recipe: black bean brownies

Who doesn’t love soft, gooey, warm brownies?!  About a year ago, I learned about black bean brownies.  Like most people, I was initially skeptical.  Beans in a dessert?  I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.  But after giving it a go, I discovered that black bean brownies are decidedly delicious — whether you need to eat gluten free or not!  While they’re not the most healthy of all desserts, they’re still a step up from traditional brownies on the health and nutrition factor.  Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive, allergy friendly, and super easy to make!  I made these brownies with my friend Katie and here’s the recipe we came up with:

Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients:

1 can (or 15 ounces) of black beans, drained and rinsed
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
dash of salt
1 tbs maple syrup
3/4 cup sugar

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil or butter an 8×9 inch baking pan.  Mix all ingredients together into a bowl and beat for 5-8 minutes with a hand mixer.  You can use a fork to mash up the black beans some more.  If you don’t like the idea of any black bean texture in the brownies and want it completely smooth, you can blend in a food procesor instead.  (We didn’t have one on hand, so that didn’t happen.  Otherwise we probably would’ve!)  Pour batter into your greased pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes or till set in the center.  Allow to cool, cut, and serve!

These brownies are gluten free, grain free, soy free, vegetarian, and could be dairy free with the appropriate substitutes. 

recipe: healthy chocolate peanut-butter fudge

Yes.  It does exist.  Let me explain:

Coconut oil is a fantastic substance that is known to provide all sorts of health benefits.  The key here is to not be afraid of the word “fats.”  Mainstream culture has given us the idea that fats are bad and that natural fats in food will make YOU fat.  Not true.  Eating refined sugars, refined carbs and junk food and not living an active lifestyle can make you fat.  Eating natural, whole, healthy fats can actually help you maintain your weight and help the foods you’re eating deliver their health benefits to you much more effectively.

Coconut oil is pretty easy to digest and it aids the body in absorbing minerals, fat soluble vitamins, B vitamins, and some amino acids.  Many people also say that coconut oil helps you LOSE weight because it increses your energy, boosts your metabolism, and helps improve thyroid function — all of which are beneficial to losing weight.  It doesn’t negatively effect your blood cholesterol and it is a known anti-inflammatory with antioxidant properties. 

This is a semi-raw, dairy free healthy fudge recipe because one of the main ingredients is coconut oil as well as cocoa and one of the most natural sugars you can find — honey. 

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut oil
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup raw honey (may add a bit more if you like your fudge sweeter)
1/2 cup peanut butter
dash of salt

Method:

Place your coconut oil in a glass or heat-proof container.  In a sauce pan, boil some water.  Place the coconut oil-filled container in the water and allow about 1/3rd of the coconut oil to melt.  Do this to help preserve the “raw” qualities of the coconut oil, thereby, preserving its nutritional benefits. Once partially melted, pour all the coconut oil into a blender or a bowl for a hand mixer.  Add in the rest of your ingredients and blend or beat till mixed together.  Important: I’m not sure why, but if you mix the ingredients too long, the coconut oil will separate as you can see that mine did a little bit.  Be careful to get your fudge JUST mixed and not overmixed to avoid separation.  Take a small baking dish and line it with parchment or wax paper and pour your fudge into the dish and spread it out equally.  Chill for 1 hour.  Cut and serve.

This recipe is gluten free, grain free, egg free, soy free, dairy free, and vegetarian.  While I’ve not used agave nectar, I’m sure some experimentation could be done to make this recipe vegan as well.

Recipe: grain free banana bread

 

Banana Bread.  Need I saymore? I think almost everyone loves banana bread.  It was a favorite of mine while growing up.  Now, understand.  I grew up in the home of a baker.  That’s right.  My mama is a professional pastry chef.  And all during my growing up years, we didn’t know I had Celiacs.  So I was indulging in all sorts of traditional pastries and goodies.  This is part of why I fought my gluten intolerance for awhile.  I didn’t want to give up all the pastas, breads, cookies, etc that I’ve grown up to know and love.

Because let’s face it.  Gluten free food is good.  And gluten free pastries are good.  But the transition can be hard because they’re not the same. I wish I’d known about this recipe during my transition period because while the bread doesn’t rise like wheat recipes do, this grain free banana bread tastes AWESOME and stays moist.  It’s not an original, I found it HERE.  I present to you grain free banana bread!

Coconut Banana Bread

Ingredients:

4 eggs
2 bananas (mashed)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tbs honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp cinnamon
optional: chopped walnuts or cocolate chips (I opted for the chocolate.  Obviously)

Method:

Blend eggs, bananas, and coconut oil (make sure coconut oil is not too hot or it will cook the eggs!). Mix the dry ingredients, then blend w/ the wet. Put into a greased bread pan, and bake on 350 for 40-45 minutes. Enjoy!

This recipe is gluten free, grain free, soy free, and vegetarian.