Chocolate Coconut Black Bean Brownies

This is a treat I’ve been wanting to bake for the longest time. With last-minute dinner plan changes last week, I found myself with an extra can of low sodium black beans, so I figured I’d give it a go! I am so happy with the results; they are coconutty, chocolatey, super moist and don’t taste the slightest bit like beans! It really is astonishing how perfect they are as a brownie, not at all a pretty-good-healthy-substitute. I really hope you try to make these for yourself, or for any gluten-free/dairy-free guests you may have!

I wanted to keep these brownies as healthy and low calorie (only 68 cals per brownie) as possible, so they really aren’t very sweet, but if you’re craving more sugar, then mix some chocolate chips into the batter or sprinkle a handful over the top.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 – 540mL (19 fl oz) can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 tsp stevia
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

DIRECTIONS

  • Blend all ingredients well in a food processor or high-powered blender (LOVE my Vitamix!).
  • Pour batter into an 8″x8″ brownie pan sprayed with oil.
  • Bake at 35o degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 16 brownies.

Per brownie: 68 calories – 11 g carbs – 2 g fibre – 2 g fat – 3 g protein

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Watermelon Mint Feta Salad

Who knew getting engaged would be so consuming! I can’t believe it’s been 2 weeks since it happened (meaning 2 weeks since my last post!) – it’s still setting in! Dave surprised the heck out of me with the proposal, but I couldn’t be happier or more excited to plan a wedding with the man of my dreams!

Here’s a refreshing salad my mother mentioned she’d made the other night. Perfect for a hot summer day when you’re feeling thirsty and sluggish – four ingredients and that’s it! Even more, it’s so delicious you could eat it as a healthy dessert.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 4.5 oz (130 g) light feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix together in a large bowl, chill until serving and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 6 servings of about 2.5 cups each.

Per serving: 168 calories, 29 g carbs, 4 g fat, 7 g protein, 2 g fibre

 

Chocolate Coconut Clusters

Here’s another treat I made for the baby shower last weekend. Love that these are no-bake and totally remind me of chewy chocolate puffed-wheat squares, but coconutty and with a little more fibre. With only 69 calories per cluster, you can have a couple without feeling the least bit guilty.

I used sweetened coconut flakes, but I think you could get away with the unsweetened variety – these clusters were sweet enough!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups coconut palm sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup 2% evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine (I like butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix sugar, cocoa powder, milk, butter and vanilla in a medium pot.
  • Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly.Bring to a boil for 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat and stir in oats and coconut.
  • Use a 1 1/2 tbsp to spoon clusters onto a baking sheet lined in parchment. Leave as messy clusters or shape to your desire.
  • Let cool in the fridge for 30 minutes and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes about 50 clusters.

Per cluster: 69 calories, 12 g carbs, 2 g fat, 1 g protein, 1 g fibre

Chocolate Covered Fruit Pops

On Saturday we celebrated the soon-to-be motherhood of one of my best friends. In preparation for the 53 confirmed guests, we got started cooking on Friday night and basically didn’t stop until 3 PM the next day (my feet were killing me from the kitchen tile)! With six pairs of hands we managed to pull of decorations, goodie bags, and 17 menu items! So expect a few finger-food posts this week.

These fruit pops were a total party hit! I saw them go by on Pinterest (where would we be without it) and thought they’d be a fun little treat for the guests. Plus the fruit and dark chocolate has got to make them kind of healthy… right? I’m actually thinking of making a chocolate-free version as an everyday frozen treat.

They’re really easy to make, but do require about an hour with all the fruit chopping, chocolate melting and pop freezing.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 bananas, each cut into 12 pieces
  • 12 medium strawberries, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 pineapple, cut into 24 bite-size pieces
  • 150 g dark chocolate
  • 2 tsp coconut oil, though any oil will work
  • 24 toothpicks
  • 2 tbsp each flaked coconut and chopped almonds for topping

DIRECTIONS

  • Skewer a piece of strawberry (on top), banana and pineapple (on bottom) onto each toothpick.
  • Arrange all pops on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for at least 30 minutes. I had left them over night to break up prep time for these.
  • Melt chocolate with coconut oil using a double boiler. You can also do this in the microwave, but use short 20 second burst to avoid burning the chocolate.
  • Remove pops from freezer and dip half of each piece in chocolate, press in topping (coconut or almond separately, or both together!) and return to baking sheet, standing them up on their side.
  • Return tray to freezer. Remove 5 minutes before serving to let soften and then enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 24 pops.

Per pop (not including toppings): 50 calories, 8 g carbs, 2 g fat, <1 g protein, 1 g fibre

 

Tofu Pumpkin Pie with Whole Wheat Crust

Dave absolutely loves pumpkin pie – he’d eat the entire thing in one sitting if I let him – so I thought I’d treat him over the weekend with a healthy experiment: tofu pumpkin pie. Surprisingly, there isn’t even the slightest taste of tofu in this dessert; it really could fool anyone!

I’ll admit I was a little intimidated making my first pie, but this was actually really easy (partly since the filling is a dump-all-into-a-blender type).

The Whole Wheat Crust

I was quite lucky to find whole wheat pastry flour at my neighbourhood grocer – the big guys don’t normally carry it. Whole wheat pastry flour is supposed to be better for lighter baked goods. It has slightly less protein (thus less gluten) than all purpose flour which allows it to achieve a flakier texture.

This is my first attempt at making a pie crust, and I must say, I didn’t do too bad a job. The crust can be used for sweet or savoury pies or quiche.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp coconut palm sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp 2% evaporated milk (or 5 tbsp milk)

DIRECTIONS

  • Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix (hands work best) until moistened.
  • Form dough into a ball and roll out to 0.5 cm onto a floured countertop.
  • Carefully peel crust from countertop and place into greased 9 inch pie dish.
  • Pat down starting in centre moving out to sides.
  • Set aside and wait for pie filling!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION 

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving:

124 calories, 13 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 7 g fat, 2 g protein, 2 g fibre

The Tofu Pumpkin Filling

With simply pumpkin, tofu, a bit of sugar and spices, this filling is vegan-friendly. Though I added evaporated milk to the crust, the pie can be made vegan if you use a vegan crust.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 – 16 ounce can pureed pumpkin
  • 1 package (85 g) soft tofu
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 3/4 tsp stevia powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 unbaked pie crust

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Place all ingredients, expect for the pie crust, into a blender and puree.
  • Pour contents into pie crust.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let pie cool completely before serving. Plate and add a dollop of greek yogurt on top. Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving (excluding crust):

81 calories, 15 g carbs, 2 g sugars, 1 g fat, 3 g protein, 1 g fibre

205 calories for a piece of pie is pretty good in my mind!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

More of a chocolate cake than a bread, but hey, who says cake can’t be healthy?

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat, oat or spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar (or white if that’s what you have)
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup packed, grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup 70% cocoa dark chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
  • Whisk together sugar, stevia, eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Stir in zucchini.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, folding mixture until moist. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Pour batter into 8″ x 4″ loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes in pan, remove and let cool on rack before slicing. Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 10 servings.

Per serving:

Calories 143

Carbs 13 g

Fat 6 g

Sugar 9 g

Protein 3 g

Fibre 3 g