Sunday, June 15, 2014

Black Bean Brownie Bites

I know these are fabulous, because despite strictly informing my family not to touch them (I was heading to my grandmother's place to bring her the treats) there were six missing after I left them to cool unsupervised.  Two more disappeared as I was searching for a tupperware to tote the few remaining brownie bites along with me on my visit.  Now my father and brother are requesting more, so I'm pretty convinced they must have been delicious (sigh).  I'll verify this after I stock up on black beans again...

Black Bean Brownie Bites


1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tablespoons flax meal + 6 Tablespoons water for flax "eggs"
3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
scant 1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)
1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
optional: roughly chopped bittersweet chocolate


1.  Set aside the flax meal with water to thicken and gel for "eggs".
2.  Rinse and drain the beans and them process them until fine in a food processor or blender.
3.  Add remaining ingredients and puree for 2-3 minutes.  Scrape down sides with a spatula as needed. If the batter appears too thick, add a little water and pulse again.
4.  Distribute the batter into the muffin tin and sprinkle chopped chocolate on top if desired.
5.  Bake for 20-28minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides.
Remove pan from oven and let cool for 20-30 minutes to set further before removing from pan. They should be pretty fudgy but still hold together.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Buckwheat Raisin Carrot Cake

Yes, despite the "wheat" in buckwheat, buckwheat is actually gluten-free!  Hurrah.  While healthy, filling and tasty, I recommend a combination in flours when using buckwheat, as it provides a distinctive texture and taste.  It will also slightly darken your recipes, as seen in the above photos.  The slightly speckled look is pretty cool though--so try swapping out some of your preferred flour substitution for a new look and flavor in your recipes!

This is a fun, versatile recipe that can be converted into healthy baked donuts, muffins, or a cake.  I based it loosely on a recipe I found online, and though I cannot attest to the taste of the original recipe, I think this one turned out pretty great.

As mentioned earlier, the cake has an interesting color; the buckwheat yields a darker hue and the ginger and carrots contrast against it nicely.  So while it looks uber healthy and bland, it is actually quite a medley of complimenting flavors, without being overly sugary like so many carrot cakes are.

Buckwheat Raisin Carrot Cake

 yields 6 "donuts" and one 8" cake


1 heaping cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins  
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, finely diced
1 cup buckwheat flour
¼ cup brown rice flour
¼ cup gluten-free oat flour
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or date sugar)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 eggs (or ½ cup flax meal mixed with ¾ cup water)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted



1. Mix together the shredded carrots, raisins, ginger, coconut, flours, coconut palm sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
2.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cake pan and/or donut pan with coconut oil or nonstick spray.
3.  Mix the maple syrup, eggs (or flax meal for a vegan option), coconut oil and vanilla into the first mixture.
4.  Pour the batter into the desired pan(s) and bake for 20-30 minutes (less for the donut pans, more for the cake pans) or until the cake rises and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
5.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely before glazing or frosting.

Optional glaze: coconut milk, organic powdered sugar, maple syrup to taste.  For thicker frosting, use slightly softened coconut butter or nondairy butter of your choice.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Vegan Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls




Vegan Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Dry Ingredients:

1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1-1/2 baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Wet Ingredients:

1/2 heaping cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1-3/4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons melted virgin coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla

Filling Ingredients:

2 tablespoons softened coconut oil
1/2 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
1-3/4 tablespoons cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons honey

Optional Frosting: either frost with raw honey OR:

Organic powdered sugar, honey and warm water, to taste/desired texture


1.  Microwave or bake a large sweet potato until soft.  Remove skin and mash thoroughly.

2.  Grease an 8 inch square pan or cake pan. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 
3.  Preheat the oven to 350 (or do this step first if your oven is slow to heat). 
4.  Put all of the wet ingredients into a blender or processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and mix together. Add more gluten-free flour of choice until the dough forms a ball but is still a little sticky.

5.  Generously flour a clean work surface.  Turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour if it is still too sticky and roll into a rectangle shape with a rolling pin.


6.  Spread a little extra coconut oil (softened, not melted) on the rectangle.  Mash together the filling ingredients and spread thinly across the dough.


7.  Roll from the long end down towards you.  Slice it with a sharp knife into 6-8 sections, and place the rolls in the oiled pan. Bake for about 20 minutes.  If uncertain err on the softer side.

8.  Drizzle with additional raw honey or powdered sugar blended with raw honey and water until a spreadable texture is reached. Enjoy warm and fresh though they will keep well in an airtight container for up to three days.