Black Bean Brownies

I tried out making black bean brownies today and I was pleasantly surprised.  Black beans are exactly readily available in South Africa, but I found some dried beans at a Chinese supermarket.

I looked at brownie  recipes by Chocolate Covered Katie and Skinny Taste. I sort of combined the too and made it my own. Both recipes have chocolate chips in them but I opted to go without since I didn’t have any in the pantry and I don’t know where to get non-dairy choc chips. I spread a bit of Nutella on some of the brownies and it was pretty awesome (though not dairy free). It’s quite easy to make and is both gluten-free and dairy-free. black bean brownies Ingredients:

  • 1½ cup Black Beans (or one can), drained
  • ½ dates
  • ¼ Grape seed or coconut oil
  • ¼cup honey/ agave/ maple syrup.
  • ½ cacao powder
  • 2 eggs  (You can substitute with a vegan egg alternative)
  • 1 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup choc chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Chop the dates and beans in a food processor until crumbly
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the choc chips if you’re adding that) and blend until smooth.
  4. Mix in the choc chips.
  5. Pour  into a  greased oven dish (my batter was thick and a bit tough to spread).
  6. Bake 25- 30 minutes until your test pin comes out clean.
  7. Cut in to squares and allow to cool.
  8. Refrigerate.

 

Got Milk?

A friend posted this link on facebook about milk and I have this to say about it:

smoothie

It does make things difficult… All store-bought vegan alternatives have sugar/ fructose and thickeners added to them (I tried to make my own nut and oat milks but they didn’t work in coffee).

I was so used to soy milk and it works best in coffee (but I’ve now stopped using soy completely, because of my candida diet).

I don’t think I have ever seem milk that specifies it’s grass-fed anywhere. I’m not sure whether there is no grass-fed milk in SA, or if it’s just not labled as such (though the only dairy I use is plain yogurt at the moment, because I’m avoiding lactose – also because of the candida diet). If I do use dairy though, I make sure it’s labled hormone-free (meaning no hormones fed to the cows).

At the moment i’m using full cream goats milk and I’ve gotten used to the wild taste… but it’s not always available (though I guess this is good news because this probably means it is not as mass produced as cows’ milk and the goats probably are not machine-milked).

Ideally I’d be using a non-animal milk alternative for the sake of the animals), but it seems to have too many additives.

A Taste of Two Stevias

Nature’s Choice Debittered Stevia Powder:
Stevia-Powder
Ingredients: debitterred stevia
First of all it has an after taste. I have tried it in coffee, raw chocolate mousse (made with) avos and in baking cookies. It is very sweet, but not a nice round sweetness that blends well with the other flavours. It kind of masks the other flavours. It tastes like artificial sweetener. After using only 2 teaspoons I regret my purchase, but I don’t know if it might grow on me. Stevia does appear to be healthier than xylitol but xylitol tastes better and works better in baking. I doubt I’ll be buying this powdered stevia again.

 

Health Connection Stevia Liquid:
Stevia liquid
Ingredients: Purified water, stevia extract, citric acid.
It does have a bit of an after taste, but it depends on what you put it in. Maybe you just have to get used to it. It is preserved with cititric acid which is a no-no for my candida diet.

 

seal tongue
image: flickrcc

So far the liquid stevia is the winner in the taste category, but I’m still unimpressed.
I don’t mind not having sweetener for my coffee. I stopped drinking sugar in my coffee when I was 16 and drank artificial sweetener for a few years, until I stopped. Most of the time I drink my coffee bitter and that’s how I like it, but occasionally (like when it’s a cappuccino or some special coffee) I like to sweeten it.
I’m frustrated in finding the right sugar substitute, since I’m already on a budget and still have to use substitues for wheat, etc

Kitchen Fail!

So after making coconut yogurt while ago (I saw the idea on facebook),  on Friday I decided to try making goat milk yogurt.

I used about 2 cups of  hot milk and 3 probitotic capsules.  I put it in a thermos (filled almost to the brim) and wrapped a blanket around it. Then I left it there for more than 24 hours.

Some time after 1 am I was hungry and wanted a small snack so I got up and went to heat a cup of goats milk. Then I remembered the yogurt and decided to check it out.

I couldn’t screw off the outside lid no matter what I tried. I then decided to stick a blunt knife under the lid to relieve some pressure.  I managed to get a little lift, but the top still wouldn’t budge. I then continued around the side of the top, sticking the knife underneath as I went along.

Then I heard a pop and saw something head for my eye. The top exploded off!  My eyelids closed just in time, as the outer lid hit my temple. There was yogurt over my eye and I had to wash it off before I could open my eyes.

exploded lid on the couch

in my hairGOATS YOGURT

The inside lid was in pieces scattered across the room. Yogurt everywhere! There was yogurt in my hair. On my pajamas.

The was yogurt on the ceiling. On the fridge. On the wall.  On the floor. On the dishes in the dry rack. There was yogurt on the couch in the living room which is at least 6 feet away.

So there I was, at 1:30 am having to clean the house, wash my hair and take a bath.

I don’t think I will be making my own yogurt again.

I didn’t throw the yogurt out I put it on the fridge. I wasn’t sure if I should drink it, use it on my skin or just chuck it in the trash.

I took it out this afternoon. It was not consistent. It was watery and clumpy. So I blended it with the hand blender and added a banana and some xylitol. It was okay… But not really wort the effort.

Vegan Raw Chocolate Mousse

IMG_0367  raw choc mousse

I have seen this recipe on several sites a few months ago. It is so easy to make and a fairly healthy dessert option.

You can also pop the mixture into a popsicle mould to make vegan chocolate ice-creams.

  • 2-3 Avocados (I used the smallish Hass type)
  • 2-3 tsp Cocoa powder
  • Sweetener/syrup,  to  taste (about 2-3 units)
  • A pinch of Himalayan (or other)  salt, optional.

Use a blender to blend everything until smooth.

Enjoy!

3 Ingredient Vegetarian Chocolate Mousse

vegetarian chocolate mousse

 

That’s right! No gelatine.  No eggs. No cooking.  Much healthier than regular chocolate mousse,  plus with the added benefit of probiotics.

Makes 1 serving.

  • 1/2 Cup or a single serving Plain Yogurt (whether it’s fat-free or double cream is up to you)
  • 1 tsp Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp/unit  Sweetener/ Sugar… or according to taste.

Simply stir in the cocoa and sweetener into the yogurt until everything is well-blended and uniform in colour.
Allow to stand for about 5 minutes.
Voila!

If you want to use flavoured yogurt instead of plain you can. In that case you can forego the sweetener.
It doesn’t seem to work as well with soy yogurt as with dairy, but it still makes a nice chocolate dessert.

Gluten-free vegetarian lasagne

This recipe uses eggplant for lasagna sheets instead of pasta. You can use the round type if you wish but I used the longer Asian types (because that’s what I found at the supermarket.

Before using the eggplant, it is recommended that you first sweat it. To do that, slice your eggplant into lengthwise slices. Place in a bowl and stand for about 30 minutes. Then rinse off the eggplant in a colander (the pasta strainer thingy) and shake off excess water. Pat dry on a clean kitchen towel.

A funny thing happened when I did this… While I was salting my eggplant to sweat it, my mother came into the kitchen, absolutely horrified. “What are you doing? Are you nuts? You’ll kill yourself if you eat that much salt.” :D

This lasagna exceeded my expectation and it was the best thing I’ve eaten in weeks.

gf veg lasagna 1 gf veg lasagna 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 Eggplants, sliced lengthwise about ½ cm thick
  • yellow bell pepper, chopped or sliced.
  • Oil to drizzle (for roasting)

Tomato Sauce:

  • Zucchini, sliced in rounds
  • onion, copped
  • fresh garlic
  • (about 4-6) chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp oreganum
  • 1tsp basil
  • ½ tsp salt or to taste.

Cheesy Sauce:

  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • ¼ cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 cups goats milk (or milk/alternative of your choice)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tsp salt

* Vegan/nut parmesan (optional topping)

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat the oven at 180ºC.
Put the eggplant and peppers in a oven dish, drizzle with oil, stir well and place in oven.
(remove when it seems soft or at least half done)

Place the cauliflower in a bit of water and cook, until soft.

To make the sauce:
Fry the onions in a little oil until soft.
Add the garlic. Fry briefly, being careful not to burn it.
Add the zucchini and stir briefly.
Add the tomatoes, herbs and salt.
Stir and the cover to cook on medium heat.

To make the cheesy sauce:
Liquidate the soft cooked cauliflower in a blender. (I used a hand blender)
Add the milk and flour, blend well.
Add the nutritional yeas and salt, blend again.
Return to saucepan and cook until thickened.

Construction (in a greased oven dish):
Layer eggplant, then tomato sauce, pepper, cheesy sauce.
Repeat
Sprinkle with parmesan

Bake in oven for 30- 40 minutes
(though technically every thing is already cooked, so if you take it out sooner, that’s okay.

 

© lowercase v, 2013

Lemon & Spice Sorghum cookies

Given my dietary restrictions I made myself these cookies to nibble on.   These cookies are gluten and sugar free. If you do use xylitol, be careful not not eat too much at once. While it doesn’t have that much calories, it can have a laxative effect if consumed in large amounts.  A couple of cookies won’t do any harm though.

IMG_0311

INGREDIENTS:
dry bowl

  • 1 cup Sorghum meal/ flour
  • 1 cup Buckwheat flour (or grind uncooked buckwheat in your blender, like I did)
  • ½ cup ground Almonds
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Ginger powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 pinch Clove powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda

wet bowl

  • 1 mashed banana or 1 purieed (peeled) apple
  • juice and zest of 1 Lemon
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ½ cup xylitol powder or sweetener of choice. (you can use a ¼ cup I you prefer)

preheat the oven at 180° C
mix all the dry ingredients together
whisk all the wet ingredients together.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients to form a dough.
Make little ball and flatten them on a grease cookies sheet.
Bake for 15 -18 minutes

©lowercase v, 2013