Black Bean Brownies
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Replacing all purpose flour in brownie recipes with black beans can be a great start to make brownies more nutritious (less refined flour, more plant based protein and fiber), but sometimes they can turn out less than appetizing. After trying my hand at many different desserts containing beans, I have found two important rules. First, you need to mask the bean flavor with other stronger complementary flavors. Second, make sure you have enough dry ingredients.  If you don’t follow those rules, you end up with mushy bean dessert. Lucky for you, I already did all the baking and testing so you don’t have to subject yourself to some of my previous awful recipes 🙂

 

Black Bean BrowniesBlack Bean Brownies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you like peanut butter, you can check out my peanut butter black bean brownies here. But if coffee and cream brownies sound more your style read on…

 

 

Black Bean Brownies

I originally shunned away from the idea of using coffee in black bean brownies because I was afraid it would be an overpowering flavor and I am not a huge coffee drinker. However, coffee does have a lot of antioxidants and research suggests health benefits, including reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes and alzheimer’s disease. Additionally I received a sample of Kohana Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate from Kohana Coffee to participate in their recipe contest, so it seemed like the perfect time to give it a try. I’m really happy I did try because the coffee really amped up the chocolate flavor, masked the beans and didn’t make the brownies taste overly coffee-like. Bonus antioxidants in your dessert are always something to celebrate!

 

Coffee and Cream Brownies

Ingredients
1 Can of Reduced Sodium Black Beans- Drained and Rinsed
2 Large Eggs
3 Tablespoons Strong Coffee (I used Kohana Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate)
4 Ounces Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 Cups Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/3 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch glass baking pan with cooking spray. Add all ingredients except for chocolate chips into a good blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour into prepared glass pan and sprinkle chocolate chips over batter evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool, slice and enjoy. Cover and keep refrigerated if saving for later.

***If you would like to vote for this recipe and/or my Berry Chocolate Iced Coffee recipe (it’s delicious too!) go to http://kohanacontest.com/contest/ and vote!

Black Bean Brownies
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Healthy Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust
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I love pizza and trying to make it healthier and gluten free can be a bit of a task. I have seen a lot of recipes for cauliflower pizza crust but have been afraid to try it due to a terribly failed attempt at cauliflower tortillas. Basically the cauliflower tortillas fell apart and just didn’t taste very good so I have been poo-pooing the cauliflower as a pizza crust trend. But I decided to give it a try (it actually took two attempts to get it the way I wanted it), and it turned out pretty flavorful and didn’t fall apart!

 

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Cauliflower “Rice”

 

Basically making the pizza crust just consisted of making cauliflower “rice” in blender or food processor, cooking and squeezing the extra fluid out of the cauliflower, and then mixing it with eggs, cheese, garlic and basil to make a “dough.” And then bake! Super simple.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust Dough
Cauliflower Pizza Crust “Dough”

 

I didn’t put a lot of toppings on my pizza because I didn’t want to test the strength of the crust too much, due to my falling apart cauliflower tortillas…but it really didn’t need that many toppings to make it satisfying and delicious. I would recommend though that if you use watery veggies to top the pizza such as fresh tomatoes or mushrooms that you don’t use a lot and/or cook them a little in the microwave first to remove some of the water, because it will make the cauliflower pizza crust softer.

 

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

 

Making pizza crust out of cauliflower is a great way to get some extra veggies in your diet and it actually tastes good too!

 

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Ingredients
1 Head of Cauliflower
2 Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
3/4 Cup Reduced Fat Shredded Italian Cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a pizza stone with parchment paper. Rinse cauliflower head and remove stem. Break or chop cauliflower into pieces and pulse in food processor or blender until it looks like rice. Place cauliflower “rice” in a microwave safe bowl and cook in microwave on high for about 7 minutes, uncovered. Pour out onto a clean towel and allow to cool slightly. Wrap up the cauliflower in the towel and wring out over the sink to squeeze out the excess fluid. In a mixing bowl combine cauliflower, eggs, basil, garlic and cheese. Mix together well. Place mixture in center of the parchment lined pizza stone and spread out into a circle, about 1/4 of an inch thick. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top evenly with desired toppings and bake for another 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, slice and serve. Enjoy!

Healthy Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust
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Spaghetti Squash
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Spaghetti squash is one of those unique vegetables that you can easily transform into a pasta without the use of a spiralizer. With spiralizers being a food trend now (I see zoodle recipes and pins everywhere), you can turn almost any veggie into a pasta. But today we are going old school and using spaghetti squash and a fork to make a veggie noodle “pasta.” So if you didn’t get on the spiralizer band wagon, don’t worry….there is no need with this healthy recipe.

Baked Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash is a winter squash that contains vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and fiber.  I like how easy it is to cook, and how fun it is to eat. If you are short on time, you can always cook it in the microwave.

Spaghetti Squash with Italian Herbs

Ingredients
1 Large Spaghetti Squash
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/8 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Tablespoon Champagne Vinegar
Reduced Fat Cheese (if desired)

Directions
Preheat over to 375 degrees. Rinse off squash and use a knife to poke holes in the squash so steam can escape during cooking. Cook in the oven for 1 hour. All squash to cool slightly before cutting open. Cut open, remove seeds and scrape out strands of squash with a fork, set aside. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add garlic, basil, parsley, black pepper and salt.  Stir and heat for a minute or two until fragrant. Add squash strands and mix until warm. Finish with champagne vinegar. Serve and top with cheese reduced fat cheese if desired. For extra protein you can add a little chicken or tofu. (Leftover chicken from the night before makes a great topping)

 Spaghetti Squash

****Recommendation: Cooking the squash in the oven does take some time so you can do this the night before or pop it in as soon as you get home from work and get in a work out during the cook time. Alternatively, the microwave is another faster option for cooking.
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