Sunflower Banana Muffins || gluten-free + oil-free + vegan + no sugar added

IMG_9303These muffins are an excellent way to use those overly ripe bananas sitting on your counter. The flavor of banana and sunflower seed butter is a delightful combination. The texture is dense and very similar to banana bread (yum!). In addition to being tasty and satisfying, they are also healthy, void of gluten, dairy, eggs, oil or sugar. What’s left, you ask? Healthy and delicious whole foods, including dates as a sweetener, which are chock full of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

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.  🙂

Gooey Pumpkin-Oat Bars | vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, flour-free, low-sugar

IMG_9175I’ve said it many times – I.  Love.  Pumpkin.  All things pumpkin, whether it be savory or sweet.  I especially love the spices that are associated with pumpkin flavor – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice, etc.  These delicious bars have them all.  The bars are substantial and very moist (hence the name Gooey Pumpkin Bars).  I only used rolled oats so no need for flour here.  The only sugar in the batter is 1/3 cup and I used Sucanat which is minimally processed.  The chocolate chips add sugar, of course, and are optional (but, um, why would you leave them out?). Seriously, you may opt to leave them out if you plan on eating these for breakfast, or leave them in for more of a dessert item.  For gluten-free bars be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup with Lemon-Maple Brussels Sprouts

Most butternut squash soups are a little sweet for me. Honestly, I’ve got a major sweet tooth but some things, like my soups, I want to be more on the savory side.  So, this soup is still sweet of course, but the jalapeño and cooking sherry (or white wine) create some interesting flavors that help offset the sweetness.  And, while I don’t generally cook with oil, I added a tiny drizzle of truffle oil before serving – YUM.  Since I was a little heavy-handed with the jalapeño (by my definition – remember, I’m a spice wimp), I dumped my Lemon-Maple Brussels Sprouts in the soup to offset the heat.  Delicious!  In the future I will leave the seeds out of the jalapeño – this time I used half of the seeds and the soup was really spicy.