Friday, April 30, 2010

Experimenting with grain-free brownies!

One of my favorite bloggers, Donielle, posted THIS recipe for grain-free brownies several weeks ago. I've been trying to find the time to make them ever since. The idea of brownies made from beans (yes, I know it sounds absolutely horrible!) was such a novel idea that I had to try it. So yesterday, I did it! But I stink at following a recipe, so I had to liven it up a little: I made one batch with coconut flakes and another batch with peanut butter! I have to admit that I was absolutely in love with the pb ones and my husband liked the coconut ones the best. And my toddler went for whichever one she could manage to sneak off the counter at any given second :)

To me, these brownies were every bit as good as the box kind, just with a much smoother consistency. But the best part is that they were every bit as easy as the box mix! It really only took a minute to blend all the ingredients together :) Give yourself plenty of time to let them cool, though, because they are super gooey at first. I'd recommend refrigerating for a couple of hours before trying to cut them :)

So here is Donielle's recipe and my additions. Be sure to check out her website for more healthy recipes!

Healthy Grain Free Brownies

  • 2 cups black beans (or 1 can of no salt added)
  • 3 lightly beaten eggs
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or melted butter)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey (or other equivalent sweetener)
  • 1/2 cup chopped up bittersweet chocolate (or semi-sweet chips if you don’t mind the added refined sugar in them)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts -optional

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8×8 pan. Toss all but the final 2 ingredients (the chopped up chocolate and walnuts) into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Fold in the chopped chocolate and walnuts. Pour into the pan and bake for about 30 minutes.

For coconut brownies, just stir in about 1 cup of coconut flakes after processing.

For peanut butter or sunflower butter brownies, decrease the amount of oil to 1/4 cup and add 1 cup of peanut butter before processing.

This post is part of Kelly's SUYL desserts! Click on over for more yummy desserts!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Strawberry Cake

This cake is not the least bit healthy, but it is delicious! My husband started a tradition several years ago of making it for me for my birthday and this year he let my toddler help :)



  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (2-layer) box white cake mix
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 (3-oz.) box strawberry Jello
  • 1 (10-oz.) box frozen strawberries, thawed (reserve 3 tablespoons of the strawberries for frosting)

  • Frosting:
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  • The 3 tbsp. reserved strawberries


Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch pan. In small bowl, beat together eggs, oil and water. In large mixer bowl, add flour to cake mix. Stir egg mixture, Jello, and strawberries into cake mix. Beat 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool in pan and frost. Frosting: Beat together frosting ingredients.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Super easy, healthy, baked pancake

Passionate Homemaking has given me yet another favorite recipe! I made this for breakfast this morning and everyone liked it! Mark said it reminded him somewhat of a funnel cake :) There is no sweetener in the actual recipe, so you can make as healthy or yummy as you want by topping it with confectioner's sugar and/or maple syrup :) For the girls and I, I just drowned it in coconut oil and a few drops of maple syrup and it was good. But if you want the funnel cake effect, you are going to want to add the confectioner's sugar :) I loved this recipe because it was so easy and took so little time to prepare!

*if you don't want to do the healthy soaking step, it would work fine to just substitute 1 cup of milk for the acid medium after beating the eggs.

1 cup acid medium – whole milk kefir, yogurt, etc
1 cup whole wheat flour, spelt or kamut (as desired)
4-5 large eggs (free range/pastured is our preference), as desired
1/3 cup coconut oil and butter (any combination)
dash of vanilla extract

Combine acid medium and whole wheat flour. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours. When you are ready to serve, heat oven to 425 degrees. Place oil/butter in small chunks in a 15×11 inch glass baking pan. Place pan in oven to melt. Meanwhile, beat eggs in a blender for 1 minute. Add soaked flour mixture and beat again for 1 minute. Add dash of vanilla extract. Pull out the baking pan from oven and rotate around to spread the melted butter/oil around to cover the entire bottom of pan. Slowly pour the pancake batter into the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly brown and fluffy.

Yield: 4-6 servings.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hot Cross Buns

My family loves traditions, especially ones revolving around food :) For Easter, my mom always wants to have hot cross buns for us to enjoy. My girls love them because of the tiny currents inside the sweet bread. I decided I needed to have a good recipe so I can teach my girls to make hot cross buns every Good Friday. I choose this one from The Urban Home-maker because I usually enjoy her recipes and it is fairly healthy. I use honey instead of sugar and use my cream cheese icing instead of the confectioner's sugar icing. YUMMY!

2/3 cup dried currants
3-1/2 to 4 cups whole wheat flour (or half bread flour and half whole wheat
2 TB yeast
1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/3 cup sugar or honey
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 slightly beaten egg white

Frosting (recipe follows)

Cover currants with very hot water. Let stand about 10 minutes or up to one hour at room temperature. Drain well. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups flour, yeast, and cinnamon. Heat milk, oil, sugar or honey, and salt until warm (115 to 120). Add to the dry mixture. Allow to sponge for about 15 minutes if time allows. Add eggs, one at a time. By hand or mixer, stir in currants and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead until the gluten is developed by mixer or on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6-10 minutes.

Shape into ball. Place in greased bowl. Turn once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours. Punch down. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Divide into 18 pieces. Form smooth balls. Place on greased baking sheet 1-1/2 inches apart. Cover; let rise until double, 30 to 45 minutes. Cut shallow cross in each. Brush tops with egg white. Bake in preheated 375 oven 12 -15 minutes. Remove from baking sheet. Use confectioner's Frosting to make a "cross" on the bun.

Confectioner's Frosting:

2 TB milk
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine these ingredients together and add milk or water as needed to get a good pouring consistency for the frosting. Place the frosting in a small zip-lock sandwich baggie, clip the corner and use the baggie to squeeze the frosting over the cooled buns in a cross shape.