Gorgeous Gooey Black Bean Brownies

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Gorgeous Gooey Black Bean Brownies

Why would I want to eat a healthy brownie, when I could eat a rich, deep, gooey chocolaty brownie instead?

What if this was one and the same thing?!

Introducing the gluten free, flour free, dairy free, nut free brownie. It is super easy and takes around 20 minutes, using my trusted blender.

The secret ingredient here is undetectable, as per my trusted tasters and with black beans as the main ingredient, you can be rest assured that you have had at least one of your five a day!

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. raw cacao
  • ½ cup oats
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. gluten free baking powder
  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chips

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350c
  • Combine all the ingredients, except the chips, into the blender
  • Stir in the chips and pour into a cake pan, sprinkle some extra chips over the top
  • Place in the oven for 15 mins and let cool for at least 10 mins before serving
  • If a little soft when you take it out of the oven, place in the fridge and the brownies will firm up

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Black Beans (above)

 

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Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

This chocolate treat has three main ingredients and takes not time at all in a blender. It is dairy free, gluten free, nut free, refined sugar free and high in protein. It has a deep, decadent texture and ‘you won’t believe it’s made of tofu’, which is a wonderful ancient healthy ingredient that takes on the taste of whatever you are making. Here it is really used for the silky texture and in blind tastings no one would ever guess it is the main ingredient.

I like to serve it with lots of berries to cut through the richness of the mousse, it also adds a little color to the plate. I have also added a little gold fairy dust here, for a magical finish.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 300g soft silken tofu
  • 80g vegan chocolate
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. vanilla essence
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Melt the vegan chocolate using a heat proof bowl over a pot of hot water, don’t let the bowl touch the water
  • Stir the chocolate until it melts completely and then take it off the heat to cool for a few minutes
  • In the mean time, prepare the tofu by taking it out of the packaging, squeeze a little to get rid of some of the water, then blend till smooth
  • Add the chocolate and rest of the ingredients
  • Transfer into glasses or ramekins, serve with berries to cut through the richness

Quinoa Granola Bar (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Granola Bar

‘Each day is a gift, don’t send it back unopened’

I like to eat every two hours or so, little and often is my motto, so it’s important to have healthy easy snacks with me at work and when I travel. I like this recipe as it can be used as a snack or a homemade granola and is another recipe to add to my love affair with quinoa collection, as Mr. B calls it. It is relatively easy and can be adapted to whatever you have in the cupboard. This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe from the ambitious kitchen, a beautiful healthy food blog from an inspiring author who used healthy food and blogging to overcome her eating disorder.

A slight detour…

As I was writing the first sentence of this blog, ‘I like to eat every two hours’ I was struck with gratitude for being able to say that.

Some people don’t have the luxury of eating once a day, not only in developing countries due to poverty levels and famine but also in our own back yard.

Two organisations that are dedicated to this cause are Mary’s Meals, which supplies food at school in developing countries, to help lift children out of the cycle of poverty, www.marysmealsusa.org and the Woman’s Lunch Place in Boston, www.womenslunchplace.org, which aims to supply at least one good meal per day as well as helping to restore dignity and hope to vulnerable woman. I support these two charities and would urge you to read about they work they do. They certainly help me to be more mindful when I sit down for a meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • ½ cup uncooked Quinoa
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • ¼ cup vegan dark chocolate (can use non-vegan chocolate if preferred)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Add oats, Quinoa and pumpkin seeds to a large baking sheet, spreading evenly
  • Toast for 10 minutes
  • Once toasted pour into a glass bowl and add the chia seeds
  • Whilst baking, melt the almond butter in a shallow pan on a low heat, add the coconut oil, salt, honey and vanilla
  • Once melted, take off heat and allow to cool slightly
  • Add to the mixture and combine
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and pour the mixture in, spreading out
  • Melt the chocolate and drizzle over the top
  • Place mixture into the freezer for 10-20 minutes or until hardened
  • Remove from the freezer and cut into 8 bars, use any that has crumbled as granola

Beetroot Chocolate Pot (Vegetarian/Gluten Free/Nut Free)

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I am always trying out new and interesting dessert recipes to satisfy Mr. B’s sweet tooth and when I found this recipe in Verge, one of my favorite veggie cook books, it seemed the perfect balance between healthy yet indulgent

This is a rich and impressively heady desert and easy to make given the few ingredients and little process. The recipe serves, 2-4 people, but I would suggest it for 4-6 at least, due to the decadence

The beetroot can not be seen as the deep purple is swallowed by the chocolate (see picture below for the proof it is in the pudding…), so if you want your guests to know that there is beetroot, then you may want to sprinkle some crushed beet chips on top

Ingredients

  • 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips, use dairy free chips for the vegan option
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup red beetroot juice

Method

  • Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl
  • Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the cornstarch and salt, whisking to ensure that it is fully dissolved. The cornstarch will start to thicken the coconut milk after a few minutes, as soon as this happens, stir in the beet juice and then strain through a sieve over the chocolate chips
  • Whisk the chocolate mixture thoroughly until all of the chips are melted. Portion the mixture into serving dishes and chill for at least 1 hour to set

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Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart (No-Bake, Gluten Free, No-added Sugar, Dairy Free )

 

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Everybody needs a treat now and then, something indulgent, something so good it is bad…or in the case of this recipe, something sooo good and not bad at all!

I found this recipe in Vegan Life. A guilt free chocolate, salted caramel tart, with a healthier combination of ingredients than most cereal bars. The tart is 80% nuts and dates and doesn’t take much time or method, with the trusty blender back in action.

The caramel combination is tasty enough to make and eat on its own, and can be served with my banana pancakes or as a simple energy pot. Mr. B licked several spoons and bowls in the making of this recipe and felt like it gave him an energy boost for a number of hours afterwards, provoking him into going for a run so he could come back and eat some more.

You can make this vegan/dairy free by using vegan chocolate, or use milk chocolate if you prefer.

Ingredients

Base:

  • 150g (1 cup) hazelnuts
  • 150g (1 cup) almonds
  • 100g (1/2 cup) pitted dates
  • 1 tbsp. organic vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Caramel layer

  • 300g (1.5 cups) pitted dates
  • 150g (1/2 cup) cashew butter
  • 10-12 tbsp. water
  • 10 tbsp. coconut oil
  • ½ tsp. sea salt

Chocolate layer

  • 300g (2 cups) good quality vegan dark chocolate

Optional:

  • You can use walnuts instead of hazelnuts
  • You can use milk chocolate if you are not vegan
  • You can use a flavored chocolate if you want to add a different dimension, e.g. mint chocolate

Method

  • Line the base of a 24cm round non-stick cake tin with baking paper
  • To make the base, blend the nuts to a flour-like consistency in a blender. Add the dates, vanilla extract and coconut oil and blend again till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Press it firmly into the base of the tin, making sure it is evenly spread
  • Put all the ingredients for the caramel layer into the same blender (it should be reasonably clean) and blend till super-smooth and caramel-like. This may take 5-10 minutes depending on how powerful your blender is. You may need to add water if it is a bit clumpy rather than smooth
  • Spread evenly on the top of the base layer in the tin, doing your best to smooth the caramel layer. Place in the fridge while you prepare the chocolate
  • Gently melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Remove from the heat and pour over the caramel layer
  • Put into the fridge and leave to set until the chocolate is solid. Use a hot knife to cut this tart, it will help to cut through the chocolate without it cracking

Raw chocolate pudding

Gluten free, dairy free, wheat free and healthier than a bowl of porridge

Ingredients (multiply as needed)
– 2 avocados
– 20ml coconut oil
– 2 tbsp. raw cocoa
– 1 tsp. vanilla essence/powder
– 2 tbsp. honey

Optional extra’s for texture;
– Dates
– Almonds
Method
– Peal, de-stone and chop up the avocado’s and blend (this turns into a creamy consistency for the base of the pudding)
– Add the coconut oil and then the rest of the ingredients to taste
I have asked my friends to blind taste this and no one knew there was avocado in it! If you have a sweet tooth, this is a must for you, guilt free eating!

Detox Dairy free Beetroot Brownies

This is an indulgent brownie, with all the taste but no gluten or dairy

It’s from the detox kitchen bible

It’s full of super foods and antioxidants

The beetroot is sneaky, as you can’t taste it

It can be made as a brownie or a rich chocolate cake

Your kids will never know it is healthy!

Ingredients

  • 150g peeled raw beetroot, cut into cubes (one large beetroot as you need to take into account the weight post peeling)
  • 50g hazelnuts
  • 100g gluten free flour (I used rice flour)
  • 1 tsp. gluten free baking powder
  • 60g raw cacao powder
  • 150g honey
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 75ml rapeseed oil
  • (Optional extras: I used almonds instead of hazelnuts, as that is what I had in the cupboard. You can interchange gluten free flours. Add a few cacao nibs as an extra super food treat!)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180c. Line the bottom and sides of a cake tin with greaseproof paper
  • Put the beetroot in a microwave-safe bowl with 50ml water, cover with cling film and cook on a high heat for 7 minutes until soft. (Be careful of the steam when you take the cling film off.)
  • If you don’t have a microwave, wrap the beetroot in foil and bake in the heated oven for c. 40 minutes until soft.
  • Put the nuts in a blender and blend until chopped into grainy rice sized pieces. Transfer into a large mixing bowl. Sift the flour, baking powder and cacao powder in.
  • Blend the cooked beetroot in the blender for 1-2 minutes until smooth. (If you have undercooked the beetroot it will form pieces rather then being smooth. This is okay, as it will cook more when you bake the brownie.) Add to the dry ingredients in the bowl, but don’t mix yet.
  • Using the blender for the third time (don’t worry about washing it in-between), add the honey, salt and eggs and blend for 3 minutes. Pour into the bowl and with the oil and mix the entire mixture with a large spoon, folding rather than vigorously mixing so as to retain some air in the mixture.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in a heated oven for about 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Try and let the cake cool completely before cutting into squares and devouring