Vegan Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

vegan fudgy black bean browniesI’ve made these brownies now about a gazillion times, and every time people are shocked to learn that they’re made from beans. When I make them and sell them at festivals, curious passersby will always stop and sample them. There are usually three groups of people I encounter when this happens. The Yes, I’ve heard of bean brownies before but I’ve never…; then there is the Beans? Oh wow I’ve gotta try these group; and then there is the third group, those who have tried them in the past and wave somebody new over to try them. Those people are my homies. They know a good thing when they taste it. Continue reading “Vegan Fudgy Black Bean Brownies”

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Chocolate Avocado Mousse

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This post is for my student, Jake. I had such a sweet and amazing class this year, and Jake was certainly no exception. They all knew about my balanced bella blog, and some of them even started following my Instagram account. So, when Jake asked me to post my recipe for avocado frosting, I was all about it. Except…that was about two months ago, and I’ve been really slacking on the recipe front…

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This is perfect as a frosting – smeared on top of baked goods; however, it’s just as blissful to dip fruit into (or cookies, I’m not judging). If you’re making a layered cake, this will make a decadent mousse filling. Its consistency is similar to a buttercream frosting. Like most things I like to make…it’s quite versatile.

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All three ingredients are packed with nutrition. Avocados are loaded with vitamins, potassium (more so than a banana!), and fiber, helping to lower cholesterol and giving your skin that special glow. Cacao powder is said to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It contains enormous amounts of antioxidants, but it also possesses anti-depressant, mood-elevating properties such as serotonin and dopamine. And maple syrup, well, there’s a reason the “Master Cleanse” diet included maple syrup in each one of its drinks – there are many nutrients within this liquid such as riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium which boost your mind and body (not to mention your immune system!).

So without further ado, I give you the easiest, creamiest, most decadent three ingredient frosting/mousse recipe you could ask for!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe Hass avocado
  • 3 T cacao powder
  • 3 T maple syrup

Steps:

  1. Mash the avocado up with a fork, add the cacao powder and maple syrup, stir (well) and enjoy!

Banana Bon-Bons

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Peggy Bundy would be proud. I’ve envisioned making these for the past few months. Like when I was proctoring the state tests and couldn’t do much more than stare out the window, or when I was sitting on the lifeguard chair staring at the ocean and thinking about the exact ingredients I would use and if everything would stick together like they did in my mind – they did by the way. Yea, I know I sound like a huge food geek. And although I had every intention of creating a delicious dinner and writing about that, I just couldn’t resist trying these out, and when I did, well I obviously had to change my plans a tad…
The richness of the cacao and the nutty flavor of the almonds brings out the sweet flavor of banana – which tastes about three hundred times better when it’s frozen, making it creamy and refreshing on these humid June days in New York. Ingredients (makes about 8 bon-bons):

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  • 1/2 ripened banana
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 2 Tbsp cacao powder*
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

*I recently ran out of cacao powder and bought a different brand at Whole Foods on a whim. This new powder is a lot less strong and I need a lot more to achieve the same taste. So, depending on the cacao powder you have, try one half to one whole tablespoon and taste the mixture to see if it’s enough. I usually order Healthworks brand on Amazon and absolutely love it.

Steps:

  1. Dice one half banana into 1/4 inch coins.
  2. Place on a plate in a single layer – do not pile on top of each other.
  3. For easier handling, freeze for about thirty minutes.
  4. In a blender, mix almonds, coconut, and cacao powder.
  5. Pour into a bowl and add the maple syrup, mix well.
  6. Cover each banana piece and shape into a ball; do not pile covered bananas on top of one another.
  7. For best results, freeze for at least one hour, but best after two hours.

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