I haven’t made this recipe for a little over a year. And there is a very good reason…I can’t NOT eat these.
Self-control practically goes out the window when I make these bars and a year ago I was making them WAY too often and enjoying WAY too many. One of the problems is that everyone else around me loved them too so I had no excuse NOT to make them for every and any social function. And even worse I never would give out the recipe because there was that tiny little recipe hoarder voice in my head that said “these are good…like, really, really, REALLY good and one day you may went to sell them in your amazing vegan bakery so do not, I repeat DO NOT give away the recipe”.
I listened to that voice for a long time but over the past year I’ve realized that sharing is caring and who am I kidding, I’m not getting up at 3 in the morning, every morning, for the rest of my life to bake and sell anything!
So, I was really excited to make these again not only to eat but also for the blog! They are so stinking easy because you basically put everything in a high powered blender and blend! And of course they are vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, no oil and no eggs! Does it get much better?! Don’t be put off by the chickpeas–they make these bars SO creamy and moist it’s unbelievable. And they cut way down on the fat and calories while adding a good amount of protein and fiber!
I started writing this post and thought “ugh, anooooother banana bread recipe” and really thought twice about posting it. But then I went and did a quick little search to find out how many banana bread recipes I’ve actually blogged about and to my surprise it was only four! Ok, ok not bad…and they all happen to be quite different. A good mix of naughty (see here and here) and nice (this one and that one). And this particular recipe was different because it had BLUEBERRIES mixed in soooo…totes different. 😀
I can honestly say I’ve never even had banana bread with blueberries mixed in let alone made it but dang I was tired of plain, ‘ole banana bread and needed to mix things up a little and since we’ve got bags upon bags of frozen blueberries I decided those things were going in! And I have to say I’m not only addicted but wish I’d been putting blueberries in my banana bread way sooner! So good! Juicy little bursts of blueberry goodness in super tender, moist banana bread. Yummmm.
I also love that this recipe is egg, oil and refined sugar free and TOTALLY PLANT BASED which we are all about around here. 😀
Ok, so the title of this recipe would sound a LOT better if I had been able to use PUMPKIN* in these brownies instead of butternut squash but guess what? The store was out of canned pumpkin when I went! I’m really hoping this isn’t another one of those pumpkin shortage years but I’m getting a little nervous to be honest.
Nevertheless, I pressed on and substituted the canned butternut squash for the pumpkin in this recipe because let’s face it…they taste exactly the same! But people looooooove pumpkin. You don’t see a butternut squash spice latte at Starbucks do you? NO. Butternut squash scented candles? NO. It’s pumpkin…all. pumpkin.
However, I’m pleased to report that the butternut squash totally worked in this recipe and these brownies turned out AWESOME. The center was definitely more fudgy than the outer edges and to me they were slightly more cake-like (which is not a bad thing at all). But they were seriously to die for and I’ll just confess…we polished the pan off in probably 2 1/2 days. So proud!
These were also some of the easiest brownies I’ve made which is a huge bonus. Not to mention, dairy and refined sugar free! Feel free to use pumpkin or even sweet potato in these, instead of the butternut squash, because they’ll turn out fabulous no matter what.
I’ve been incorporating chickpea (garbanzo) flour into lots of things lately, mainly because it has a fairly neutral flavor once it’s been cooked and adds a good amount of protein and fiber to food. My favorite thing right now is to mix it into my kids oatmeal…they don’t even know it’s there! So when I saw these chia granola bars used it, I HAD to try them.
Aaaaaand…they turned out great! I was expecting a crunchier bar but mine remained soft which is ok because we still loved them. Looking back over the original recipe, I actually missed the step about pressing them down again after they have been baked so that might have been my problem with them not being crunchy!
They are slightly sweet, a tiny bit salty and quite yummy! Love the good fats, protein and fiber from the chickpea flour and chia seeds and the little crunch from the crispy rice cereal is perfect. Great for breakfast or a snack!
⅔ c. Chickpea Flour (also known as garbanzo bean flour)
3 T. Chia Seeds
1 t. Baking Soda
¾ t. Sea Salt
⅔ c. Agave
⅓ c. Melted Coconut Oil
¼ c. Sucanat
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper; spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk oats, rice cereal, chickpea flour, chia seeds, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together agave, coconut oil, sucanant and vanilla until blended,
Add agave mixture to oat mixture, stirring until completely coated. Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Spray you hands with non-stick spray and press mixture down gently but firmly to compact into pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes (I did 20) or until light golden brown on top. Remove from oven and use the flat bottom of a small pan or dish to press down granola bars again. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, and then use parchment paper sling to carefully lift granola bars out onto a cutting board (you can leave them sitting on top of the parchment paper). Cool for 5 more minutes and then cut into bars. Move to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
I created this chocolate chip recipe for my daughter awhile ago and had completely forgot about it until recently when the ONE and only friend I had shared it with (I’m a recipe hoarder…I can’t help it!), said she had made them with her kids. So of course I immediately dug it out and got to work on making some.
I had actually forgot how GOOD these cookies are and why I gave them the title of Avery’s “favorite”….because they are addictive and you seriously can NOT eat just one! They’re soft, chewy and have a perfectly rich, buttery, slightly sweet flavor with ZERO butter or refined sugar and to top it off they are vegan with a little help from aquafaba (check out my first time using it here!)! Win-win-win!
I’m completely ashamed to say that are little family of four polished off all 16 of these in about 3 days! Thankfully they are “healthy” as cookies go and will be an every now and then treat from now on! As they should be. 😉
½ c. Palm Oil Shortening (I used Nutiva which is a blend of palm oils and coconut oil)
⅓ c. plus 1 T. Xylitol
⅓ c. plus 1 T. Agave
3 T. Aquafaba (chia/flax egg or normal egg would work also)
2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
1⅓ c. Sprouted Spelt Flour
¼ c. Ground Flaxseed
¾ t. Baking Soda
¼ t. Sea Salt
¼ c. Thick Rolled Oats
½ c. Chocolate Dream Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking pans with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the shortening, xylitol and agave on medium speed until light and fluffy. Turn mixer to low and add aquafaba and vanilla. Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a small bowl and slowly add to the wet ingredients until thoroughly incorporated. Mix in chocolate chips.
Scoop dough into 1½" balls and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 7-9 minutes, rotating pans and switching racks halfway through. Allow to cool on pans for about 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
We do gluten-free around here every now and then and it’s not because anyone has any type of allergies but more so because I truly love a lot of recipes that use almond flour. I can’t say I’ve had much success with coconut flour (as in ZERO) but almond flour never lets me down and it surprisingly makes the most moist and delicious banana bread I have EVER had.
My go-to and favorite banana bread recipe for years had been this one but I prefer this gluten-free version WAY more and it is honestly so much better. Plus, it’s VEGAN which I totally love seeing as how we’ve recently decided to eat plant-based in our every day lives.
The original recipe calls for one egg but I have recently discovered the magic of aquafaba. What’s that you ask? It’s bean water! More specifically the liquid from cooked or canned chickpeas. Crazy, right?! Well this stuff is magic! It’s a GREAT egg replacement for so many things. I am still learning and experimenting but it works wonders in this banana bread and helps take it to the next level of super healthy deliciousness! I’m pretty sure you’ll never go back to a regular ‘ole oil and sugar filled banana bread after you try this version!
Handful of Chopped Walnuts (optional but delicious!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat ripe bananas until mashed. Mix in all other ingredients through the milk and combine. Add almond flour and oats and stir to combine. Add chopped walnuts (if using).
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes (mine took 1 hour and 5 minutes), until a tester comes out clean.
Let cool completely before removing from pan and slicing. Store in an airtight container.
If you are looking for a super decadent, rich, absolutely DELICIOUS and most importantly HEALTHY chocolate cake–look no further! I can honestly say this is maybe the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had and I can only guess it has something to do with the crazy amount of avocado in it! Yes, avocado!
I just love avocado. Although you’d NEVER guess it was in this cake. All you’ll taste is chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! Oh and some strawberry. 😉 Avocado is so great for chocolate desserts, like this Chocolate Avocado Pudding and I’ve also seen chocolate frosting recipes that use it in place of butter although I have yet to try it myself! It really is the ultimate super food!
What makes this cake even better is the fact that it is totally dairy-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free! Enjoy a big ‘ole slice without any guilt!
½ c. Special Dark Cocoa Powder (or use another ½ cup regular)
½ t. Sea Salt
1 t. Espresso Powder
2 t. Baking Soda
1 c. Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chunks (optional)
Chocolate Whipped Cream
1, 14.5 oz. Canned Full-Fat Coconut Cream, chilled in fridge (unopened) for at least 5-8 hours or overnight
2-3 T. Refined Coconut Oil, softened
Pinch Sea Salt
2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 t. Cocoa Powder
2 T. Agave
2 Packets Truvia (or use couple teaspoons of powdered stevia, etc)
1 c. Sliced Strawberries
½ c. Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chunks, melted
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two, round 9x9-inch pans with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed, beat the avocado puree, xylitol, sucanat and agave until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fully incorporated.
Beat in remaining ingredients (except chocolate chunks). Stir in dark chocolate chunks.
Divide batter evenly between the two pans--it will be VERY thick. Bake for 22-25 minutes until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
For the Chocolate Whipped Cream
Place the metal bowl and whisk of an electric mixer in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (if you don’t have an electric mixer, a bowl and whisk should work as well).
Place the thick cream part of the chilled coconut milk (you can just discard the liquid if there is any or save for smoothies, etc) into the chilled electric mixer bowl and whisk the coconut milk, coconut oil, salt, vanilla, cocoa powder, agave and truvia on medium/high speed until fully combined and thick. Refrigerate or use immediately on cake.
Remove chilled cakes from pans and peel away parchment paper. Put one cake on a large plate or cake stand. Spread ½ of the whipped on the first cake layer.
Top with the second cake layer and spread with the remaining whipped Cream
Place strawberry slices around the outer edge and drizzle with melted chocolate. Serve immediately or refrigerate covered until ready to serve.
Hi friends! To follow up my majorly delicious (and healthy!) zucchini bread recipe, I thought I’d share even MORE recipes for baking with zucchini! Just in case your garden overfloweth like so many people I know. If you see more than you can bake at the moment, not a problem! Just freeze your grated zucchini and thaw it out at a later time. And I’ve included a mix of healthy and not-so-healthy recipes so there are options for everyone!