Paleo Chocolate Zucchini Bread (AIP, Egg Free, Nut Free)

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I don’t get to bake as much as I’d like these days, but when I do, I love a good dessert bread. Banana bread is one of my all time favorite treats (see my plantain banana bread recipe!) and I thought I had died and gone to heaven the first time I had zucchini bread. I don’t remember when or where it was, but I’m pretty darn positive that it wasn’t paleo. It’s been entirely too long since I’ve had zucchini bread, and with all of the fresh, local zucchini I’ve been finding at the farmers market, I figured it was time to try my hand at Paleo & AIP Chocolate Zucchini bread!

Paleo baked goods really aren’t all that hard. You can do a lot with a recipe if you have eggs and almond flour, and a starchy flour like cassava on your side. However, it gets hard is when you pull out all of things and make it AIP (autoimmune protocol friendly!). When I do a Paleo baked good, I can get it all set and ready within 1-2 tries. AIP baked goods are much harder… especially when you’re trying to make it low starch like this bread. It was a tough feat and it took me 3-4 tries, but it was so, so worth it. 

The Ingredients You Need For This AIP Paleo Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Fresh zucchini 

Were still in full on local zucchini mode here in Texas, so great fresh zucchini was easy to find! I love baking with zucchini. Unlike other vegetables, the texture essentially disappears, making it that perfect base for muffins, my veggie nuggets, and this bread. 

My husband was super apprehensive about zucchini bread when he first saw me making this. After my third time testing it and giving it to him to try, he later asked “how did you make that brownie bread?!” He had no idea it was the same zucchini bread. The veggies totally slipped under the radar 😉 

Coconut flour & oil

This recipe definitely needs coconut flour and oil and can’t be subbed out with other flours. I’m sure AIP zucchini breads that are coconut free exist, but this just isn’t the one. I went for a lower starch bread, so in lieu or cassava or tapioca, coconut oil was the best flour choice. Plus, it helps absorb some of the liquid let off my the zucchini. I recommend this brand of coconut flour for the best flavor and texture. 

You may be able to sub butter or ghee for coconut oil. I just haven’t tried it!

Cocoa powder or carob powder

The chocolate-y flavor can come from either cocoa powder, or carob powder if you’re follow an AIP diet. Chocolate chips are optional, but if you’re AIP, use carob powder to make homemade chips rather than buying carob chips at the store. 

Gelatin

This recipe calls for 3 gelatin eggs (with instructions below). Collagen will not work… you specifically need gelatin. This is the brand that I used, but you can also use great lakes gelatin. If you can have normal eggs and want to skip the gelatin, go with 3! 

Paleo Chocolate Zucchini Bread (AIP, Egg free)

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper
  2. In a large mixing bowl add in the zucchini, coconut flour, and carob/cocoa powder and stir to evenly combine. Next add the coconut oil, honey, baking soda, and cinnamon and mix.
  3. For the gelatin eggs, add the water to a small sauce pot and slowly sprinkle the gelatin into the water. You don't want any clumps. Allow it to bloom over 2-3 minutes
  4. Place the pot on the stove and turn in on low heat. Slowly melt the the gelatin (this will take just a few minutes) and remove from heat.
  5. Vigorously whisk the gelatin egg until it becomes frothy
  6. Add the gelatin egg to the mixture immediately and combine
  7. Pour the batter into the lined loaf pan and smooth out the top with a spoon. Top with chocolate chips if desired.
  8. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes
  9. Allow to cool completely until cutting. The bread will crumble unless it's given time to cool and set. I recommend cooling in the fridge overnight.
  10. Once cooled, carefully slice and enjoy!
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Hope you love this sweet summer treat! Enjoy and let me know here on the blog or Instagram if you try it 🙂 

Mint Chip Banana Ice Cream Cups (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)

Early June is Dallas, TX means it’s already in the 90’s and pretty unbearable to go outside between the hours of 10 AM – 10 PM. The sun is killer here, and even just a short time outside can leave you completely heat exhausted. I grew up on Long Island, NY, and even though I’ve been in Texas since middle school, I’m still in denial that these Texas summers even exist. I feel bad for wishing 3 months of my life away each and every year, but I always find myself in the trap of hating the heat. So you can imagine how popular frozen treats are in our house this time of year. There are always fruit and veggie popsicles on hand in the Hoover household, and this year, I wanted to make something even more fun… Mint Chocolate Chip Banana Ice Cream Cups! 

Mint chocolate chip was always one of my favorite ice cream flavors… that and cookie dough. But, we’ll save that for another day 😉 It’s so fresh, flavorful, and reminiscent of summer. When I started seeing mint leaves popping up in the late spring, I knew that I had to make some ice cream with them!

Now, the decision to make ice cream cups rather than a soft serve or a popsicle was pretty intentional and specific. I made a soft serve ice cream last year (my turmeric mango ice cream) and really wanted to switch it up with these. Something I really love about these ice cream cups is that they’re perfect little bite sized servings which makes them perfect for those who are watching how much sugar they’re getting, or even for just serving at a party to insure that everyone gets a bite. 

Mint Chip Banana Ice Cream Cups (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)

Plus, seeing as they’re frozen in bite sized molds, they’re super easy to make and just keep in the freezer for treats to have on hand. And when it’s disgustingly hot in the summer, the last thing I want is a complicated recipe. 

Not only are they easy to make and share, but they’re made from totally AIP, paleo, and vegan ingredients which makes them the perfect dessert to share at a summer gathering. And they even have a hidden veggie in them! No junky syrups, no thickeners, fresh herbs, and veggies? Total crowd pleaser all around. 

Mint Chip Banana Ice Cream Cups (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 3 frozen bananas, chopped
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup spinach, chopped (for coloring)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa nibs, chopped soy-free chocolate bar of choice or homemade carob chips for AIP (not store bought as they contain soy)

Instructions

  1. Add the frozen bananas and coconut milk to a high speed blender (like a vitamix) and blend until fully combined and creamy
  2. Add in the coconut oil, mint leaves, spinach, maple syrup, and cocoa nibs (reserving about 1 tbsp for garnish) and blend
  3. Spoon the mixture into silicone mini-muffin cups (you'll have about 16-18)
  4. Garnish the tops with extra cocoa nibs
  5. Place in the freezer for 3-4 hours or until hardened
  6. To serve, remove from the freezer for 5-10 minutes or until they begin to soften enough to remove from the silicone cups
  7. Enjoy!
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Mint Chip Banana Ice Cream Cups (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)

That’s all there is to it! No ice cream makers, no complicated ingredients and no actual “cooking”. Whether you’re bringing these to a party to share, making them to stash in your fridge for later, or just to enjoy yourself, I hope you enjoy these yummy little ice cream cups!

Mint Chip Banana Ice Cream Cups (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)

Collagen Veggie Fat Balls (Paleo & AIP)

We all know by now that veggies are important, right? Our mom always told us to eat our vegetables, and if there’s one thing that nutrition can agree on, it’s that veggies are still a good idea regardless of what diet you follow. Vegetables are packed with fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary to keep us healthy and thriving! But let’s be honest… getting in tons of veggies all of the time can be challenging when it comes to snacks! Unless you’re eating raw carrots or celery, veggie snacks on the go are hard to come by. Convenience snacks are usually all protein, all fruit, or grain-y sugar bombs that leave little to be desired when it comes to nutrients. So, that’s why I created these collagen veggie fat bombs! They’re AIP, paleo, and full of healthy goodness.

 

Why These Collagen Veggie Fat Balls Are the Bomb 

1.They full of fruits and veggies!

So, how do you get veggies into a little fat bomb like this? Since I’m not going to add raw spinach to a fat ball, I used the Collagen Veggie Blend from Vital Protein’s and Dr. Sarah Ballantyne of the Paleo Mom! This veggie blend contains 11 different kinds of organic fruits and veggies including….

  • Organic Spinach
  • Organic Kale
  • Organic Broccoli
  • Organic Carrot
  • Organic Lemon
  • Organic Blueberry
  • … and more!

The veggie blend dissolves in water which makes it perfect for smoothies, but I’m using it raw in these fat balls which works fine too!

2. They have gut healing collagen protein.

You guys know I love vital proteins collagen protein. Not only does it add a boost of protein to snacks like these to make it more satiating, but collagen protein also contains gut healing properties that support gut health, hair and nail health, and more. 

I recommend collagen as a part of my 30 day gut healing guide, and to most of my clients on gut healing protocols. 

3. They’re full of healthy fat.

These are largely coconut butter based with some coconut oil as well, which are both healthy, nourishing fats. Healthy fats are vital for the health of our brain, our hormones, our blood sugar, and for keeping us full!

The biggest mistake that I see people make with snacks is reach for something sugar heavy without any fat. While natural sugar here and there is fine, relying on sugar alone to satiate us is not a sustainable idea. Sugar-y snacks spike our blood sugar too high

4. They still have a little something sweet and fun.

Like I said, natural sugar here and there is fine for most folks when you’re wanting to have a fun treat! I made these with some dried fruit to add some extra texture and flavor. You can certainly leave that out if you’re watching your sugar, but I love the added flavor it gives it!

Collagen Veggie Fat Balls (Paleo & AIP)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut butter/ mana/ cream concentrate
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 scoop Collagen Veggie Blend
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp rasins (or dried blueberries)
  • 1 tbsp of melted coconut butter (for the drizzle)

Instructions

  1. Add the coconut butter to a bowl and thoroughly stir to often. You want it soft enough stir, but not melted!
  2. Add in the shredded coconut and stir to combine
  3. Mix in the remainder of the ingredients (reserving the drizzle)
  4. Line a plate with parchment paper and begin to roll out the balls onto the plate.
  5. You should have 8-9 balls
  6. Add a couple of extra rasins or dried blueberries to the top of the balls if desired
  7. Place the plate in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to allow the balls to harden
  8. Remove from the freezer and drizzle the melted coconut butter over the top with a fork or spoon
  9. Place back in the freezer for 10 minutes or store in the fridge for an hour or so to let the drizzle dry
  10. Serve chilled and enjoy!
  11. NOTE: These will melt if left in heat/room temperature for too long. They're best served chilled. Remove from the fridge/ freezer and allow to soften for 5-10 minutes if desired before eating.
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That’s all there is to it! I hope you enjoy this nutrient dense, convenient little snack!

Collagen Veggie Fat Balls

Chocolate Matcha Energy Balls (Paleo, Autoimmune Paleo, Vegan)

I’m not sure quite when it happened or why, but at some point, we all got obsessed with matcha. Though matcha is anything but “new”, it’s super trendy right now. We all love the color, the flavor, the health benefits, and the energy boost that matcha brings. I even have a hashtag going for my many matcha adventures, #matchawithmichelle. Oh, yeah. It went there. I’m so obsessed that I had to find a way other than latte’s to enjoy matcha. I wanted a grab and go energy snack with all of the benefits of matcha in snack form… thus, chocolate matcha energy balls were born!

Yes, matcha is a fun drink and these energy balls treat, but why does everyone love matcha so much? 

Health Benefits of Matcha

It’s green, so it’s healthy. Right? But really, there are benefits to drinking matcha. 

1.It’s rich in antioxidants.

Matcha powder is made from the whole green tea leaf. Green tea is a plant food is is full of antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals. Free radicals are anything that damage our cells, so antioxidants are super important! Since matcha is a more concentrated form of green tea, it’s packed with antioxidants!

2. It’s a more balanced source of caffeine 

This is subjective for sure as we all have different tolerance levels of caffeine. However, matcha is known for being a more balanced source of caffeine as compared it coffee. 

I really can’t tolerate the caffeine in coffee anymore, yet I do fine with matcha. The energy boost is subtle and sustained rather than the big boost and crash you get from coffee. 

Why I Love These Chocolate Matcha Energy Balls 

1.They offer all of the health benefits of matcha.

See above 😉 These guys don’t have ton of matcha in them, but a little goes a long way! You really only need a little bit to make a latte, and the same goes for these. You can scale up and down the amount of matcha that you put in these 

2. They’re full of healthy fat to help keep you full.

All of my energy ball recipes are made from a coconut butter base. Why? Because it’s a delicious healthy fat that keeps you satiated! Coconut butter is a healthy saturated fat which is necessary for our mood, energy, and satiation. Healthy fat helps keep us full, and these balls are no different. 

3. They help energize you without leaving a crash.

As previously mentioned, matcha is know for giving a more sustained boost of caffeine without a crash. Because they also have so much coconut butter and coconut oil, the fat also helps balance out blood sugar spikes from caffeine and sugar from the honey.

No jittery feeling, spikes or crashes!

4. They taste super yummy!

I brought these to a party and was shocked by how much everyone was eating these guys up! I was about to leave the 4-5 leftover for everyone to enjoy at the end of the night, but my husband protested and wanted to bring some home so he could enjoy them 😉 Winner, winner!

Chocolate Matcha Energy Balls (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)

Chocolate Matcha Energy Ball (Paleo, Autoimmune Paleo, Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut butter/ mana/ cream concentrate (soft enough to stir but not melted)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp -1 tsp matcha powder (plus more for dusting)
  • FOR THE COATING
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder (or carob for AIP)

Instructions

  1. Add the coconut butter to a bowl with the shredded coconut and stir until thoroughly combined
  2. Add the flour, oil, honey, and matcha powder. I recommend 1/2 tsp, but adding up to 1 tsp will make it stronger
  3. Continue to stir
  4. Roll the dough out into balls sizes to your liking and place them onto a plate lined with parchment paper
  5. Place the plate into the freezer for at least 1 hour to allow the balls to freeze
  6. Prepare a double boiler for the coating by placing a medium sauce pot half way filled with water on medium heat, and add a metal mixing bowl on top of the pot
  7. Add the coconut oil and cocoa/carob powder and wisk until melted into a chocolate sauce
  8. Remove the balls from the fridge and use a spoon to coat with the chocolate/carob mixture, dusting at the end with extra match. The coating should harden quickly.
  9. Place the balls back into the freezer for another hour or so
  10. Transfer to the fridge and enjoy the energy balls chilled
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These are best chilled out of the fridge, so they’re not a great purse snack or the chocolate will start to melt. So, they’re much better just kept on hand in the fridge either at work or at home as a quick energy snack for a few days.

Enjoy, matcha lovers! 

Easy Plantain Banana Bread (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Banana bread… I’m obsessed. Always have been, always will be. Honestly, I don’t really remember having banana bread as a kid. I was more a chocolate chip cookie type kiddo… still am. But, I digress. I got hooked in the banana sweet stuff in high school. One day someone brought a loaf over for some occasion and it was a done deal for me. It quickly became one of my absolute favorite sweet treats and has been for years. I haven’t had banana bread in years for various reasons. First of course, I’m Paleo/ AIP and no longer eat gluten, grains, eggs, dairy, or refined sugar, and I don’t really like complicated recipes that don’t come out close enough to the real deal. Until I made my own paleo and AIP plantain banana bread. 

So, why plantains? Well, they’re awesome. I never even had plantains until I went AIP and I was missing out for years. Plantains are basically just a more starchy banana that can be made into chips or tostones when they’re green (which is my favorite) or eaten as a sweet treat when they turn yellow. Because they’re more starchy, they help hold recipes up much better than just bananas alone, which was crucial for this recipe as there aren’t any eggs. Not even a gelatin egg! That’s why this is classified as “easy” 😉 Thanks to the plantains, this bread holds up perfectly, and all you have to do is basically mix it all together. 

Easy Banana Bread (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Another standout ingredient in this bread in cinnamon. Cinnamon and banana are just such a great flavor combination. The cinnamon gives this banana bread a bit of a cinnamon sugar type flavor, while helping give it some more color! As for topping the bread, I went with slicing a banana into thin slices and layering it on top of the bread with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon. You can easily add chocolate chips (or carob for AIP) or even top it with shredded coconut. Yum! After you slice it, this bread goes great with ghee or grass-fed butter if tolerated. It’s also great with a bit of coconut oil, coconut butter, or even a homemade jam. 

Plantain Banana Bread (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Be still my heart.

I like banana bread out of the oven after it’s cooled for a bit, and my husband likes to slice it thin and toast it under the broiler! Either way, we both love adding ghee to it. 

This bread is easy to make, it holds together wonderfully, and has a subtle flavor that even non-AIP folks will love!

Easy Banana Bread (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)

Plantain Banana Bread (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 2 yellow plantains with black spots
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup cassava flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • Optional:
  • 1 sliced banana (not overly ripe) to top the bread
  • Extra sprinkle of cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
  2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and grease it with coconut oil
  3. Add the plantains and bananas to a high speed blender or food processor to thoroughly combine and mash
  4. Scoop out the plantain banana mixture into a mixing bowl and add the remainder of the ingredients
  5. Stir to combine
  6. Pour the dough into a loaf pan and smooth out to where the top if flat
  7. Add optional toppings like sliced banana and cinnamon, etc.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving
  10. Serve warm with a spread or simply by itself
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And that’s all there is to it! Sweet, cinnamon-y goodness that’ll make you feel super nostalgic!

Enjoy <3 

Chocolate Strawberry Collagen Protein Bars (Paleo, AIP, Gluten Free)

Protein bars… what would we do with you? I used to love protein bars, but quickly turned away from them when I realized that they were basically dairy filled candy bars! Low quality protein plus sugar plus grains? No thank you. But let’s be real, I’m just as busy as the next person and I need purse convenience food too, y’all! It can’t all just be bone broth and kale over here. Though I usually reach for EPIC bars or homemade beef jerky, sometimes I really want to mix it up. So, I created these homemade Chocolate Strawberry Collagen Protein Bars! 

These bars were much more of a hit than I expected! Usually my husband and I just nibble on my creations by our lonesome and we agree if they’re good enough to grace the internet or not. These bars actually made it to my father-in-laws birthday celebration this weekend and were a total hit! I thought I was leaving with leftovers, but when I tried to pack them up, they were snatched back away and gobbled up! I got a “sorry, we really want them”, and I was honestly a happy camper with that reaction!

Chocolate Strawberry Collagen Protein Bars (AIP, Paleo, GF)

Why I Love These Collagen Protein Bars

1.Collagen Protein is a powerhouse ingredient.

We love collagen in this paleo/ AIP world, and for good reasons!

Collagen is a real food protein rather than a weird powder with tons of other ingredients. It helps heal the gut, it improves our hair, skin and nail health, our joint health, and it’s a great way to get in some extra protein! Collagen is the only protein powder I recommend. 

2. They’re a good fat snack which helps keep you fuller for longer. 

Fat is fuel, you guys! Fat is more calorie dense and digests more slowly than protein or carbs, thus it keeps us fuller longer!

Good quality fat like that found in the coconut butter and coconut oil in this recipe are the building blocks for our hormones which regulate so many processes in the body. The healthy saturated fat also fuels our brain and helps normalize our mood.

Fat is your friend!

3. They’re lightly sweetened with natural sweetener. 

Most protein bars can easily have more sugar than protein and are usually grain based. However, these bars only have about 1 tbsp of honey and the equivalent of just a couple of strawberries.

Being lower in sugar keeps these bars from spiking your blood sugar. That means they won’t have you crashing later and reaching for a more sugar-y treat.

Regulating your blood sugar is crucial for thyroid health, hormone balance, and healing your gut and autoimmunity! Always opt for good blood sugar snacks like these!

4. They require zero baking! 

It may only be March, but in Texas, I almost never want to turn on my oven. If I can avoid it, I’m always opting for no-bake recipes. It’s easier, faster, and has a way lower fail rate!

Chocolate Strawberry Collagen Protein Bars (AIP, Paleo, GF)

These bars are inspired by my own collagen protein bites which have many of the same ingredients, and are similar to two other collagen protein bar recipes… Cake Batter Collagen Protein Bars from Empowered Sustenance and Collagen Protein Bars from Cook it Up Paleo! Check those out too!! Now onto these bad boys…

Chocolate Strawberry Collagen Protein Bars (AIP, Paleo, GF)

Chocolate Strawberry Collagen Protein Bars (Paleo, AIP, Gluten Free)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups coconut butter (also referred to as coconut mana and coconut cream concentrate)
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup collagen peptides or hydrosolate
  • 15-18 slices of freeze dried strawberries
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil + 1 tsp to grease a glass pyrex dish
  • 1 tbsp carob powder for AIP or cocoa if tolerated
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • FOR THE OPTIONAL CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (softened by not melted)
  • 1 tbsp carob powder
  • 1/2 tsp honey

Instructions

  1. Grease a glass pyrex dish (like this one ) with coconut oil and line it with parchment paper.
  2. Add the coconut butter, shredded coconut and coconut oil to a bowl and stir to combine. You want the mixture to be soft, but not melted!
  3. Add the collagen, honey and carob/cocoa powder to the mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
  4. Spread the mixture in the glass pyrex dish and flatten evenly.
  5. Top with freeze dried strawberries (or other fruit as desired)
  6. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour
  7. After the bars are chilled, remove them from the fridge and allow to soften for about 5-10 minutes until attempting to slice them into 9 separate bars.
  8. Prepare the frosting (optional) by adding the ingredients to a bowl and mixing vigorously. Heat for just a few seconds to soften if needed, but don't allow it to melt.
  9. Pour the frosting mixture into a piping bag or just a plastic bag with the tip cut off and drizzle over the bars. NOTE that the frosting needs to dry on the surface area on the bars or it may easily flake off.
  10. Serve chilled and enjoy!

Notes

These bars are best cold and will eventually melt if left if heat. Try and keep them cool!

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Chocolate Strawberry Collagen Protein Bars (AIP, Paleo, GF)

And it’s as easy as that! Keep them in the freezer at work if you need a pick me up, throw them in your purse to run some quick errands, toss them in your kiddos lunch box, or just chow down on them as a treat.

So yummy, so packed with good ingredients, so easy! Enjoy, snackers!

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This post was shared on the Phoenix Helix AIP recipe roundtable.