled. Next time I might try glazing the loaf after it has cooled instead. If you are not adding the topping, to test for doneness, insert a cake tester into the centre of the loaf after 55 minutes to see if it comes out clean. If it does, your loaf is done; if not, give it another 5 minutes in the oven).

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*Lily’s dark chocolate baking chips are vegan and sugar free (sweetened with stevia instead) but they do contain soy lecithin, which is an emulsifier. Camino chocolate chips and Enjoy life brand chocolate mini chips are vegan and soy free but both contain cane sugar. So its a bit of a toss up.   However, the addition of chocolate chips is optional – you can omit them altogether if you prefer. 

**For the flax eggs, stir 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds with 6 tablespoons of water in a small bowl or coffee cup. Allow the mixture to stand for 5-10 minutes. As it does it will develop a gel-like viscosity, which is exactly what you want. Stir it once more before adding in the recipe.

Teeccino is a caffeine-free herbal coffee and a truly awesome alternative made from a blend of herbs, grains, fruits and nuts. It’s non-acidic and the package states that 75% of the ingredients are certified organic. Teeccino coffees come in a variety of flavours and the one I used in this recipe was medium roast mocha. The ingredients include: carob, barley, dates and figs, almonds, chicory root and pure natural flavours. Since barley is a gluten-based grain, you can substitute regular coffee granules if you have gluten sensitivities.

You may have noticed from the photo that I did not line the sides of my loaf pan with parchment. I just cut a strip of parchment long enough to line the bottom and ends of the loaf pan. A few minutes after removing the zucchini loaf from the oven,  I  run a thin blade along the insides of the loaf pan. If the loaf is done, the chocolate loaf will start to pull away from the sides of the pan on its own anyway. This trick just makes removing the loaf from the pan a little easier once it has cooled. After running the knife along the insides of the pan, let the loaf cool completely in the pan before removing.