Protein-packed Brownies \\ Brownies Protéinés

I love chocolate. I could live off of chocolate… probably. One of my favourite thing to do is add cocoa powder to my morning oatmeal. It feels like a treat, while still being healthy and delicious. Now these brownies are the same way! They are delicious but so guilt-free: oil-free, sugar-free, gluten-free and full of protein! Yum!

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Here is what you need:

  • 1/2 cup oats (I used quick oats, but rolled work too)
  • 1 can of black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10 dates, pitted and soaked in water for at least 1 hour
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or any other plant milk)
  • 2 heaping tbs of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • optional: chocolate chips

Here is what you do:

  1. Process the oats in your food processor until you have a fine flour. Set it aside.
  2. Place the rest of the ingredients in your food processor and process until everything is well combined. Mix in the flour and chocolate chips if you are using them.
  3. Place your brownie mix in a lined or non-stick pan and bake in a pre-heated oven set on 350F (180C) for 20 minutes. Poke a skewer in the middle: if it comes out clean, your brownies are ready! Serve warm, and keep in the fridge in an air-tight container. Enjoy!

These are so great! They really fill you up so they are a great alternative for breakfast if you’re feeling that way, or make for a perfect snack on the go. Plus, they are so chocolaty! Let me know if you make some!

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Parce que le chocolat c’est une des meilleures choses de la vie, voici une recette de brownies pleins de protéines à manger sans modération (ou presque) puisqu’ils sont sans sucre, sans huile et sans gluten. Oh oui!

  • 1/2 tasse de flocons d’avoine (j’ai utilisé des flocons rapides, mais l’avoine à l’ancienne fonctionne aussi)
  • 1 conserve de haricots noirs ou rouges, rincés
  • 10 dates, dénoyautées et trempées dans de l’eau pour au moins 1 heure
  • 1/2 cup lait d’amandes (ou un autre lait végétal)
  • 2 c. à soupe bombées de poudre de cacao
  • 1/2 c. à café d’extrait de vanille
  • 1/2 c. à café de poudre à pâte
  • optionel: pépites de chocolat
  1. Placer les flocons d’avoine dans votre robot culinaire et broyer jusqu’à l’obtention d’une farine fine. Réserver.
  2. Mettre le reste des ingrédients dans le robot, et mélanger jusqu’à ce que tout soit bien incorporé. Ajouter la farine et les pépites de chocolat et mélanger.
  3. Placer le tout dans un moule recouvert de papier sulfurisé ou anti-adhésif et placer dans un four pré-chauffé à 350F (180C) pour 20 minutes. Tester à l’aide d’un cure-dent: si le cure-dent ressort propre du brownie, c’est prêt! Sinon, laisser encore quelques minutes. Servir chaud et garder au frigo dans une boîte hermétique. Savourez!

 

Dark Chocolate Sorbet

In the winter, I love making myself a thick dark hot chocolate with a nice foam on top. There is something incomparable to being nested in a thick blanket with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. However, when it’s 35C outside, the last thing you want to do is bundle up. Well, this is the summer version of my hot chocolate, and it’s amazing!

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Because of the alcohol, the texture is soft and light. Rum is a great choice for this recipe as the rich taste makes a superb combination with the dark chocolate. I used a raw cocoa powder because I wanted an intense chocolate taste: it worked! No matter what type of cocoa powder you use, make sure it is unsweetened and high quality as your ice cream will only be as good as your chocolate. I also found vegan dark chocolate chips. Don’t doubt that I was dancing in the grocery store when I found this!

Here is what you need:

  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (make sure they are vegan)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup rum or cognac (this is optional and can be replaced with a strongly brewed coffee. Keep in mind that the alcohol will help make the sorbet more scoopable. You can use any strong alcohol you like.)

Here is what you do:

  1. In a large sauce pan, place 1 1/2 cups of water with the sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Set on medium heat and whisk until the liquid comes to a boil. Don’t put on high heat as you don’t want the cocoa to burn. Once boiling, remove from the heat.
  2. Add the chocolate chips and whisk until completely melted.
  3. Add the remaining cup of water, vanilla extract, and alcohol. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Place in a container in your fridge until completely chilled.
  5. Place your liquid in your ice cream maker, and churn according to your machine’s instructions for about 30 minutes or until thick. Chill in an air-tight container for a few more hours until completely frozen. Enjoy!

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If you like chocolate, you must try this out! Let me know if you do!

Product Review: Mycryo Powder

A few months ago, my mom brought back a bottle of Mycryo powder from a chocolate fair. I had seen this product at the Montreal Vegan Fest, as well as the Salon des Métiers d’Arts, but always thought it was some fancy product that only fancy chefs used. Well, it’s not.

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At first, I was a little bit concerned because on the bottle it says that it’s perfect for meat and fish. Hum. Oh well! It’s also great for pan frying mushrooms: it gives them a nice golden color. It works really well for stir-fries: it keeps everything from sticking, while not being overly greasy. It’s also perfect to work with ingredients that have a subtle flavour: it has no noticeable flavour and will really let the freshness and original flavours of your produce shine.

I also love that only a small quantity of this will help cooking: this means that this bottle will last forever! I usually shake this a few times on a heated pan and then cook my vegetables as usual. This is a great alternative to olive or coconut oil. Made with powdered cocoa butter, it’s supposed to have less fat and calories. Well, no mater if this is true, I love that you can easily use it both for savoury and sweet recipes. The taste is so mellow that it really takes no place in the flavour palette of your recipes. It will work equally well for cooked apples or potatoes.

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Will I buy this for myself? Well at 19$ for 550g, it is comparable to olive oil. It is not organic, nor fair trade. Even though I think it is a fun product to try out, it really is not a staple for me. I’ll probably finish this bottle and go back to using other oils. Anyways, let me know if you have tried this and what you think of it!

 

Chocolate Covered Strawberries, from scratch

I love chocolate covered strawberries because they are easy to prepare, always look impressive and are perfect for warm weather. I was craving these, but unfortunately, I didn’t have any chocolate in the house. I did however have some cocoa powder and some cocoa butter (go figure!). So, let’s make some chocolate from scratch!

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Here is what you need:

  • 1/2 cup cocoa butter (I usually buy this as a big solid chunk. I cut it up in smaller bits to measure.)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (adjust until sweet to your taste)
  • dash of salt
  • 12 big strawberries, washed and dry (it is important that they are dry: the chocolate will not adhere to wet strawberries)
  • Optional (to decorate): coconut flakes, colored sugar, matcha powder, powdered nuts

Here is what you do:

  1. In a small sauce pan, put all the ingredients and heat up on medium heat.
  2. Mix with a spoon or spatula to help the ingredients combine until you have a smooth and shiny chocolate sauce.
  3. Carefully, transfer the sauce to a deep container. It must be large enough for you to dip your strawberries in.
  4. Prepare your serving plate by cutting parchment paper to cover it. Prepare your decorations as well.
  5. Dip each strawberry in the chocolate and let the excess drip off. Place on your lined plate and sprinkle your decorations on before the chocolate sets. Repeat until all the strawberries are well covered in chocolate. You can use a spoon to spread it evenly. Place your strawberries in the fridge to help the chocolate set and take them out just before serving. Enjoy!

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This recipe is really great if you don’t know what to bring over for a dinner or pot luck. They are easy to make, you can personalize them and they are sure to please everyone! It’s also great to make your own chocolate sauce because you can adjust the sweetness level as well as add any extra ingredients. Let your imagination go crazy, and let me know what you put on your strawberries!

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Vegan Chocolate Tiramisu

I have to admit, I only had tiramisu once before going vegan. For some reason, however, I was craving the smooth layers of chocolate cake and cream. So I made some chocolate cake, thick vegan cream, a rum-chocolate dipping liquid, and here you go!

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Here is what you need for the cake:

  • 120g gluten free flour
  • 60g almond flour
  • 50g oil
  • 250g almond milk
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Dash of vanilla extract

Here is what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the oil, milk and vanilla extract, and mix until smooth.
  4. Use a lined cake mold, and bake the cake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick put in the center comes out clean.
  5. Set aside.

For the cream, I used my coconut cream recipe, but skipped the Chai spices.

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For the rum-chocolate syrup, mix 1/8 to 1/4 cup of rum with 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, and 1 tsp of maple syrup. This is completely optional, but it adds a ton of flavour. You could also use a little bit of chocolate milk.

To assemble: 

  • Add one teaspoon of syrup at the bottom of your jar or container.
  • Place a layer of chocolate cake, add a little bit of syrup, and cover with some cream. Repeat until your container is full and finish with a layer of cream.
  • Sprinkle a little bit cocoa powder on top and serve!

This dessert is best eaten fresh because if you put it in the fridge overnight, it will be thicker and less creamy. Still, this is great! It is full of chocolate flavour!

Let me know what you think, and if you try it out!

 

Overnight Oats, 3 flavours

In an effort to make my life easier, I’m trying to bring more planned meals into the week. One of the things I’m trying are overnight oats.

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Now, I really didn’t know if I would feel okay eating oats in the first place as I am gluten intolerant, but I found that Bob’ Red Mill gluten-free quick oats are okay. More than okay actually: delicious!

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Because I wanted to make this more fun (it is oatmeal after all), I usually plan for different flavours and prepare everything on Sunday night. It usually takes me around 30 minutes, and breakfast for the WHOLE week is done! Oh yes!

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I basically use the same base recipe and add to it to give more flavours.

Here is what you need:

Base Recipe:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1-2 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 tbs hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • dash vanilla
  • 1 tbs lemon juice

Add-ons:

  1. Tropical flavour: 1/2 diced mango, 2 tbsp coconut shreds
  2. Apple pie flavour: 1/2 shredded apple, dash of cinnamon
  3. Strawberry shortcake: 1/2 cup diced strawberries, 2 tbsp grounded almonds.
  4. Friday special: 2 tbsp coconut shreds, 1 tbsp raw cocoa powder

Here is what you do:

  1. Mash the banana, add the lemon juice and mix in the chia and hemp seeds. Mix well.
  2. Add the oats and milk. Mix until the banana is well combined.
  3. Add fruits and other add-ons. Mix again!
  4. Keep in an air-tight container in the fridge. Let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours before eating.

I love overnight oats! It is delicious, easy to make, and so simple to prepare ahead of time. I also like how it keeps me full until lunch. It’s also great that I just need to grab a jar every morning. No fretting!

Let me know what your favourite flavour is, and what you like to add to your oats.

 

 

Hazelnut Spread, the sugar-free edition

When I posted my nutella-dupe recipe yesterday, one of the comment I got on Facebook was that refined sugars are bad for you. In my mind I thought that if you were going to eat nutella in the first place, sugar is probably not one of your concerns, or you are at least willing to take the risk once. Anyways, it got me thinking, and so I came up with this second version of a chocolate-hazelnut spread without sugar.

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 8 medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Here is what you do:

  1. Put your dates in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak for at least 30 minutes. Once they are soaked, remove their skins and pits. The skin removal helps having a very smooth texture.
  2. On a cookie sheet, spread the hazelnuts and roast at 350F for 10 minutes. Be careful not to let them burn: you are looking for a golden color.
  3. Take out the nuts and let them cool a little. Remove the skins by rubbing a handful together with your hands, or in a clean tea towel.
  4. In your food processor, grind the nuts until you have a fine powder. Add the dates and mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients, but not the milk, and mix well until you have a dough consistency.
  5. Add the milk little by little and mix until everything is smooth.
  6. Keep in the fridge, and try not to eat it by the spoonful.

Here you go! This recipe is even simpler than the previous one, and does not contain refined sugar, while still being yummy and decadent.

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Please don’t tell me that hazelnut and cocoa powder are bad for you, because there is a limit to what you can do to make a nutella dupe. Joking, if you have any concerns or questions let me know, and I’ll try to make something up! Also let me know if you try this out or which version you prefer!

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

A few weeks ago, my amazing sister-in-law suggested that we tried to make our own version of nutella. She really loves animals and has a special spot for primates: nutella and the palm oil it contains was a no-go for her. In case you are suddenly wondering if nutella uses primates in its ingredients, the answer is no. I’m referring to the fact that palm oil production is responsible for a big part of habitat destruction for, not only primates, but many species of animals (and plants too).  Adding to this, it also contains milk which makes it also non-vegan in a more direct way.

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So we embarked on a journey across the internet, and found some interesting, weird, simple, or very complicated recipes for a vegan hazelnut spread. We had trouble agreeing on one recipe, so we decided to call on our inner hazelnut-geniuses and mash everything together to create our own.

The result was fabulous, but the process a little bit nerve-racking as we almost had it, destroyed it, fidgeted around and finally fixed it. Here is a retake on this wonderful experimenting.

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Here is what you’ll need:

  • 200g hazelnuts
  • 200g sugar
  • 100g powdered sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 40 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • dash of vanilla extract

Here is what you do:

  1. Turn your oven to 350F. On a cookie sheet, spread the hazelnuts and let them roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn them: you want them to be a nice golden colour.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan set on medium heat, add a third of the sugar and let it melt. We are making dry caramel here: exciting! Once the first third has melted, had the second third and melt. Add the final third and let everything melt into a wonderful golden color. DO NOT STIR THIS! You can roll around the caramel in the sauce pan, but stirring it while cooking will make this die, so don’t.
  3. Spread the caramel on parchment paper and let cool completely. Pour warm water in your sauce pan immediately and let sit to make your cleaning process easier.
  4. Take the hazelnuts out of the oven and let them cool a little. Then, put them in a mesh strainer and rub them until the skins are separated. This is a good time to put some music on and dance over your sink: it is a longish process.
  5. Once your hazelnut are skin-free, place them in your food processor and process until you have a fine powder. Add the cocoa powder and the powdered sugar. Mix until combined and add the vanilla extract. Mix.
  6. Break your cooled caramel into pieces and add it to your processor. Mix for a few minutes until the mixture has a dough-like consistency and balls start to form in your food processor.
  7. Add the milk and mix until you have a thick, delicious hazelnut paste.

This recipe might look scary because of the dry caramel, but taking the time to do this really adds a nice flavour to the spread. However, because caramel is a little bit more bitter than sugar, I find it is a good idea to add powdered sugar, but you can of course adjust this to your liking. DO NOT USE MAPLE SYRUP! This is one of the ways we killed our first batch: adding maple syrup made our dough separate from the oils contained in the hazelnuts and made for a very scary looking mixture.

The solution to this: milk! You’ll want to add a little bit of liquid, and instead of using oil, almond milk gives this a more spreadable consistency. The more you add the easier it will be to spread, so you can play around with this too.

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Keep this amazing chocolaty spread in the fridge, and enjoy, by the spoonful in the middle of the night… or maybe not (but I know you will!). Let me know if you try it out!