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Category: cocoa

Lent started this week on Ash Wednesday, February 13. According to Wikipedia, lent is traditionally described as lasting for forty days, in commemoration of the forty days Jesus spent fasting in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry. During Lent, many of the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence. Mardi Gras is actually french for fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season starts.

banana icecream

Two of my best friends and my sister have decided to give up added sugar and ultra processed foods for lent. So, I decided to make this post just for them! I love banana ice cream. The texture and creaminess is perfectly delicious. This is a great healthy treat, without any added sugar if you skip the chocolate chips.

Banana ice cream is a perfect excuse to use up all those bananas in the freezer. I was getting a little tired of plan ol’ banana bread (besides my delicious coconut banana bread of course).

If you already have bananas in the freezer (avoid totally black ones — save those for the coconut banana bread), thaw them just enough so you can remove the peel and chop them up and throw them back in the freezer until solid again.

Enjoy!

banana ice-cream

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana “Ice Cream”

serves 1

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 very ripe (but not black) banana, peeled & chopped into ~1/2 inch wide chunks
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1.5 tbsp peanut butter (use the real stuff)
  • Cinnamon, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • Milk (or milk alternative), just a splash
  • Chocolate chips (optional)
  • Walnuts (optional) 

DIRECTIONS

Place chopped banana into container and freeze until solid. (I just keep bananas stock piled like this in the freezer for when those banana ice cream cravings hit.)

Once frozen, place the banana in a food processor. (Make sure the chucks aren’t frozen together. Chilling the blade and bowl of the processor in the freezer for ~10 minutes helps the ice cream form better too).

Add cocoa, PB, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pulse several times, scrapping down the sides as needed,  the mixture will start to look like gravel. Pulse a few more times and add a small splash of cold milk and pulse/blend until you reach ice cream like consistency. Top with chocolate chips and/or chopped walnuts or your favorite ice cream toppings. For an extra sweet treat add honey or maple syrup along with the other ingredients in the beginning.

If you over blend it and it gets too soft, just freeze it again and then pulse it a few times in the processor.

Serve immediately.

I feel like it has been a while since I did some baking and I have been urged by many tasters of this recipe to put it on my blog. So here it goes…

Black Bean Brownies

Sometimes you just have one of those days where you deserve a treat….I have them often.

For those of you that don’t know me, I am a huge klutz. Last week alone I managed to somehow allow my latte to explode  in the microwave (yup, 16oz of latte over the entire microwave). I also, somehow,  plunked the large chunk of daikon I was munching on straight into my roommates glass of orange juice ( I could not have aimed that good if I tried), then I spilled my pricy truffle salt all over my kitchen counter, and topped off the week by tripping over my sweat towel I dropped on the treadmill…while I was running!

So, these delicious fudgy brownies where a much needed treat!

Black Bean Brownies

There is no flour in these brownies (hence they are gluten free), they are purely bean based (almost 1/4 cup per brownie)! But don’t let that discourage you, no one would ever be able to guess it was beans in them. I love bringing these little gems to potlucks and getting people to try and guess the secret ingredient. No one has guessed it yet! I even made these brownies for over 50 kids at camp last summer and they all loved them!

**These brownies are the best eaten straight out of the fridge a day or two after baking, they get nice and fudgy that way (and hold together better). They also freeze really well!**

I made them for my roommate and her boyfriend topped with a dark chocolate, peanut butter, tofu mousse — although I advised my roomie not to tell her boyfriend he was eating a bean brownie topped with tofu ;) — they both LOVED IT!

Gold Star nutrient: Manganese, black beans are a great source of this mineral. Manganese helps our bodies break down carbs and fat and also helps us build strong bones and teeth

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
No one will ever guess these brownies are packed with beans!
Ingredients
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed & drained (about 1 & ¾ cups)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons oil (I use canola of olive oil)
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder (Fry's or Hershey's)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoon instant coffee
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 square baking dish.
  2. Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, sugar, and instant coffee in a blender; blend until smooth; pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and just starting to crack (look close), about 30 minutes. Don't over cook them!

 


 

Take these to your next potluck and see if anyone can guess the secret ingredient! Let me know if they guess it right or what you think of these brownies by commenting below! I love to hear from you :)

Happy Family Day everyone!

February 19th may just be a better day for chocolate than February 14th….The US National Confectioners Association has declared February 19 to be Chocolate Mint Day! This flavor combo happens to be one of my all-time favorites (salted caramel chocolate is a close runner up!)

There has been a lot of talk about how chocolate has health benefits lately, which may be true if you are eating minimally processed dark ( >70%) chocolate, making sure cocoa mass/solids is the 1st ingredient (not sugar). This way you are getting the most flavonoids (an antioxidant). Also, if you like cocoa powder as much as I do (I add a teaspoon to my coffee, some teas, plain yogurt, oatmeal etc) make sure you don’t use dutch processed cocoa as this alkalinization process markedly reduces the antioxidant content. With that in mind, I don’t usually eat chocolate for the antioxidants (which I can get in many other foods) I eat it for pleasure! And that is exactly what this post is about.. because this recipe is by no means healthy…so eat lots of vegetables at dinner! ;)

These brownies are very easy to make and only require 1 bowl to lick to wash when you’re done! They are fudgy, chewy, minty, chocolatey goodness…pretty much just the best things ever!

chocolate mint brownies

Mint-Stuffed Dark Chocolate Brownies

Makes 12 (if you resist the urge to eat batter…I usually end up with 11 slightly bigger ones)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped (or use dark chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 12 (1 1/2 inch) chocolate covered peppermint patties (such as york patties)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Place chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between, until just melted and smooth.

Whisk in sugar and salt until smooth. Whisk in eggs. Gently whisk in flour and cocoa until just smooth (do not over mix).

Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into each lined cup. Press 1 peppermint patty on top of batter. Top with 2 more tablespoons of batter, covering peppermint patty completely. Bake, rotating tin halfway through, until a cake tester inserted halfway into the centers comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 25 to 30 minutes (I like mine slightly under done, usually 25 min)

Transfer tin to a wire rack and cool completely before removing cupcakes. Eat immediately, with vanilla ice cream.

Brownies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days… if they last that long.

Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Version

  • Replace mint patties with mini peanut butter cups (I added 1.5 per cupcake)
  • Ice cupcakes when cooled with a peanut butter icing (googled a recipe)
  • Top with half a PB cup

VUALA!

 



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