cocoa

Black Bean Mocha Brownies (Gluten and Sugar free, Vegan)

Black bean mocha brownies…for that day when you NEED brownies like now! Blender brownies that are not only super quick to make but oh so healthful. These are those brownies that tick every box – no dairy, grain, gluten, egg or sugar.

Black Bean Mocha Blender Brownies

But but but, honestly they are still tasty as hell. Oh, and oh so adaptable too. Swap out the black beans for white beans, sub the walnuts for pecans, tahini for PB or coconut oil, ditch the coffee altogether + sweeten as you like. See, really, these are like a brownie for anyone and everyone 😉

Black Bean Mocha Blender Brownies

Black Bean Mocha Brownies

(make 12-16)

2 tablespoons chia seeds soaked in 6 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 can black beans, drained (230 grams drained weight)
2 tablespoons dark strong coffee granules soaked in 2 tablespoon hot water

Dark chocolate chips  + walnuts

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 175 ºC + line a small baking tin (8X8 inches is good).
2. Throw the lot into a blender (not the chocolate chips or walnuts) + blend until smooth.
3. Transfer to the tin, press copious amounts of chocolate chips and walnut pieces into the batter + bake for 25 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, slice + enjoy. Freeze like a dream.

Chocolate Coconut Flour Mug Cake (No Dairy, No Egg, Paleo)

Before going fully vegan I was kinda hooked on coconut flour mug cakes……like eating them every day type hooked. The trouble they mostly contain egg so I’ve been meaning to, for like ever, get experimenting with a vegan chocolate coconut flour mug cake. I’m now done. And it’s good. Really good.

chocolate mug cake paleo vegan

A few minor points first. I no longer have a microwave so this was cooked in the oven………and not in a mug but more a generously proportioned ramekin dish. So this is kind of like a selfish single serving of moist chocolatey coconut cake! However, I have high hopes you can in fact put this in a mug and then the microwave 😉 and voila – a selfish single serving microwave mug cake!

chocolate mug cake paleo vegan DSC_2222

Besides, the cooking method this is a real gem of a cake. I’m in love:

a truly healthy snack
no grain – low carb
higher in protein + fibre than your average ‘cake’
low calorie, if that’s your thing
super quick, like super, super
full of the goodness of cocoa + coconut flour
rich chocolatey cake texture + taste

By the way, there’s never anything wrong with chocolate sauce on top. Never.

chocolate mug cake paleo veganchocolate paleo vegan mugcake

Chocolate Coconut Flour Mug Cake (No Dairy, No Egg, Paleo)

(for just you)

1 vegan Orgran egg (1 heaped teaspoon egg replacer : 2 tablespoons water)
3 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 heaping tablespoon coconut flour
optional (but probably wise!): dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC + add the egg replacer to a small ramekin pot or mug.
2. Add the remaining ingredients + make sure the mixture is a smooth consistency. Fold through chocolate chips if using.
3. Bake for 20 minutes + devour after a little cooling.

Notes: As I no longer have a microwave I decided to use the oven as it really doesn’t take that long. However, my previous mug cake was cooked in the microwave (800w for 90 seconds on high). I’m almost certain this would work here but as I haven’t tried it I can’t make that a promise 😉

Dairy Free Black Bean Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

choc vegan spread

I never understood the chocolate spread hype as a kid, it always looked so wrong to me, especially in a sandwich! It just plain old freaked me out, I was (still am) definitely more of a marmite or PB & jam kinda girl. I guess I was just highly suspicious of chocolate spread squished inbetween bread, in the same way that eating tomato ketchup with cold food was (and still is) way too much for me to handle – gross! Anyway, it’s not like I don’t like ‘Nutella’ spreads, it was clearly just a weird childhood thing……these days I’d rather make my own anyway, plus it’s super easy to do. Of course a great place to start is ya straight up hazelnut butter and chocolate combo but I wanted something a little less dense and healthy as a base, so naturally……….BEANS.

chocolate spread

I love beans full stop but I’m always really surprised at how much I like them in sweet treats like brownies and cookie dough butter! And now, basically straight up Nutella but on a whole other level. A black bean level which transforms your usual chocolate spread to one that is very, very healthy and free from dairy. This super black bean chocolate hazelnut spread has:

no refined sugars
no trans fats
low sugar
lower fat
higher protein
a lot less calories.

spread toast banana

This is so much lower in calories than your average chocolate spreads that I’d actually be quite happy to eat the lot for pudding. Seriously.

I’ve put the measurements below but they are fairly approximate as I think it’s best to adjust and taste as you blend. This is fairly sweet so do reduce the syrup if you’d prefer less sweetness, or indeed crank it up if you want uber-sweet! I just so happened to have roasted hazelnuts at home but hazelnut butter would be fine or sub this for peanut or almond butter if you’re not fussed on the chocolate hazelnut combo.

vegan chocolate spread

Just throw it all in and whip it up…oh and then decide how you’re gonna eat it, straight up chocolate pudding or rich nutty chocolatey spread………..?

chocolate vegan spread

Dairy free black bean chocolate hazelnut spread

1 can black beans
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup roasted chopped hazelnuts
pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Add EVERYTHING to the blender (I use a Vitamix) and blitz to chocolate heaven.

Dairy Free Chocolate Birthday Cake

No not my birthday, mine’s July! I took this to my brother’s 40th tea party at my Mum’s house. She’s a good kid.

vegan birthday cake

So yeah, when you go over to the vegan side, mainstream cake is like really hard- eggs, butter, milk etc. It’s one big animal party in a cake. The thing is I like some chocolately dense cakeage and I knew I had to do something about it, so I made this. It really is like your average sponge, nothing ground breaking but hey I wasn’t trying to break any plant based cake ground but rather master a simple Chocolate Cake. I just swapped each animal ingredient for a plant ingredient such as coconut oil and nut milk. YUM! Of course I topped it with kiddy sprinkles, I was trying to be popular 😉 and make an appealing looking chocolate cake.

Vegan birthday cake

The other thing is I am pregnant, 5 months pregnant and I figured I will soon have the responsibility of being able to knock up a chocolate sponge that’s delicious and healthy too. C’mon, what Mum can’t make cake? Crikey, still can’t get used to that word.

I love how this is wholegrain with no dairy and no unrefined sugar. I know a few peeps who would knock me for this in a ‘oh let your hair down girl, it’s a birthday!’ I just say ‘bugger off’, life’s already short and ‘my’ cake is delicious and healthy and the bonus is it wont make you feel sluggish, collapse your bowls later in life, or cause a nice bit of type 2 diabetes. Steady on!

Vegan chocolate cake

It’s so easy too and takes 3 minutes to knock up with ALL the ingredients available at your local Sainsbury’s. The thing is if you don’t have coconut oil, use another vegetable oil such as canola, same goes for xylitol, just use raw cane sugar or maple syrup (but please do get involved with xylitol as it’s truly amazing stuff).

Not having an overly sweet tooth, chocolate cake has been on my to do list for a while, yeah who else can say that?! Anyhow, it’s done now and the result was: SUCCESS.

Vegan birthday cake

I have 4 nieces and they all ate this…..and enjoyed it too. There was a non vegan sponge and carrot cake too at the party. Fact is THIS vegan birthday cake got eaten first, seriously! Ashamed to say this recipe makes a pretty small cake, so next time I plan to double the ingredients and sandwich two seven inch cakes or make a larger single layer!

My work here is done.

Vegan birthday cake

Vegan Chocolate Cake

(8 slices, big ‘uns)

1 1/4 cups spelt flour
3/4 cup xylitol
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp distilled white or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil

chocolate topping:

4 tbsp margarine
1/2 cup xylitol
2 tbsp almond milk
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

sprinkle with anything

method:
1. Preheat oven to 180 º CELSIUS. Sift flour, baking powder + cocoa into a large mixing bowl. Add the xylitol + salt, combining thoroughly. In a measuring jug, mix the remaining ingredients + add to the dry mix. Using a whisk, combine the mixture thoroughly resisting the urge to drink it all.
2. Transfer to a greased 7 inch cake tin. Bake for 30 minutes.
3. Remove + cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, combine all the chocolate topping ingredients in a small pan over a high heat and stir until smooth, silky + fully combined. This will thicken as it dries so glaze cake within 5 minutes + top copiously with yummy things like berries, cocoa nibs, sprinkles or anything that takes your fancy.

Grain Free Chocolate Cup Cake (Gluten free + Vegan)

grain free chocolate muffin

I’m still on a quest to perfect my grain free, eggless muffin – just those words themselves sound challenging. I like a challenge and I’m so there on this one because these are oh so light and fluffy despite not having the ‘hold together’ sticky doughy substance of a regular egg based muffin. I don’t think they’re supposed to though, hello – eggless, grainless……but but but these are whole food cup cakes, 100% plant powered and healthy as hell – they’re not meant to be like those other ‘plastic’ muffins. These grain free chocolate cup cakes hold themselves together just fine. C’mon, almond flour, coconut flour and cocoa are fully involved, enough said.grain free chocolate muffins

And they are so worth it. So wholesome. So smooth. So chocolatey. So low in sugar yet high in protein with none of those nasty trans fats but rather a little of the heart healthy ones. Just the ticket to get you through til teatime. These grain free chocolate cup cakes don’t need icing per se but really, what does need icing? Everything of course, including these! This simple chocolate icing is rich, silky and very chocolatey, taking these from tasty to damn right delicious. A good place to be.chocolate grain free cup cake process

I love topping mine with coconut (in any form), goji berries, crunchy seeds and dark chocolate chips. You just top yours with whatever takes your fancy.chocolate grain free cup cakes

Grain free chocolate cup cakes

(makes 10)

3/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda + bicarbonate soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 flax egg or regular egg (1 tablespoon flaxmeal: 3 of water)
1/4 cup non dairy yoghurt
1/4 cup apple sauce

icing:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1. Preheat the oven to 180 ºC. Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl + combine well. Whisk all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl + add to the dry mixture. Combine thoroughly but do not over mix. Depending on the brand, coconut flour has a tendency to absorb liquid so you may need to add a little extra milk.
2. Line a muffin tray with 10 cases + spoon the mixture into the tray.
3. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
4. Allow to fully cool before icing.
5. Combine icing ingredients over a low heat + spoon over each cup cake. Top with whatever tickles your fancy. Allow to set.

Chocolate, Banana + Peanut Chia Pudding (GF + Vegan)

chia puddingMy November resolutions are to eat more chia and to get stuck into this chocolate, banana and nut fiasco at least once per week! What a combo this is and a great way to get a my chia nutritional fix. It’s not hard to stick to these resolutions at all. Easy process - chia pudding

This chocolate, banana + peanut chia pudding is super simple and can be prepped the night before for a next day nutrient dense pick me up. The chia seeds just need to soak up the lovely liquid and you’re ready to go. I blend mine for a smooth mousse-like consistency but it’s equally delicious left as is for that chia tapioca vibe. Of course it doesn’t need caramel sauce but that’s besides the point, add it anyway cos it’s beyond delicious. Just in case you wanted to know, I devoured both of these and enjoyed every last scrap.2 chia puddings

I’m monkeys, I’m nuts, just full on head over heels for this chia pudding and for very good reason too. It’s more than an instant energising and transportable snack, much much more:

gluten + dairy free
rich in omega 3
iron rich
high protein
good source of fibre
high in potassium
low in sugar
breakfast or pudding

She ticks every box. Get some chia and get chia pudding-ing. Chia pudding + caramel sauce

Chocolate, banana + peanut chia pudding

(serves 2)

30 grams chia seed
1 cup almond milk
4 dates
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup

peanuts
banana, sliced
puffed rice, granola
caramel sauce
anything your heart desires

Method:

1. Soak the chia seeds + dates in the almond milk for 1 hour or leave overnight. Add the soaked mixture to the blender with the remaining pudding ingredients + blend until smooth + mousse like.
2. Serve in a glass dish, layered with toppings of choice but my advice is bananas,  peanuts + caramel sauce. Enjoy this tonne of yumminess you just made.

Healthy Black Bean Chocolate Fudge Brownies (Gluten Free + Vegan)

Black bean fudge brownie stack!Because black beans are not just for tacos!

If there’s one bean I favour it’s the little old black bean and I just love everything about them.  I’ve been blind to their amazing versatility as I usually just throw them in a Mexican stew or a big avocado salad, so I was pretty excited to combine my black bean love with my equal adoration of cocoa. I’m thinking, dark, chocolatey, fudge-like, gooey, crumbly at the sides and soft in the middle. I was right, this is exactly how they are…..were.Two black bean brownies......

Traditionally, chocolate fudge brownies are chock a block with bad fats, white sugar, digestive clogging gluten and dirty dairy but these are the perfect example of how something which really is ultra healthy can still be delicious. Let’s change all that, there really is no need to go without or crave junk when chocolate fudge brownies like this are knocking about. That’s good information to have. Make them and see for yourself, don’t take my word for it. If you don’t make them, please do take my word for it!Simple process

To achieve a fudgey brownie like texture I used agave rather than brown sugar and dotted each brownie with dark chocolate chips and pecan pieces for a richer more decadent treat. Scrap that, they’re hardly a treat with an ingredient list like this, more an everyday necessity. The black beans, chia, coconut oil and cocoa make this chocolate brownie a shining example of wholesome goodness brimming with health attributes, a brownie that kicks plant butt and makes you feel better than OK. Oh and don’t worry about eating the raw brownie batter straight off the spoon……it’s all plants so get stuck in. Just as good uncooked?

So, here’s the black bean brownie lowdown:

grain free
dairy free
gluten free
iron rich
high fibre
good source of protein
so delicious

Please try these! Black bean chocolate brownies

Healthy black bean chocolate fudge brownies

(makes 12)

2 tablespoons chia seed soaked in  6 tablespoons of water
230 gram black beans (drained weight)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons almond milk
pecans + chocolate chips to dress

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 175 ºC. Add the chia egg to your blender  or food processor + blitz for 30 seconds. Next add the remaining ingredients apart from pecans + chocolate chips + pulse until a smooth batter is achieved. The ideal consistency should be quite hard to pour but not as thick as frosting. Add more milk/water if it is too thick.
2. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into the tin + dress with nuts + chocolate chips if desired. Bake for 25-3o minutes. They are ready when the outside of the muffin has come away slightly from the sides of the tin but some softness in the middle.
3. Allow to cool fully before loosening the edges with a fork to remove. They are pretty delicate so handle with care.

Note: The chia seeds can be replaced by 1 egg for a non vegan version. The agave syrup can be replaced by brown rice syrup, honey (non vegan), maple syrup or 1/4 cup regular sugar.

Adapted from Minimalist Baker.

Healthy Dark Chocolate + Salted Peanut Butter Cups (GF + Vegan)

Chocolate + PB cup stackHave your peanut butter cup and eat it, in fact eat two! No guilt required, ever.

I loved Reese’s peanut butter cups when I was a kiddo, definitely one of my favourite chocolate treats growing up. Probably because they are a little bit delicious and I’ve had a love affair with peanut butter my whole life but more so, they weren’t as widely available as they are now. I remember my uncle bringing a suitcase load when he visited from the states, well these amongst many other US candy bars. Pretty exciting times for an 11 year old. The funny thing is now that these are pretty standard in the UK, i’m not fussed about them at all! Just goes to show, when you can’t have something it makes you want it that much more! However, I reckon I’d be pretty bothered by some unprocessed and plant powered PB dark chocolate cup cakes like these bad boys. Chocolate PB Cup

Well it’s the done thing to develop a taste for darker chocolate as you grow older and I have definitely done this! These dark chocolate + PB cup cakes are made with raw cocoa powder, coconut oil and natural sweetener. Unadulterated dark chocolate is a pure superfood and NOT terrible for you, at all…..prayers answered. The fact that we add so much rubbish to the amazing cocoa is a darn shame because this IS bad for us but real chocolate is in no way sinful, but more a healthy indulgent treat. Chocolate seems to come arm in arm with guilt but not for me, thank goodness.

Naturally, these healthy dark chocolate salted PB cups have ‘real’ peanut butter inside, you know – the 100% peanut stuff.  I had to add s a little salt in the PB mix as I’m too in love with the sweet and salty combo. A little nutritional yeast gives the cups a more nutty Reese’s like taste and made the PB mix a little drier, perfect for implanting the dark chocolate. Very simple process!

These truly are a superfood of sorts – cocoa and coconut oil with a slab of peanut butter in the middle. Come on, these are good for you so ditch the guilt and get stuck in. Super quick to make and a pleasure to eat, heavenly really.

What was your favourite childhood chocolate bar?Chocolate PB Cups

Healthy dark chocolate + salted peanut butter cups

1/4 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons sweetener
1/3 cup raw cocoa powder

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast

Method:

1. Melt the coconut oil in a small pan over a low heat. Once melted stir through the remaining ingredients until a smooth in consistency.
2. Spoon a tablespoon of the chocolate into 8-10 silicone moulds and freeze for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile combine the peanut butter filling ingredients and set aside.
4. Remove the chocolate cups from the freezer. With a teaspoon of the peanut butter mix form a small flat disc and place on top of the set chocolate. Spoon over remaining dark chocolate and freeze until set.
5. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Keep in the freezer for a much longer shelf life.

Almond, Cocoa + Maca Energy Bites

Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? I’ve been dipping into some seriously decadent dark chocolate truffles the past few nights, and whilst they’re good, there just seems to be something missing. I think its the bite, there isn’t any really! I need some texture, some nuttiness, something to get my teeth into when it comes to sweet treats. I do like a sweet treat after dinner so I gave these almond, cocoa + maca energy bites a shot, and they worked despite the guess work. They worked really well.Energy bites in a bowl

Question: how healthy are these power balls packed full of these raw ingredients? Answer: way too healthy for words.Raw + healthy ingredients

These bites are completely free of refined sugars and full of heart healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants. This really is good mood food, I swear I felt better after a couple of these nutrient dense chocolatey nut balls. Thank you cocoa and almonds. The dates provide a natural sweetness and more vitally the binding force for the rest of the ingredients. Not only is maca super good for you, it lends a super malty cereal undertone, a bit like malted milk balls (you know, maltesers!) but nicer. Packed full of goodness, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, deliciously rich, nutty and taste like they should be bad for you. This here is raw almond, cocoa + maca energy bite success. Cocoa + maca energy bites

I blitzed the ingredients in a Vitamix as I don’t own a food processor and it worked fine. A little prodding, poking and scraping was required but all in all I’m happy to do the recipe again in a blender. Yep, a food processor would be better but a blender really is fine with a bit of extra work. Super simple process

These are super quick to put together and really adaptable too, I used almonds purely because I had a surplus but any nut would work well. Same goes for the maca powder as I reckon coconut powder, extra cocoa, carob, ground chia or hemp seeds would be great in an energy bite. Just mix it up and make your preferred ball of energy.

Are you team blender or team food processor? Maybe both?Delicious cocoa + maca energy bites

Almond, cocoa + maca energy bites

(makes 10 bites)

1 cup almonds
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons maca powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 dates

Method:

1. Blend the almonds until chopped finely but not to a flour as you need some texture. Set half aside.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to a food processor and blend until a sticky dough forms. If like me you’re using a blender you may need to scrape the bottom of the jug to redistribute the dough or pat the sides. Add the remaining almonds and blend once more.
3. Transfer the dough to a bowl and fill a smaller bowl with tepid water. Using your hands form 10 small bites, using the water to dip your fingers for a more pliable consistency.
4. Transfer the bites to the freezer for 30 minutes and store in the fridge for up to a week. You’ll eat them before then, take my word for it.

Note: Date sizes vary a lot so you may need a little more or less. To achieve a more pliable dough it’s advisable to dip your fingers in tepid water for a smoother, more uniform bite.

 

Easy 3-Minute Coconut Flour & Chocolate Mug Cake – GF & Paleo

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe how late I’ve arrived to the mug cake party. First, coconut flour and now mug cakes. My quality of life has improved immeasurably with these two things!

Chocolate & coconut mug cake

Seriously, how long has this mug cake malarkey been around? It’s amazing, I mean literally in from work and I can have cake in 3 minutes. I do like a piece of cake and I’m fond of a pretty mug too, especially a good old fashioned english bone china one! To think that I can eat cake from my favourite tea cup, well this is a complete revelation to me and the ultimate comfort food. Chocolate coco mug cake & PB

This isn’t any old cake either, this is a healthy, low carb, low GI, protein and fibre rich cake in a mug. If you’re following a low carb or paleo diet this is a perfectly acceptable treat due to the low carbs/grain content. For me, I just like to try new things and a low carb sweet treat is the ideal way to balance my love of bread and other grains. What really put the icing on my cake is it’s absolutely delicious, turning out chocolatey, nutty, moist and rich. Second time round, I added a little extra milk and a few chocolate chips which definitely gave it the winning edge. Also, on my second shot I used Russ’ coffee cup so maybe this is the lucky mug!Chocolate & coconut mug cake

Definitely extra taste points when smeared with peanut butter but I really think that next time a simple chocolate sauce may be in order. In fact, ice cream, cashew cream, extra syrup, banana, nuts or just milk would easily make friends with this mug cake. This is up there as one of my new favourite snacks.Mug cake & vanilla pod

Can you tell how I’m oh so happy to finally be part of the mug cake circle? There’s endless scope for creativity too, I’m already planning a ginger syrup variety. This chocolate coconut version was good though, really good. The only shame was I had to share it with Russ, but now he’s now fully briefed on the mug cake protocol he’s happy to make his own next time. I don’t mind sharing this once.

Have you had a mug cake before? What’s your latest exciting food discovery?Chocolate & coconut mug cake

Coconut flour & chocolate mug cake

1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 egg (or vegan egg replacement)
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 vanilla pod, seeds removed or 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
3 tablespoons coconut / almond milk
sprinkle of chocolate chips (optional)

Method:

  1. Place the dry ingredients to a microwave proof mug & combine well.
  2. Add the wet ingredients taking care to incorporate fully for a smooth mixture.
  3. Microwave on full power for 1 1/2 minutes. Take out & enjoy from the mug or empty into a bowl & start a mug cake party of your own.
  4. Nuts, peanut butter, ice cream, cashew cream all welcome.
    😉

 

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