Avocado Chocolate Pudding

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Avocados are the type of food you either love or hate. There is no in between. Until this pudding walks into your life, that is. It can make that middle ground between love and hate possible for those haters. Avocados are a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and potassium, and surprisingly make a nutritious base for a traditional recipe that is typically high in saturated fat and refined sugar. You can definitely fool your friends with this – don’t tell them what its made of and see if they detect anything other than chocolatey goodness!

Avocado Chocolate Pudding                  Makes about 1 1/2 – 2 cups

  • 3 Hass avocadoes, peeled and sliced (for easier blending)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate protein powder, any brand you prefer
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar or honey, or sweetner of choice
  • 3-6 tablespoons of soy milk or your favorite milk alternative
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor except for the soy milk. [NOTE: I used an electric mixer and it definitely left some clumps behind, which I don’t mind cause they melt in your mouth, but I still recommend a blender for your smooth pudding consistency! ] Begin to blend, and add soy milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the pudding is thick and at your desired consistency. The amount of liquid you add may differ each time you make this due to how much moisture the avocados have and how big they are may differ. I tend to add more liquid rather than less. The protein powder also sucks up a lot of liquid, so if you prefer not to use it, thats cool, but you won’t need as much liquid.
  2. Taste test to make sure its at the right sweetness!
  3. Let set in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

I’m sure some whipped topping or mini dark chocolate chips would be a nice addition, but we’ve only ever enjoyed it so far as is…cause really thats all you need!

 

Zucchini Muffins

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And the zucchini baking continues….now with muffins. That are pretty darn good and you can’t even tell there are veggies in there! =)

Zucchini Muffins                                  Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease a muffin pan with oil or cooking spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients. Mix just until combined.
  3. Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Zucchini Brownies

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When its summer, veggies are everywhere and people start giving them away because they seriously think they can’t eat them all….what an insane thought! That’s only if you don’t know how to use em’! There’s plenty of creative ways to use any of the veggies from the garden in any type of recipe – especially in the case of zucchini. You can saute it with onion and garlic for a nice side dish, grill it, add it to pizza, put it on skewers for kabobs, make zoodles, zucchini fries, and even use it as lasagna noodles for veggie lasagna. Zucchini is also a great addition to banana bread and other baked goods because it hold plenty of moisture in – and that’s what we used it for for this occasion.

Zucchini Brownies                                         Fills a 9×13 pan

  • 2 cups zucchini, shredded
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp – 1/2 cup water or milk alternative

Frosting

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk alternative, I used soy (which has creamier texture than flax or almond milk)
  • pinch of salt, if desired
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 baking pan with coconut oil or cooking spray.
  2. I tried to dry out my zucchini as best as I could. I layered paper towels on the counter to sandwich the zucchini and pressed out as much water as I could. Whether you wish to do this or not is not so important, it will just affect how much liquid you add to the batter, so pay CLOSE attention to that step!
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the vegetable oil, sugar, and vanilla until well combined. Gradually add in the dry ingredients about a third at a time, continually stirring.
  5. Fold in the zucchini. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Depending on how wet/dry your zucchini is, it will determine the consistency of your batter. If your batter looks like sand and is powdery, add milk or water about 1 tablespoon at a time until the batter comes together nice and thick, without being to liquidy. I used 1/2 cup of milk and it did the trick, but you may need less or more than this depending on what your batter looks like. It should be very thick and need help being spread in the pan.
  7. Add batter to the pan, spread evenly and bake for 30 minutes, or until the brownies bounce back and a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Let cool for 1 hour before frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Spread over brownies.Cover brownies with clear plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to let the frosting set. I recommend cutting them once they have cooled in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but if you can’t resist I understand =)

Enjoy!

 

Roasted Almond Oat n’ Veggie Bowl

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You might think oatmeal is only for breakfast. WRONG! You also might have trouble eating oatmeal plain because it has no flavor and need lots of sugar or honey in it. NOT HERE! This is so easy and quick! Less than 10 minutes to make! Also a great nourishing meal to enjoy for any time of the day! Savory, sweet, crunchy, and flavorful – this veggie bowl is just what you need in your life right now!

Roasted Almond Oatmeal Veggie Bowl

  • olive oil spray, I used my Misto
  • 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted almonds
  • 1-2 tablespoons of dried cranberries
  • 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning or any of your favorite spices and seasonings as desired
  • 3/4 cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup dry old fashioned oatmeal (trust me, it blends so well you can’t even tell what the pasta-like substance is in this!) if not, barley, brown rice, quinoa, or farro would be delicious alternatives!
  1. Spray or oil a saute pan. Add the onion and pepper. Cook for about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the almonds, cranberries, and spinach. Cook until spinach is fully thawed and hot. Add the seasoning and mix well.
  3. Cook the oatmeal in the microwave, I use 1 cup of water for 1/2 cup of oats for 2 minutes. Watch to make sure it doesn’t spill over. Sometimes using the microwave at half power helps to avoid this potential mess!
  4. When the oatmeal is done, add the saute mixture and mix until well combined.
  5. Enjoy!

Black Bean, Avocado, Sweet Corn Salad

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For an easy and versatile dish to make in the summer heat, throw this together for a refreshingly juicy salad. It has a little bit of a zip, but don’t let that stop you.

Black Bean, Avocado, Sweet Corn Salad

  • 2 cups cooked black beans (or about 1 15oz can drained and rinsed)
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 small jalapeno, diced (you can always leave me out)
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • fresh cilantro (as desired)
  • 2 cups cooked sweet corn, cut off the cob
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • red onion (as desired)
  1. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Cover and let cool in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours, or until completely chilled.

Ideas for serving:

  • Enjoy with tortilla chips
  • Enjoy as a topping on salad
  • Enjoy as a side dish with creamy Greek yogurt (we made this as a side on enchilada night)
  • Enjoy on its own
  • And any other way you can think of =)

 

Supreme Chocolate Mousse

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Calling all chocoholics! This recipe is for you! It not only fulfills the chocolate craving in the moment, it exceeds it for all the time you could imagine. Single? No need for that special someone when you have this mousse! Even if you have  your boo, you can still enjoy this mousse – maybe even together, which makes it that much more enjoyable. What makes this recipe unique is that it utilizes the liquid from canned beans that we often throw down the drain! Not anymore will you throw away the precious juice that creates this delectable dessert!

Supreme Chocolate Mousse

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup aquafaba (liquid from 1  15oz can of beans (I used cannelloni beans, but chickpea, great northern, or white beans would all work as well) Use the beans for something else – I made Cookie Dough Dip
  • 1 3.5oz 60% cacao dark chocolate bar (I used Ghirardelli), broken into small pieces for easier melting
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • whipped topping or powdered sugar for serving
  1. Begin by melting the chocolate bar and chips in a large bowl. You can use either a double boiler or the microwave. I used the microwave – if melting this way, be sure not the burn the chocolate by only putting it in for 20-30 second intervals at a time and mixing  it with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
  2. Pour the aquafaba in a small to medium sized bowl along with the salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) mix on high power until soft peaks form. This is the longest step requiring your attention – it may take about 10-12 minutes. Don’t taste it at this point.
  3. Once the soft peaks form, gradually fold in the melted chocolate – about 1/3 of the chocolate at a time. Gently fold in the chocolate until well mixed. Once well mixed, pour mousse into ramekins, shot glasses, sauce dishes or really whatever you want and whatever your purposes are for the mousse. I think cookie cutter shapes would be really fun.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator, and let sit for 2 hours.

When its time to serve, add the topping(s) of your choice and enjoy! It complements iced coffee quite nicely, and would be a great dessert to have with cold coffee after dinner on a hot summer day. Who would’ve thought vegan could taste so good?

 

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Cookie Dough Dip

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How can something without any flour, milk, eggs, or butter taste so delicious? I can’t answer that question, but lets not question it for too long. This recipe can be used as a dip with bananas (definitely recommend), a spread on whole grain crackers, a topping on oatmeal, a dip with pretzels, or be enjoyed on its own! If you find another way to enjoy it – share with me!

Cookie Dough Dip                                           Makes about 1 3/4 – 2 cups

  • 1 15 oz can of cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed (chickpea work too)
  •  1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla flax milk or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain cream of wheat
  • 2-3 tablespoons of sugar or honey
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (some people found the chips to be too big and thought that flecks of chocolate would be better, so you can always try that)
  1. Add all ingredients except for chocolate chips to a food processor and blend until smooth, adding milk when needed. Fold in chocolate chips and enjoy!

 

If you don’t have a food processor, see here:

  1. Add beans to a large bowl. Mash using potato masher.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl.
  3. Blend well using hand mixer on medium-high power. Make sure it is well blended and the skin of the beans has been broken down. Add liquid if it is looking clumpy until it resembles actual cookie dough.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips, and enjoy!!

 

This is great to bring to a party for people to snack on – and no one will believe you when you tell them its actually not that bad for you!