Dessert recipes

Recipes for desserts

Delicious, Delightful, Delovely~Chocolately Brownies

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Ready for a new brownie recipe that doesn’t call for flour, refined sugar or artificial anything?

Here you go!

Black Bean Brownies

3 1/4 cups black beans, soaked overnight and cooked*brownies2

6 fresh, free-range eggs

2/3 cups cocoa

2 tsp. vanilla

2/3 cup melted butter

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp Real salt

3/4 cup raw honey

1/4 cup Sucanat (dehydrated cane juice)

Super easy to put together; just cream the beans and eggs together in your favorite blender/food processor.  Melt butter on low heat in a small saucepan while adding the rest of the ingredients to the bean/egg mixture.  When butter is melted, add it to the batter slowly while mixing.  Pour brownie batter into a butter 9 x 13 baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes @ 350°.

*To prepare beans, follow instructions on package for soaking and cooking beans.  (You will cover beans in water and let sit overnight, then cook on low heat for a few hours until they are soft.) This helps you avoid chemicals in canned beans and is very cost effective.  But, if canned beans are your only option, they will work as well.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz. package cream cheese

3 Tbs. raw honeybrownies

1 tsp. vanilla

dash of salt

1 tsp. beet juice (for mauve color, optional)

Beat all ingredients together with a hand mixer until smooth.  Spoon into a zip lock bag or a frosting bag.  Chill in the refrigerator for an hour, to allow it to set. Then cut a small hole in one corner of the bottom of the plastic bag (or use frosting bag with decorator’s tip) and squeeze in swirls on top of small squares of brownies once the brownies are cooled.  We used black berries (cut in half length-wise) for garnish, but raspberries, blueberries, strawberries or shaved chocolate would be lovely too!

*Remember, sweet treats, even those made with real food ingredients, should be reserved for special occasions and served in small portions.  Think of it as training your taste buds to prefer foods that are less sweet, less processed and eaten after nutritious meals, and not used as snacks.  You and your family will be better off in the long run employing this healthy habit!

Butternut Squash

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Butternut squash is my new favorite!

If you haven’t tried it lately, you’re missing out.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and pulp.  Put the squash flesh side down in a casserole dish with about a half an inch of water in the bottom.  Cover and bake for about 45 minutes, or until you can pierce the skin with a fork.  Once it’s cooked and peeled, you can use this versatile veggie in so many things! You can eat it with Real salt and butter, or puree it in a food processor with a little salt, butter and sweet spices for a nice side dish, mash it for baby food or use it in recipes calling for pumpkin. (After tasting recipes with fresh squash, I’d be surprised if you want to use canned pumpkin again.)  Bake and then freeze for super easy baking!

One of my favorite recipes is Baked Pudding~

3 eggs

2 cups cooked butternut squash

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

1 1/2 cup evaporated milk (you can simmer 2 1/4 cups regular milk down to 1 1/2 cups instead of using the canned milk)

Mix all ingredients except the milk until smooth.  Add milk slowly while beating.  Pour into 6 large muffin tins greased with coconut oil.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 425°F for 10 minutes.  Lower oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 30 more minutes.  Pudding is done when a knife slipped into the middle comes out clean.  Serve with freshly whipped cream (sweetened with agave.)

butternut-squash4

Let’s Eat Cake!

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Hi!  I am so excited to share something new with you!  New to me, maybe new to you too…first a little background:

Three years ago this fall I took drastic measures.  I came to grips with the fact that gluten was hard on me and decided it was time to give it up.  It was a HUGE change, one that challenged me to tears on and off through the first few months. As many of you know, it is quite a shift to change your diet that drastically! Our family had made this change before, years ago,  when we (I, the girl in charge of food) cut out gluten and dairy after I attended an autism conference and learned about the possibility of such a diet helping our son.  It wasn’t easy then either, but only lasted the summer.  This time it was me who needed the help.  Thankfully, eating a gluten-free diet made a huge difference in my health within just two weeks!

Fast forward to last month when a friend of mine asked if I had ever heard of natural yeast.  I hadn’t.  I immediately went to town reading up on it.  What I discovered is that like a traditional sour dough starter, natural yeast dramatically changes the chemistry of regular wheat when it is combined with water and kept in a cool place. Ooooo.  The more I read the more interested I became.  I believe that there are ways to prepare foods that are much easier for us to digest, and culturing is one of the major tools we use to accomplish that. Could this work for me I wondered? Me, eating wheat again? Eating waffles again?  And toast and sandwiches….It was a heady thought.

After reading Caleb Warnock’s blog on natural yeast, I determined that I wanted to find out if I might be one of the people with an intolerance or celiac who might be able to use wheat prepared in this way.  Shortly after that decision was reached, my friend called again and asked what I had learned.  When I said that I wanted to try it she surprised me by saying that she had a start for me and that her daughter had baked a loaf of bread for me to try!  (I owe you Pam Thomson!) I was so hopeful that I would be able to graduate from pasty starchy gluten free “bread” but mostly to be able to get the nutrients in the seeds and grains that I have felt I’ve been missing.  I decided to try it….

(Note: We are each responsible for our own health decisions.  What works for one may not be a good option for someone else.  Caleb suggests that you take some of this bread to your doctor to lab test it and see if it is something you could tolerate if you are concerned about getting sick. For some, better safe than sorry.) I personally went with a “gut feeling” that it was ok for me to try it carefully and slowly. It was great to eat bread again.  I ordered the book!

 

I can’t say enough about the quality and thoroughness of this book by Melissa Richardson and Caleb Warnock. (Melissa’s Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/TheBreadGeek fantastic stuff there!)  The book is a delight in so many ways; the writing is witty and real, the pictures are beautiful and instructive and the recipes are tasty and healthy.
 Can’t ask more from a cookbook than that can you?

Over the past few months, I have devoured the principles in the book and tried the recipes, created some of my own recipes and of course learned to keep my starts going. The actual hands-on time this kind of baking requires is minimal, it’s the thinking about what you want to make a day ahead that is a little tricky.  I have baked bread, made many different kinds of pancakes and waffles (which are crispy and light and taste a bit like a funnel cake), an amazing chocolate cake and cinnamon rolls.

Holy cow!  It is so much fun to create and to try new things!  I have been tweaking the sugars (another difficulty for me, maybe you can relate) and have found that natural sweeteners work well in these recipes. For instance, in the chocolate cake, I used sucanat and agave in place of white sugar which made the cake sweet, but calmly so.  It certainly takes time, when shifting to a whole foods diet, to untrain your taste buds to expect sweeteners on steroids, but this brand of baking sure helps.  You eat a piece of chocolate cake made with natural yeast and natural sugar and wait for the blood sugar spike…..and wait…..and it doesn’t come!  And that may mean that diabetes won’t come knocking either!

 

 

 Fresh garden tomato
Fresh basil
Toasted natural yeast bread
Mustard/mayo/basil pesto spread

 

“Mammy’s Bread” recipe by Melissa Richardson

 

We think this cake tastes divine!  And wow, it’s just so pretty!!!

Please let me know if there is some way that I can help you get started cooking with natural yeast if you are interested. I have only scratched the surface of what there is to learn about this here, so please continue to read on the author’s blogs.  They are amazing.

Hey!  I can share a start!  (8 starts went out of my fridge last night for cooking class! Hoorah!)

Happy eating!

Love,
Jacque