When I was pregnant with ‘Cupcakes’, I wanted all things strawberry; trifles, smoothies, cupcakes, frosting…..yum! For her first birthday it only made sense to create a strawberry cupcake, and I wanted it refined sugar free, 100% natural and delicious. I created these for her little party and have sense made them whenever the strawberry craving hits!
I don’t want to take credit for this idea, as there are tons of black bean brownie/cookie recipes floating around online. I just tweaked it to my liking and took some to a gluten-free friend as a ‘Thank You’, another batch to a girls spa party with a bunch of my work-out buddies, a meeting with an unsuspecting average eating ‘Joe’ and the hubby and my parents who all exclaimed “Wow! These are good!”. They aren’t too sweet (you can adjust to your liking), and work as either brownies or cookies. I’ve baked them in a muffin tins, mini cake pans and a brownie dish. They also are a breeze to whip together in the blender or food processor, no other bowls, mixers or spoons needed.
P.S. The batter is deeeelish and some of my batches may or may not have made it to the oven….
The first batch I made with our old squirrely oven got baked at 500 degrees in muffin tins...but my husband liked how crunchy the outside were. The other batches were more brownie like at lower temp and in pans. You can also tweak this recipe easily by tasting and adding more cocoa, sweetener etc before you add the optional chips and or nuts.
1¾ cup drained black beans (I used dried beans and prepared them or about 1 can)
¾ cup oats (make sure certified GF for your friends 🙂 )
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
½-3/4 cup sweetener- start on low-end, you can add more later(I used a mix of honey or maple syrup and coconut sugar)
1 tsp baking powder
Few tbl chia seeds
chocolate chips, pecans or walnuts
coconut or almond milk
Preheat oven to 350
Add everything except chips/nuts/milk to blender and blend until smooth like brownie batter. (thick and scoop-able, on the verge of pour-able) If too thick, add few tsp of milk at a time.
TASTE. Try not to eat half.
Adjust by adding more sweetener etc.
Add chocolate chips and or nuts.
Bake in sprayed muffin tin, 8 inch brownie pan or 6 inch cake pan about 15-20 min. Use a toothpick to see when centers are done.
I created these for a picnic at one of our favorite local parks. We loaded up the picnic basket with Quinoa salad, veggie straws, spicy hummus and sweet peppers for dipping. And loaded up the car with friends and dogs and a few of these delicious summery bars in the basket to enjoy by the lake. The leftover bars were reminiscent of a strawberry crumble when we added a scoop of vanilla coconut ice cream on top.
I make this using almost exclusivity raw ingredients, especially raw nuts which give it it's creamy and rich consistency. As it is a rich desert, I have found a small square is decadent and filling enough for adult and child alike.
1½ cup nuts (almonds/walnuts)
½ unsweetened coconut
¼ cup dates (high quality medjool) or soaked store brand
dash of salt
1⅔ cup dates
½-2/3 cup cashews
½ tsp vanilla
2 tbl. coco powder
chocolate chips (optional)
Line a mini cake pan or round bowl with parchment or plastic wrap, enough to come up and over the completed pie.
In the food processor or high speed blender, blend the nuts, coconut, salt and ¼ cup dates. You want a crumbly, sand like consistency; the date will act as the binder. You should be able to squish it into a ball and it holds it's shape. Add dates one at a time until the right consistency.
When ready, press into the bottom of your pan or bowl.
Blend all ingredients until smooth and you're able to make into a test ball. Taste tester : ) Adjust more cocoa powder etc. if needed. (Add chocolate chips at the very end-if using).
Press evenly onto the top your crust layer. Lay the extra plastic wrap over the top and smooth it.
Refrigerate to help firm.
Thirty minutes to one hour before ready to serve, use plastic wrap to lift out of pan and peel off.
To taste like actual dough, get good quality dates like Medjool. I've tried Sun-made and Amport "chopped dates" and they didn't work quite as well, but still tasted good. The high quality get processed very smooth and become like brown sugar whereas the Amport and Sun-maid remain a bit chunky. I buy good quality Medjool dates at Costco in the produce section, usually by the pineapples and melons.
200 g (1⅔ cups) good quality pitted Medjool dates
75 g (1/2-2/3 cups) cashews (raw, organic, unsalted are best)
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup oats
sprinkle sea salt
handful chocolate chips
almond milk (if needed)
In the food processor, blend the dates, cashews, and vanilla.
Add the oats, sea salt and chocolate chips and give a final whirl to stir in.
(If too dry add a almond milk by the teaspoon).
Form into balls (or eat with a spoon right out of the bowl like real cookie dough)....
I modified these from Baking Illustrated’s Triple Chocolate Brownies. These are chewy, yummy, gooey, super chocolaty and delicious! They were even better the next day. I also tried freezing the leftovers and they were awesome when nuked for 10 seconds and topped with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. Mom, I know you’re on the next airplane here. I’ll have some waiting : ).
PB2 is a 100% natural powdered peanut butter-or peanut flour. The creators: Bell Plantation, squeeze the oil out of the peanuts, taking 85% of the fat and calories with it. You just mix it with water to get a similar consistency and taste as peanut butter. It’s pretty tasty but not quite as thick and textured as the natural almond and peanut butter we eat. It’s really good for adding peanut butter flavor to baked goods and DELICIOUS in protein shakes. You can order it off their website or search for stores that sell it near you. My gym, Old Town Athletic Club, recently started selling jars of it as well as using it in their protein shakes.
I created these cookies after playing with a hodgepodge of recipes. I took the second-try-batch (minus 1 for the hubby) to women’s bible study and they were scarfed with great gusto…even the slightly over-crisp ones!
Makes about 2 dozen
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4-1/2 cup honey (depending on how sweet you like)
1/4 c water
1 c PB2
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
Peanuts for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add all ingredients through flour. Mix in standing mixer until creamy and fully combined. Taste, add more honey if needed. Add flour slowly until fully combined. Use 2 spoons to drop tablespoon size dough balls on cookie sheet. Bake about 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.