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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.)

Ingredients: 
  • 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
Directions:
  • 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: 


Ingredients:  
  • 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)
Directions
  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.
Enjoy!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Black Bean Chili & Sweet Potato Casserole

I'm loving these healthy slow cooker recipes that I can put together in the morning and not have to worry about all day!  Today, I tried a new recipe:  Black Bean Chili & Sweet Potato Casserole.   It's delicious!  With a few inches of snow on the ground outside, I thought this would be a great dish to help keep us warm and toasty.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (optional)
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 (16 oz) jar tomato salsa
  • 3 cups cooked black beans or 2 (15oz) cans of black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1.5 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled & thinly sliced
  • Salt (optional) & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese or homemade cashew cheese
Steps:  

  1. Heat oil in skillet (or water if you don't want to use oil).  Add the onion and saute until softened.  Then add garlic, then tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cumin & paprika.  Add a little extra water, if needed, to ensure the mixture doesn't burn. 
  2. Stir in the salsa and black beans.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. 
  3. Spoon a thin layer of the chili mixture on the bottom of the cooker. Arrange a layer of sweet potato slices on top (overlapping slightly).  Season with salt (optional) and pepper, then top with a thin layer of the chili mixture, followed by a sprinkling of the vegan cheese.  Repeat layers until all ingredients are used and you end with remaining vegan cheese on top.  
  4. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until potatoes are tender. 
  5. Enjoy!   
(Recipe derived from Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson) 


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