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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Guilt-Free Way to Celebrate National Pancake Day

Happy National Pancake Day!  Here's a guilt-free way to celebrate the day :).

I got the recipe for these Oatmeal-Lemon Pancakes from the talented Cathy Fisher at Straight Up Food.  Easy to make and they freeze well!

  • 2 cups non-dairy milk 
  • 3 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1½ cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest from 1 lemon)

1. Place the milk and dates into a small bowl and set aside so the dates can soften (at least 15 minutes).

2. Grind the oats into flour using a blender and then pour into a large bowl, along with the cornmeal, baking powder, and cinnamon, and mix with a fork.
3. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium.
4. Blend the dates and milk in a blender on high until smooth. Pour this into the bowl of dry ingredients, along with the lemon juice and zest, and mix with a fork until all of the dry ingredients have been mixed into the wet.
5. When a water droplet sizzles on the surface, the pan is ready. Pour a ½-cup batter onto the skillet (no oil is needed) and cook until bubbles form around the edges and on top, and the underside is brown (1-2 minutes). Flip the pancake and cook for another 1-2 minutes. (As the batter sits it will thicken up, so add a bit more non-dairy milk as needed to thin.)
I served mine with a dollup of almond butter and maple syrup.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies Topped with Coconut Peanut Butter Cream

I wasn't too sure about trying out this recipe I found in Dr. Joel Fuhrman's 'Eat To Live Cookbook'.  When I asked about making black bean brownies on Facebook, most of my family & friends who responded said that it was a good idea, and I have yet to try a bad recipe in his book...so I gave it a try, and I'm really glad I did.  

This turned out to be a pretty rich dessert and I'm glad I served it with a cream and berries to cut the richness a bit.  It's hard to believe there's NO sugar in this meal and that it's really a healthy dessert.  I'm not a huge fan of dark chocolate, so I'll probably reduce the amount of cocoa powder I use by just little bit next time.  Oh, and a friend of mine recommended that I cut the suggested cooking time down a bit so it wouldn't harden or dry out in the oven.  I took her advice and I'm so thankful she told me to do that--they were definitely moist & fudgy! 
When it came to the coconut peanut butter cream, I wasn't quite sure what to do about this so I turned to my chef cousin-in-law and asked her if it was possible to make an almond butter whipped cream with rice milk.  I envisioned that this would be a delicious addition to the brownie.  She gave me some tips and told me to use the fatty portion of coconut milk as the base of the cream.  So I did...and then I used PB2 (powdered peanut butter) to add to the cream and to sprinkle on top for a nice finish.  

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies 
(Recipe derived from Eat To Live Cook Book, Joel Fuhrman, M. D.)

  • 2 cups cooked black beans or canned, no-salt-added or low-sodium beans, drained
  • 1 1/4 cups dates, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons raw almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup natural, non-alkalized cocoa powder (I found a sugar-free powder and used that)
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees F
  • Combine black beans, dates, almond butter, and vanilla in food processor or high-powered blender.  Blend until smooth. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients and blend again. 
  • Pour into a very lightly oiled 8x8-inch baking pan & bake for 90 minutes (I baked for about 60)
  • Cool completely before cutting into small squares. 


 Coconut Peanut Butter Cream: 

  • 2 cans coconut milk (must be canned, I used the lite version)
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (I used PB2, but creamy would work well)
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  1. Place cans of coconut milk in the fridge overnight to allow for separation of coconut cream and coconut water. When ready for use, remove cans carefully from fridge and gently tip them upside down and open the bottom of each; this will make it easier to pour off the coconut water. Once bottom of can is removed, gently pour off the coconut water; coconut cream should easily stick to the inside of the can. Scoop all the cream out of the cans, directly into a bowl
  2. Use a mixer on medium speed to whip cream into a fluffy whipped cream. This should take about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Turn mixer on low speed, and slowly add peanut butter & maple syrup one tablespoon at a time until well combined.
  4. Serve immediately or place in fridge for up to one week. Whipped cream will stiffen once chilled.

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