Chocolate Chia Pudding

I love making chocolate pudding with avocado.  I know some people are skeptical thinking there is no way an avocado can taste good with something sweet like chocolate.  Well, it can!  Avocado has such a creamy texture and takes on the chocolate flavor.  However, I understand some people may still be hesitant.  I think you should definitely give it a try before knocking it though.

I have a recipe today though, in case your still not quite sure about the avocado chocolate pudding, but still want a healthy chocolate treat.  I say healthy because this pudding is made with zero additional sugars, only the natural ones from the dates!

Chocolate Chia Pudding

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup almond milk (you can also use water)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender* and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour into two serving dishes and fridge overnight, or at least 30 minutes before eating.

*A high-powered blender will give you the creamiest texture and make sure to grind those chia seeds completely.  However, any blender will combine all ingredients but you may have more of a tapioca texture with the chia seeds.

I refrigerated my pudding overnight and it was amazing!  I haven’t had a real pudding in YEARS! But this recipe is the closest I have ever come to having that sweet chocolate treat!

One day I’m also going to try using this as a chocolate sauce to swirl into banana ice cream!

Apple Pie Protein Ice Cream

It’s finally starting to get warm!  It has been the longest, coldest winter ever!  I was thrilled yesterday that it got into the 80’s and will be again today.  To celebrate I made a healthy “ice cream.”  With the protein, this makes a great post workout treat!

Apple Pie Protein Ice Cream 3

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple (divided)
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used Sunwarrior vanilla)
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
  • ice

Directions:

  1. Dice apple.  Place half in the blender and reserve the other half.
  2. Place all other ingredients in the blender and blend until desired consistency.
  3. Stir in the rest of the diced apples.
  4. Pour into a bowl and top with cinnamon.
  5. Eat immediately or, for a more “ice cream” consistency, place in the freezer for an hour and a half and stir every 30 minutes.

This is what it looked like before I added toppings.

Apple Pie Protein Ice Cream

My ice cream with chopped apple pieces and cinnamon!

Apple Pie Protein Ice Cream 2

This would also be great topped with almonds, hemp seeds, banana slices, etc.

This recipe makes 1 large serving or 2 small servings.  The entire recipe yields approximately 465 calories and 24g protein.

 

Raspberry Chocolate Lava Cake

I love lava cakes!  However, it is very hard to find a vegan, gluten free version to buy.  In fact, I don’t think I have yet come across one.  I’ve looked for recipes online, but either they don’t come out right (over or under baked) or the filling doesn’t really taste right.  When I saw that this recipe used jam as the filling, I figured why not try it – it sure sounded tasty.  I’m glad I gave it a shot, the texture of the cake was perfect and the jam filling was perfect!

Chocolate Raspberry Mugcake

This recipe was adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie:

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 1 tbsp carob or cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp almond milk (depending on flour, start with smaller amount)
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 1/2 tbsp chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease 1 cup ramekin or mug.
  2. Combine buckwheat flour, carob powder, coconut sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and stir.
  3. Add vanilla extract, almond milk, and coconut oil and stir to combine.
  4. Spoon half the batter into prepared ramekin or mug.
  5. Add raspberry jam and chocolate chips, if desired, in the middle.
  6. Spoon the rest of the batter on top.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes.  (Alternatively you can microwave this, but I’m not sure how long based on these ingredients and it will probably come out more gooey than cakey.)
  8. Remove from oven and top with additional chocolate chips if desired. (Or put them in during the last minute of cooking so they really melt!)
  9. Allow to cool before eating!

Just came out of the oven!

Chocolate Raspberry Mugcake 3

Feel free to play around with the filling.  Use a different flavor of jam, use fresh mashed fruits, use banana, applesauce, peanut butter, or pure chocolate.  Or try a combination!  Can you imagine peanut butter and jelly?  Peanut butter and banana!? Peanut butter and chocolate!?  Peanut butter, chocolate, and banana!?!?

The first time I made this I added chocolate chips on top!
(I tried to get a pic so you could see the inside, but it didn’t really work)

Chocolate Raspberry Mugcake 5

The second time I made this I topped it with peanut butter frosting.
(1 tbsp peanut flour mixed with 1/2 tbsp almond milk, and a dash of stevia and sea salt)

Chocolate Raspberry Mugcake 6

Here’s a better pic of the inside of the cake with peanut butter frosting.
(Still difficult to see the jam though)

Chocolate Raspberry Mugcake 7

This was so good!  I think I have a few more versions of this lava cake to try out…better get baking 🙂

Raw Brownies

I love these brownies for several reasons.

  1. Raw brownies are such a sweet and healthy treat.  They are loaded with all natural ingredients like healthy fats and natural sugars.
  2. You can customize them to your taste preferences.   You can try different types of nuts or a mixture of different nuts, or try adding additional ingredients like seeds, other dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc.
  3. You can change the texture of these brownies with the nuts.  If you blend less, you will have more whole pieces of nuts.  You can even add some of the nuts in with the dates so they get blended less.
  4. You can make these into large bars to fuel you through a workout or your morning if you eat them for breakfast, you can make smaller squares to enjoy as a light dessert, or you can make them into bite-sized pieces or balls for just a taste (which is perfect for larger gatherings).
  5. You can also use the raw brownies as the cookie for homemade ice cream sandwiches.

I based this recipe off of many others I had seen around the internet and have used this specific recipe to make my brownies the last few times.

Raw Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups nuts*
  • 1 cup dates (about 10)
  • 1/4 cup carob powder (or cocoa powder)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, blend the nuts making sure not to blend too much or they will turn into butter.
  2. Add carob powder and salt and pulse to combine.
  3. Add dates and blend until everything is incorporated.
  4. Line a 8×8 baking pan with wax paper.
  5. Place mixture into pan and press with hands to flatten the mixture evenly along the bottom of the pan. (For thicker bars, use a smaller pan or only press the mixture to cover 3/4 of the 8×8 pan).
  6. Put in the fridge to cool for about 30 minutes.
  7. Cut into bars and enjoy!

* You can use any mixture of nuts. So far I have tried all walnuts, all pecans, and a mixture of pecans and almonds.  They all came out tasting delicious, but I think usually walnuts are the number one nut to use in raw brownies.

Raw Brownies 2

I cut these into smaller squares to serve at a potluck!

Chocolate Plantain Brownies

I bought a plantain and wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with it.  I’ve tried them just baked (which was delicious) but I wanted to actually bake them in something.  I had seen a few recipes before that didn’t use flour but plantains and I thought this sounded like a delicious idea.  After looking around I found this recipe for chocolate plantain brownies.  These brownies have a great sweet taste and use some healthy ingredients!

Plantain Brownies

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 1 small/medium ripe plantain
  • 2/3 cup carob powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray an 8×8 inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Peel the plantain and put it in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together carob powder, coconut sugar, baking soda, baking powder, applesauce, vanilla, and maple syrup.
  4. Stir in the plantain puree.
  5. Stir in the almond butter and coconut oil and mix until everything is combined.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out mostly clean.  Bake them for less time (like 20-30 minutes) for a fudgier brownie.
  7. Allow to cool before slicing.  Store in the refrigerator.

Plantain Brownies 2

I love how easy these are to make and the natural glaze that forms on top of them make them look very fudgy!

Plantain Brownies 3

Caramel Apple Pie

Continuing with Christmas Eve dinner, the next item on the menu was Brussels Sprouts with Apples & Almonds.  This side dish was really good, but I am going to skip it for now and try to perfect the recipe to better fit my taste.  So I will definitely post the recipe eventually.  Until then, I’ll still post a dish with apples – Caramel Apple Pie.

Christmas Eve 13 Menu

Similar to last year when I made a lighter, healthier dessert one night – Apple Crisp, and a richer dessert the second night – Chocolate Avocado Pudding.  This year I made a Caramel Apple Pie and a Buckeye Pie.  Since these were both pies for only 4 people, I knew there would be leftovers.  Having a healthier pie and a richer pie would allow for a great choice as leftovers.  In the mood for a healthier pie?  I could choose the Caramel Apple Pie.  Sweet tooth is really kicking in?  I could choose the Buckeye Pie.

Today I am posting the Caramel Apple Pie.  I have tried to make a vegan and gluten-free apple pie before and it did not work.  Thankfully this one came out and was very tasty!

Caramel Apple Pie 3

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 2 pie crusts  (I recommend my Pecan Date Pie Crust)
  • 3 large Granny Smith apples
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp caramel sauce (I used store bought)

Directions:

  1. To prepare the pie crusts I baked one in the pie pan at 375F for 10 minutes covered with foil.  The other pie crust I rolled out on wax paper and cut into strips and did not prebake.  Set aside for later.
  2. Preheat oven to 425F.
  3. Thinly slice apples. (You can peel them first if you want, I didn’t).
  4. Toss the apples in a large bowl.
  5. Add all other ingredients and gently stir to evenly coat everything.  (If the ingredients are not spreading evenly, you can heat the whole bowl of apples in the microwave for 30 seconds, then gently stir.)
  6. Pour apple mixture into the prepared pie crust.  Gently lay the other prepared pie strips in a lattice pattern on top of the pie filling. (Alternatively, you can skip cutting the 2nd pie crust into strips and just lay the 2nd pie crust on top of the pie filling .  Just make sure to add a hole in the center to allow the pie to vent.)
  7. Cover with aluminum foil (to prevent the crust from burning) and bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Reduce temperature to 350F and bake for 20-25 minutes, still covered with foil. (Make sure to check around 20 minutes to make sure the pie crust is not burning).
  9. Allow pie to cool for at least an hour before serving.

I served my pie with drizzled caramel on top!

Caramel Apple Pie 5Before baking the pie:

Caramel Apple Pie

After baking the pie:

Caramel Apple Pie 2

Once the pie crusts were made, the actual pie filling was very easy to make!  The hardest part was slicing all the apples.  It was also easier just to buy caramel sauce then make my own, though I’m sure it would be tasty.  Store any leftover pie in the fridge.

Caramel Apple Pie 4

Christmas Eve 2013 Dishes:

Pecan Date Pie Crust

I recently posted a recipe for my “favorite” pie crust, Oatmeal Cookie Pie Crust.  Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I decided to make this crust with the Chocolate Tofu Pie again, but for some reason the crust really rose this time.  The pie pan was like all cookie; there was no room to fit the actual pie because the “crust” turned more into a cookie cake!  Thankfully, the taste was still great (like an oatmeal cookie) so I literally ate the “crust” as a cookie!  However, this left me with no pie crust for my favorite chocolate pie.  Fortunately, I had just made a pumpkin pie which came with a pie crust recipe and it turned out very well.  I had a feeling this pie crust would pair well with the chocolate pie filling and I was right!  So again I am going to change my favorite pie crust recipe to this new one here!

Pecan Date Crust 2

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup GF rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons almond milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and spray a pie pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Place oats, pecans, and cinnamon in a blender and blend until a ground.
  3. Add dates and blend until the mixture starts to slightly clump.
  4. Add the almond milk and blend for a few seconds until a dough forms.
  5. Take a piece of wax paper and lay your dough (should be in a ball) on top.  With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large flat circle (slightly bigger than your pie pan.
  6. Gently peel the crust off the wax paper and place it in your pie pan and gently press it into place.
  7. Trim off extra edges of the crust.
  8. Loosely cover the pie crust with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool before filling.*

*If you fill this pie with a filling that needs to be baked, place foil around the edges of the crust before baking the entire pie.  At the last 10 minutes, remove the foil around the crust.

If you fill this pie with a no-bake filling, before you fill the pie, bake the pie crust an additional 5-10 minutes without the foil.  Just be sure to watch it closely at the end so it doesn’t burn.

Here’s a picture of the crust before baking:

Pecan Date Crust

If you cut this pie into 8 slices, this recipe (for just the crust) yields approximately 145 calories and 2.5g protein.

Oatmeal Cookie Pie Crust

This has been my favorite crust for making pies.  It has the most graham cracker taste of regular pie crusts.  I personally think this crust tastes more like a cookie though, so it’s kind of like you get two desserts in one!  This crust is much healthier than store-bought crusts.  However, because it is gluten-free it does get a bit crumbly, but still holds the pie together.  Just be careful serving that first piece, which actually isn’t that different than most pies.

This recipe was adapted from FatFree Vegan:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup GF rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 tbsp natural sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup applesauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and grease a 9-inch pie pan.
  2. Put the oats into a food processor or blender and process until finely ground.
  3. Add the remaining dry ingredients and blend to combine.
  4. Pour into a bowl and stir in the wet ingredients until completely combined.
  5. Put the mixture into the prepared pie pan and flatten the crust along the bottom of the pan and along the sides with moist fingers.
  6. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until it is crisp but not overdone.  Allow to cool before filling with any pie recipe!

Chocolate Pie 5

I filled my pie crust with my Chocolate Tofu Pie!  Definitely recommended!!

This recipe, for the pie crust, yields approximately 8 servings.  One serving yields approximately 100 calories and <1g protein.

Plantain Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love soft cookies!  However, most cookies have a lot of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.  These cookies use much more natural and healthy ingredients to get that soft cookie texture with a great taste!  However, be aware that these still do have a lot of sugar and fat, but that’s healthier sugar and fat thanks to the plantain and coconut oil.

Plantain Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe was adapted from the Purely Twins:

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe plantain (mine was yellow/brown)
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (semi-melted)
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips (or more)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper.
  2. Peel and roughly slice the plantain and puree it in a food processor.
  3. Add all other ingredients and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop out the dough into round balls and place on the cookie sheet.
  6. Lightly press down on each dough ball to form circular cookies.
  7. Bake in oven for 12 minutes.

I was amazed at how much these looked like real chocolate chip cookies without eggs, milk, butter, unhealthy sugar, and unhealthy oil.  Plus, I absolutely loved the plantain taste.  I can’t wait to make this delicious treat again!

I was able to make 12 cookies.  Each cookies is approximately 65 calories.

Chocolate Avocado Soft Serve

I drink smoothies a lot in the summer!  They are so cool and refreshing after being out in the sun.  Plus, smoothies are a great way for me to add supplements that I take daily, like maca powder, flax seeds, and protein powder.  However, sometimes I would prefer not to drink a smoothie out of a straw, but create a thick smoothie that I can eat out of a bowl with a spoon.  This recipe was based off a very thick smoothie recipe.

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used Amande)
  • 1/4 cup avocado
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Optional: 1/2 scoop protein powder (Chocolate is preferred but vanilla works)
  • Optional: 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • Optional: 1 tsp maca powder

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small blender and blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. (You may need to add 1-2 tablespoons of almond milk to get things moving if you use all the powders.)
  2. Pour into a bowl and freeze* or eat immediately for a Smoothie In A Bowl, but make sure to add toppings first!  Try fruits, nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, or chocolate chips!

*If you decide to freeze this smoothie, pour it into a bowl and place it in the freezer, stirring every 30 minutes until the desired consistency.  It won’t be like real soft serve (it is still smoothie based) but it will be cold and thick!

I didn’t add any additional sweetener to my bowl.  I found the banana naturally sweetened it enough plus my protein powder is naturally sweetened with stevia.  If you omit the protein powder and don’t find the banana to be sweet enough alone, you may want to add your own sweetener like stevia or maple syrup or even try sweetening it up by adding a whole frozen banana!

This recipe (using Amande yogurt, Plant Fusion Protein Powder, and including the optional ingredients) yields approximately 315 calories and 17g protein.