Saturday, June 30, 2012

Black Bean Brownie Recipe (Gluten-Free, Vegan)


Yes these delightful-looking confections are Black Bean Brownies- moist, vegan (egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)
There are several (thousand??) black bean brownie recipes on the web... this is my choice, an adaptation of the one by the Happy Herbivore. I use Maple Syrup (hey, I'm Canadian) instead of the agave syrup she uses. I also threw in some carob powder because it takes the edge off the bitterness of the cocoa, I always think, and is sort of like a light flour without actually being a flour (there are some who call chocolate "the poor man's carob" heheh). This is, in all, an easypeasy recipe and it tastes pretty good too:

I used a Food Processor (you could also use a blender)

Fit a sheet of parchment paper in the bottom of an 8"x8" cake pan, or grease it up.  Preheat the oven to 350F/180C

Put the following into the food processor or blender carafe:
  • 2 ripe, peeled Bananas, in chunks
  • 1 15-oz. can of Black Beans (or 1 19-oz. can of Black Beans, drained of all fluid)
  • 1/4 C. Cocoa powder
  • 1/8 C. Carob powder (optional)
  • 2 T. Cinnamon powder 
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract (or Peppermint Extract)
  • 1/3 C. Maple Syrup
  • 1/4-3/4 C. organic Sugar (depending on your taste and if the bananas are very ripe-- the riper, the less sugar you need to supplement)
Pulse the above until fully blended, scraping down the sides as required.

Stir in with a spoon before pouring into the pan:
  • 1/4 C. Instant Oatmeal (or more if you want the brownies to be less fudgy and more cake-y)
Bake for about 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the cake.  I dump some FairTrade chocolate chips on the top of the brownies after I turn the oven off and let them melt in the oven for a few minutes, then spread around for an icing.  Cool, and then refrigerate overnight or for at least a couple of hours... seems to be optimally yummy if refrigerated before eating.  Got the man's approval in our household.  The beans and the bananas don't show up in any significant way either, if you're wondering.  It's super-healthy-- low fat vegan with lots of fibre!  Enjoy!


Ingredients:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sweet and Salty Porridge with Strawberries

My husband and I love oatmeal porridge for breakfast. Sometimes we change it up and add ingredients that are not traditional. Here are some great Slow-Cooker porridges for example.  Today's Sweet and Salty Porridge with Strawberries capitalizes on our rather eccentric but diverse tastes for combinations of flavours and textures.  Sometimes I get even more carried away, but today I decided against including nuts and bananas.  This porridge is, of course, Gluten-free and Vegan (no dairy, eggs or other animal products).  Begin with a medium to large pot with a close-fitting lid and add:

  • Steelcut Oats (use the quantity you want for your family following directions on package)
  • Water (cover the oats by about 1 1/2 inches or use the instructions on package)
  • Organic Thompson Raisins (1/4 cup to handful, as you desire-- I went with the handful)
  • 2 T. dry Chiaseed
  • Sprinkle of Seasalt
  • 1/4 C. Dulse broken into small pieces (I used Wild Atlantic Cold-Smoked with Applewood Dulse)
Bring the above to a boil over medium high heat.  Reduce to Low and put on the lid.  Cook for about another 10-15 minutes (or longer if you like it even softer; may have to add more liquid).

Remove pot from heat and add to each bowlful:

  • Sweetener (I used organic cane sugar today)
  • Fresh cut up Organic Strawberries
  • Almond Milk




Monday, June 11, 2012

Cookbook Contest

If you have a fantastic, delicious Gluten-Free recipe (or a scoop of them) and are interested in sharing it in this contest, you could win one of the daily cash prizes as well as broadening the repertoire of those who are struggling to find GF recipes that match up with their memories they have of non-GF food. Click HERE and find out more about the contest.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cooking Up Some Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced Kee'-nwah) is the new uber comfort food. It's not a grain, so isn't on the grain hater's list and it is Gluten-Free! Its nutritional profile is stellar, a 1/4 Cup of uncooked quinoa supplies the daily value of 58% manganese, 31% tryptophan, 29% magnesium, 28% phosphorus, 1/5 of all your daily requirement for fiber and folate!

Some people out there (you know who you are) are a little afraid of this "new" (ancient) grain-like "trendy" stuff.  Will it taste weird?  Is it complicated to prepare?  Do you need a rice-cooker or pressure-cooker or some other gadget to cook it?   I'm here to tell you that delicious quinoa is EASINESS itself to prepare, and I just eat it very simply, most of the time, like I would brown rice.  The quinoa in the picture is how I like to gussy it up: a dollop of Miso, a sprinkle of Sea Salt, maybe a little coconut oil or margerine, and some chopped greens (cilantro here, but raw chopped fresh celery is also yummy).  Here are my cooking instructions:

*Put 1/2 C. Quinoa in a bowl or pot and cover with fresh water.  Stir your finger around, pour it into a strainer and rinse several times with cold running water.  (You can soak the quinoa overnight or for a couple of hours to get rid of the 'inhibitors', but I usually dispense with this stage).
*Put washed quinoa in a small heavy pot that has a tight-fitting lid.  Pour in about 2X as much water as Quinoa (1/2 C. raw quinoa=1 C. Water) and bring to a good rolling boil.  You can add salt and veggies here if you wish.
*Put lid on the pot and turn it way down to lowest or 2nd lowest temperature for about 15+ minutes (will vary by stove).
*Lift the lid and check to see if most of water has been absorbed.  Some more water will be absorbed/will evaporate when lid is removed.  Fluff up with fork.  Serve immediately or if you have other plans for it (burgers, cookies, whatever), put it aside.

Among other things, this wonderful food is great at protecting the heart (because of its magnesium content) and surely worth eating often.  A half-cup of cooked Quinoa has only 222 calories (before you add in any fats, etc.)

 

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