Garden-fresh fruit and vegetables are delicious on their own and even mixed together in traditional ways. They are also key to the success of many sweet and savory baked goods. Take it one step further and you will discover that garden-fresh produce can enhance some of your favorite chocolate-centric desserts.
While the flavor of an individual fruit or vegetable remains in the baked goods, it’s usually light, and, in chocolate desserts specifically, the chocolate will always be the most dominant flavor. Adding vegetables and fruits to baked goods provides extra moistness and, in many cases, lightness, which makes them perfect treats when lighter fare is desired.
Let the creative mind run wild instead of getting stuck on a specific list of ingredients in any given recipe. If all the fresh zucchini was used in last night’s side dish, try using shredded patty pan squash, carrots, or even radishes instead — and don’t forget about beets, rutabagas and turnips.
Don’t have mint? Try lemon balm or anise hyssop as a tasty, albeit differently flavored, substitute. No pears? Use apples. Most any winter squash that has been roasted and puréed can be substituted for pumpkin. Don’t be afraid to mix it up either. Only one cup of raspberries when a recipe calls for two? Try a cup of berries with a cup of chopped cherries.
Chocolate Dessert Recipes
• Easy Chocolate Cupcake Recipe With Lavender
• Oatmeal Cookies Recipe With Zucchini
• Pumpkin Custard Tart Recipe With Snickerdoodle Crust
• Hot Chocolate Recipe With Herbs
• Chocolate Strawberry Cake Recipe
• Dark Chocolate Brownies Recipe With Cherries and Cream Cheese
Kathie N. Lapcevic is a writer and teacher who specializes in garden, food and recipe creation. She blogs at Homespun Seasonal Living and, when not working, can be found playing in the great outdoors of northwest Montana.