Salted Chocolate Brownies [vegan, gluten-free, oil-free]

Salted Chocolate Brownies

Recipe updated/improved 1/8/17.  

I realize I have a brownie recipe on this site already but you can never have too many brownie recipes! This one is my favorite and really easy to make.  I’ve made them for dessert aficionados and non-vegan foodies alike and neither could believe they 1) were made with black beans and 2) weren’t made with refined sugar, oil or eggs like most brownies.  If you like peanut butter I recommend using it here, even though the flavor in the finished product is mild.  If you don’t like it or can’t have it, by all means use almond butter or the nut/seed butter of your choice.

Pumpkin Spice Brownies || vegan | gluten-free | oil-free


November 4, 2015


People are coo coo for cocoa.

Me? I like it.  Sure.

But I wouldn’t consider selling my offspring for the last bar on earth as some people I know might.  It’s good.  I enjoy a quality piece of dark chocolate or a chocolatey dessert as much as the next girl, but when I like chocolate best is when it’s paired with something else, for example, peanut butter, raspberry, or in this case PUMPKIN!

If you’ve never had chocolate and pumpkin together, you’ve been missing out! The warm spices we associate with pumpkin taste great with the rich chocolate.  This recipe calls for healthy whole foods like black beans and pumpkin, uses very little flour, and no refined sugar or oil, and no eggs or dairy of course.  The only not-so-healthy part is the chocolate chips but we only use 1/4 cup.  I really like to use the Wonderslim cocoa powder as it’s lower in fat and caffeine than typical cocoa powder.PumpkinSwirlBrownies3

Go ahead, make these.

And try not to eat the whole pan.

I dare ya.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies || vegan | gluten-free | oil-free

IMG_9328Soft, chewy, gooey and chocolatey – that’s what these cookies are. Best part is they are a sinful tasting treat without the sin (maybe just a little bit).  Of course there is no oil or butter in these little gems, but I also tried to keep the flour, sugar and fat low.  You’ll notice the recipe calls for 2 med-large bananas.  As such there is a very small banana taste…very slight though.  If you aren’t a banana fan (I simply cannot imagine!), try using only one banana and replacing the other with 1/2 cup applesauce.  I haven’t tried this so I can’t say exactly what the end result would be, but it’s worth a try.

Enjoy your chocolatey goodness!

Fudgy Brownies || vegan | gluten-free | oil-free

These delicious morsels are a cross between fudge and a brownie, hence the name Fudgy Brownies.  They are so rich and sinful tasting, it’s amazing they are low-fat, contain very little flour, no refined sugar, and BLACK BEANS.  That’s right, black beans.  A whole can.  I know it’s weird, just work with me.  And be sure not to tell anybody until AFTER they tell you how awesome the brownies taste.  🙂

Chocolate Cran-Cherry Granola

There is no shortage of granola recipes on-line, though I’d never heard of a chocolate variety so when it popped into my head as I was working out, I jumped on it. Many of my recipes come to me during exercise – weird. Anyhow, I got the idea to use cacao nibs and cocoa powder to make the granola chocolatey.  Sure, I could use chocolate chips but this is granola, it’s supposed to be healthy!

For those not familiar with cacao nibs, they are basically raw chocolate, pieces of cacao beans that have been roasted, hulled and prepped to the point where all that there is left to do is process them into bars.  Like dark chocolate, they are somewhat bitter and they are very pure with no added sugar.  I like them in the granola however because there are plenty of other sweet elements.  The bitter, nutty flavor of the nibs with the cherries, cranberries and maple syrup and/or date paste is delicious.  Best part?  Your milk in the bowl ends up like chocolate milk!  Who doesn’t love that?

Cacao beans, and thus cacao nibs, are one of the best dietary sources of magnesium — a mineral needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies — with 272 milligrams per 100 grams.  Cacao nibs are very high in antioxidants, and have about 9 grams of fiber per 1 ounce!

Since they will melt like any other type of chocolate, you need to wait until the granola is cooled before adding the cacao nibs.

Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream! Non-dairy, low in fat, no sugar added.

I bought organic frozen pitted cherries from Costco recently and decided last night to actually do something with them besides eat them one by one out of the bag like I had been (they are like candy!).  This is one instance (of many) when a Vitamix is the most amazing kitchen appliance you could hope to have.  Love that thing. This creamy, delicious dessert is ready in about 2 minutes, and that includes gathering ingredients!  It’s so sweet, you can’t believe there isn’t added sugar.  Of course, when you sprinkle a few vegan mini chocolate chips on top as I did, that changes the no-sugar-added thing, but it doesn’t add much.  You only need a few.  I always have peeled, frozen bananas in the freezer for just this occasion.  Enjoy!!

Enchilada + Burrito = Enchilito!

Never have I made these when they weren’t loved by all.  When I first created them, I couldn’t decide if they should be called burritos or enchiladas.  Ultimately I decided they were a combination, hence the name “enchilito”!  Several of the ingredients listed are brand specific but I’ve no doubt these would still be delicious regardless of the brand.

Since I advocate a primarily whole-foods diet, I’ve listed the meat (Soyrizo) and cheese (Daiya) substitutes as optional.  While these foods are tasty, they are processed and contain oils.  Use them sparingly, if at all, and save them for situations in which you’re serving to a meat-eating crowd or if you yourself are slowly attempting to move towards a more plant-based diet.  This dish is plenty flavorful without those ingredients, but for the transition process, small amounts of mock meats and cheeses can be helpful.

Delicious served with Avocado Cream Sauce.