For the first time in months I’m starting to feel like the sun is fighting back the clouds and that it brings warmth with it’s beautiful rays. The snow is starting to fade from the mountains and everyone is taking a collective sigh that they made it through another winter.
I love winter. Just like I love each season for what it brings us. However, what I’m finding with each subsequent year here in the Pacific Northwest is that each winter becomes less and less wintery. It’s less cold, or less cold for more often. It’s less snowy and it seems to have shrunken by a month or so. I know that many people will rejoice in the good fortune of climate change in the small way that they feel it may impact them now. A month less snow. A few less days of defrosting your car. More sunshine to warm your face. But I want everyone to realize the larger impacts of these changes over years. It’s not just that the ski season will become so short that it’s not worth buying a pass. It’s the larger but still very local impacts that will make you wish you had done something sooner to help. Warmer temperatures means continued expansion of the Pine Beetle throughout BC. It’s the lack of snowpack in the mountains to sustain streams throughout the summer. It’s the seemingly slow, but actually very fast change of species and ecosystems all around the world. We have put a huge stress on this planet. If you can do anything today it is to acknowledge within yourself that we have changed the planet in irreparable ways. So as much as I love the sun and the warmth and the knowledge that spring is coming, I think with each year that it’s happening too soon. There’s no reason to speed up time when it’s already moving so fast. So appreciate what winter has given us because who knows how the planet will change in the coming years. Do what you can to understand the interconnection of the world and us within it. We are only a part of a larger story. Let’s take care of the world we are using and respect nature for what it provides us. Many trees will have been born before you and will continue to thrive once you are gone. Make changes today to ensure that winter and all the seasons continue to be able to provide to us what we need to survive.
Educate yourself. Read books, watch documentaries, eat plant-based, ask questions. It’s important for all of us and for the future of the world. And while you’re doing all of that try making this delicious coconut zucchini chocolate chip loaf. It changed my life and may change yours too.
This loaf can make you feel better even if the world were falling apart around you. I changed it slightly from it’s original version on how sweet it is by Jessica Merchant. The original recipe can be found here.
Here is my version of the original loaf. I usually decrease the oil and sugar in my foods because I grew up with a diabetic in the family and so am used to less sugary foods. The oil thing is just because that’s how I like it and decreasing the oil never seems to change the flavour of a food.
If you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour on hand you can also use whole wheat flour minus 2 Tbsp and add 2 Tbsp of cornstarch. This is what I did when I made the recipe since I didn’t have any pastry flour on hand.
1 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or use whole wheat flour minus 2 Tbsp flour and add 2 Tbsp cornstarch), sifted
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut (flaked or shredded)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk (canned)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/8 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup + 1/8 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 3/4 cup grated zucchini
2/3 cup dairyless chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil and set it aside or line with parchment paper and don’t use oil. I used a 9×5 pan but I’m sure you could use other sizes that are similar if that’s what you have.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, coconut, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the coconut milk, vanilla and coconut extracts. Gently stir the coconut milk and extracts together to mix and then stir into the dry ingredients. Once it is mixed, stir in the coconut oil and apple sauce. Once combined and wet, stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips. Try not to over stir at this point. Pour the batter into the greased or lined loaf pan.
Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until the center of the loaf springs back if you push on it. If at any point the top of the bread begins to brown too much, tent it with aluminum foil. It may sink once it is cooled even though it is cooked all the way through.
Now top with a delicious nut butter and eat!!!