Monday, September 30, 2013

Healthier Brownies

After finding a recipe (Dark Chocolate Whole-Wheat Brownies) on the 100 Days of Real Food blog, I wanted to try applying some of those ingredients into my Coconut Oil Brownies of the August 24, 2012, post. So I substituted maple syrup for the brown sugar and natural cane sugar, and whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose flour.

Although it looks cake-like in the photo above, the brownies actually are more fudge-like. They also turned out thinner; and they shrank a bit, pulling away from the sides of the pan, as they cooled. 

I liked the results though, flavor-wise. I think they're more subtlety sweet, if that makes sense. Less over-the-top, decadent sweetness, but dark chocolaty just the same.

A Healthier Coconut Oil Brownie

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup (I used Grade B)
1 tsp espresso powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup bittersweet chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square pan (I used coconut oil).

Sift the cocoa powder into a medium bowl, then add the coconut oil and stir until completely smooth. Add the maple syrup, espresso powder, vanilla, salt, and eggs. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Lastly, fold in the chips.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 14 minutes.

Optional: Sprinkle some fleur de sel on top before devouring.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Chickpea Burgers

There are veggie burgers made with black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans, pinto beans, ... OK, just about any kind of bean. Then there are burgs made with tofu, rice and other grains, quinoa (technically a seed, not a grain), lentils, and/or mushrooms and other veggies (beets, sweet potatoes, etc.).
Here's one I put together using whatever I could find in the pantry and frig. Sorry for the lack of exact measurements, but for a lot of the ingredients I just used up what little I had left and didn't bother to measure. I used whole grain rolled oats (Bob's Red Mill) instead of bread crumbs, and I really liked how that worked out.

I used just a little bit of coconut oil for searing/frying. Olive oil was my second choice, but any oil will do. Other ingredients I would consider using with this:  garlic, Dijon mustard, fresh herbs, mushrooms, other spices.

Chickpea Burgs

1 15-oz. can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
2 tbsp almond butter
diced onion
diced roasted squash (leftovers from the freezer)
rolled oats
sunflower seeds
Garam Masala
soft goat cheese
salt & pepper
oil for frying

Rinse and drain the beans, then toss in a medium bowl with the nut butter and combine (I used a potato masher; this could also been done in a food processor). Add the other ingredients and mix well. Using your hands, form into patties (size is up to you; I made 5 + 1 mini). Fry over medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side until browned, using a cover for the pan.