Healthy Fudgy Brownies – You Won’t Believe the Secret Ingredients

And the secret ingredients in these brownies are…. avocados and black beans!

Don’t leave just yet! Hear me out and you won’t regret getting in on the healthy little secret that makes these chocolatey brownies oh so tasty and good for you too. These are the perfect snack when you’re looking for a quick fix for your sweet tooth cravings, especially when you’re working hard to achieve or maintain your gorgeous muscles and/or curves. These little brownie bites can be worked into almost any diet, regardless your fitness goals. Check out my very first baking tutorial video below:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large extra ripe avocado
  • 2 tbs applesauce
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar or stevia or honey (your choice of sweetener)
  • dark chocolate chips
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. Use a blender or food processor to blend black beans and avocado into a puree consistency. Carefully add in the remaining ingredients except for the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour that black bean avocado mixture into prepared pan and fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out mostly clean.

I originally found this recipe on whatkatiesbaking.com, but she appears to have migrated the recipe somewhere else. I modified my original recipe with some of these adjustments mentioned by Ambitious Kitchen. Yum! Bon Appetit 🙂

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6 Ingredient Chickpea Blondies, Chicka-Wow!

Here’s a sweet valentines treat that won’t give you diabetes. No flour, no eggs, no problem! You definitely don’t need a valentine to share these with. They say peanut butter fills the cracks of the heart so these blondies will seal your heart right up. I absolutely encourage you to self-medicate whatever ails you with these bean-y blondies. I modified this recipe after stumbling upon Ambitious Kitchen and there was no turning back.

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These little babies contain exactly 6 ingredients, but I encourage experimentation! When I first started trying healthy recipes, I thought there was only one way to get the expected results. Now I’m a little bit older, not necessarily wiser, I realize I was absolutely right. If you don’t follow this recipe exactly to the T it will be a big frackin fail. Just kidding. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the sweetener of your choice. I used sugar-free maple syrup and a dash of vanilla.

chickpea blondie ingredients

However, you cannot make these without the main ingredient: Chickpeas! also known as garbanzo beans, also known as hummus to the cultured folks who like to dip fancy veggies and pretzels in that garlic-y goodness with the little pinky up -you know who you are. Guilty. Grab your blender or food-processor and add:

1/4 c maple sugar (can sub honey or agave syrup) brown sugar or stevia etc will also work!

2 tsp of vanilla

1/3 c natural, unsweetened applesauce

1/4 c peanut butter (can sub with nut butter of  your choice)

Combine all 4 ingredients and then slowly blend in a can of drained and rinsed garbanzo beans. I cannot emphasize “rinsed beans” enough. If you don’t rinse your beans, the end result may come out tasting, well, a little beany. I added a handful to my mini blender, blend until smooth, add a few more beans, blend again. The mixture should be a smooth hummus-like consistency. If it’s too chunky or thick, add an extra spoonful of applesauce. I don’t have a food processor, so this entire process took extra patience to blend, stir to smooth out the clumps, blend in more chick peas, repeat, repeat, repeat.

Finally pour the mixture into a greased 8X8 pan. Top with dark chocolate chips and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit. Your blondies are done when they pass the toothpick test. When the toothpick comes out clean, you’re almost ready to eat this tasty twist on baked beans. Let them cool for 10-15 minutes and you’re ready to rumble.IMG_1255

These pair nicely with a big glass of milk. Or wine. Or an entire box of chocolates because cupid is stupid. Kidding! But who needs boys when you have blondies. What are your valentines day plans? What are you guys doing on Valentine’s day?! I don’t know about you, but I’m doing legs…Valentines leg day meme

Healthy African Peanut Stew – Sweet Potato Stew

Let me tell you about my FAVORITE little healthy dish. I have an obsession with sweet potatoes that is borderline unhealthy, and that’s saying something considered these little orange gems are chocked full of healthy macronutrients.

Grab your stew pot and prepare your tastebuds for an adventure with this spicy, savory, soul-saving stew that will convert you into a sweet spud believer. Here’s what you’ll need:

sweet potato stew ingredients

Ingredients :

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

1 lb ground chicken, beef or turkey (optional) I’ve also added shredded chicken!

1 can of diced tomatoes (I like the garlic, onion and green pepper seasoned tomatoes)

~2 cups of chicken broth

1/2 cup of chopped peanuts (I buy regular peanuts and pop them in my mini blender. You can also buy chopped peanuts or cut them up by hand, but BE CAREFUL!)

1 can of black beans (optional)

a pepper (I used about a cup of mini sweet peppers)

1/4 cup of onion (not shown in this version)

a pinch of minced or chopped garlic

tsp of crushed red pepper

ground chicken

Brown your meat separately and set aside. Then cut your peppers and onions into small slices and sauté in your stew pot with a little olive oil.

mini pepperssalute peppers

While your peppers and onions are sautéing, peel and cut your sweet potatoes.sweet peppers & sweet potatoes

Next combine the sweet potatoes, diced tomatoes, black beans, and chicken broth in the stew pot with onions and peppers.
black beans

Blend your peanuts and sprinkle those crazies in along with the garlic and crushed red pepper. If you like your stew to have a nice bite with a bit of a burn, simply increase the red pepper.

blend peanuts

After the stew starts to boil, bring it down to a simmer and cover the pot with a lid.

african peanut stew

Now for the boring part, as you can see from Duncan’s adorable yawn. Let that stew simmer for about 45 minutes until the sweet potato cubes are soft and fall apart. The sweet potato will eventually turn to liquid gold if you stew it long enough. At least food gold that’s good for your gut and tantalizing to your tongue. Try not to drool.

duncan the pomeranian

45 minutes later, combine your meat with the mashed up masterpiece of sweet potato and flavors and voila! You know you want some. Now get cooking, good-lookin’ and this delish dish could be partying on your palate in no time.
easy sweet potato stewIf you’re feeling fancy you can top it off with some cilantro, for a clean finishing touch. What’s your favorite stew recipe?

Sweet Potato Burrito Bliss

Holy Guacamole! Sweet potato lovers everywhere will rejoice over this bountiful burrito packed full of flava! Praise the sweet potato gods and the burrito gods who came together in holy matrimony to create the most perfectly paired ingredients ever to be wrapped up in one tortilla. I adapted this recipe from Tali’s Tomatoes, Spicy Bean and Sweet Potato Burrito recipe. My modifications made two unbelievable burritos. Time to get a mouthful of this tasty treat. Can we give new meaning to the #belfie? Because you’re definitely going to want to take a burrito selfie with this beast of a burrito.

 Here’s what you’ll need:

1 large sweet potato

2 roma tomatoes or 1 regular tomato

1/2 onion

1/2 green pepper (or whatever you prefer, I used 3 mini sweet peppers)

1 lime

1 avocado

crushed red pepper (optional)

cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

2 whole wheat tortillas

spinach or lettuce

Directions:

Peel and cut your sweet potato into small cubes. Pop those cubes into a sauce pan and cover them with water. Heat them up on high until the water is boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cover the pan. Simmer the sweet papas for about 20 minutes. During those 20 minutes, wash and cut your veggies, onion, tomato, and peppers ( I added some green onion). Spray down a skillet and toss the veggies in to sautee a couple minutes before your sweet potatoes are ready.  sweetburrito

Next, cut and gut your avocado. Mash that green flesh up and sprinkle in a handful of the fresh diced tomatoes and a little bit of onion to make your homemade guacamole burrito topping. Cut the lime in half and squeeze one half into the guacamole mixture. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper to taste.

Back those sweet, savory potatoes. Drain the water from the sauce pan and add your sweet potatoes to the sautéed veggies. The potatoes should be soft and mashable at this point.

burritoingredients

Add in 1/2 a can of black beans and stir the mixture around your pan until well combined. The soft sweet potatoes should be slightly lumpy, but easily mix in with the rest of your ingredients. Squeeze the remaining half a lime over the colorful combination along with a sprinkle of red crushed pepper, salt and pepper.

sweet potato burrito mash

You’re so close to sweet potato paradise. Warm up a whole wheat tortilla. I used the 10′ tortilla size, best for big bellied appetites like mine. Using a spatula, I spread half of the sweet potato mash mixture in the middle of the tortilla and topped with fresh cut cilantro and spinach. Add a generous portion of homemade guac and roll that sucker up. You should have enough for two burritos. One for now and one for later, or if you want to share the sweet potato love, give one to your burrito bestie.

sweet potato burrito

Savor the burrito bliss before it’s gone! Mine lasted all of 5 flavorful minutes. I was so eager to dig in, i didn’t even bother to take a closeup of the final product, but you can check out a NSFW picture from Tali’s Tomatoes. This burrito is to DIE for. Let me know if you have more sweet potato or burrito recipes for me to try in the comments section! Don’t forget to follow up your burrito with a seasonal dessert like this crustless pumpkin pie.

Jump Around, Get Up, Get Up & Get Down!

Have you ever stumbled across something that has been around forever, but when you discover it you have this moment of awakening? That “this is the greatest thing in the world, where have you been all my life” moment? Well I’ve recently been banging my head against a metaphorical wall trying to come up with new ideas to make my workouts suck less because let’s be honest, we all will eventually reach that lull where working out is much more of a chore than it used to be.

I decided I wanted that high I get from doing Sean T’s Insanity, but I wanted to do it at my gym without looking like I’m having some sort of medical emergency. So I turned to the ever-efficient Internet to find some circuit workouts, and what I came across… was pure Peanut Butter gold.

A fellow fitness blogger, who runs the blog Peanut Butter Fingers and happens to be a personal trainer has generously shared not one, not two, but 22 circuit workouts for anyone to enjoy. And they are enjoyable.

This Jump Rope & Abs circuit was a great starter. I moved onto the Burnin’ Legs & Abs circuit and the bond intensified. I gave a shot at designing my own circuit routine and this workout will warm you right up. Perform all exercises back-to-back with no breaks, rest at the end and repeat the process from the beginning (aiming for at least 4 times through. You can do the circuit up to 7 times if you can handle the heat)

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This week was a workout struggle because of a common cold that depleted my energy and zapped my hydration, so I rounded out my diet with this vegan African Peanut Stew and although the sore throat and snuffy sinuses are still lingering, the stew tasted magically nutritious! Please share your favorite recovery food that you turn to when you’re sick! Do you have a secret remedy that works every time?

Pumpkin Face!

All my pumpkin people unite! Fall is the best time to eat everything pumpkin flavored. We don’t even have to feel bad because it’s a vegetable.

So I needed to find a healthy pie, and Chocolate Covered Katie holds all the answers to the dessert universe. I found this healthy crustless pumpkin pie recipe and you can imagine my reaction>>>

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Just kidding! That was my reaction when the pumpkin puree spattered all over my face, shirt and the kitchen because I had to pry it open as a result of a wacky can opener.

Did I mention I love pumpkin?image-1

Anyways, I used this amazing recipe with a few modifications (blended up some rolled oats to make oat flour, brown sugar because I can’t afford the expensive substitutes, and extra milk instead of oil).

So here’s what goes into this tasty treat:

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice ( I added extra cinnamon because I didn’t have any pumpkin pie spice)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup flour (You can sub your favorite version of flour but Coconut flour won’t work according to Katie)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (You can also sub this for your sugar substitute of choice including agave, stevia, honey, ect.)
  • 2 nunaturals stevia packs, or 2 extra tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 3/4 cup of milk (1 cup if you leave out the oil like I did)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp ground flax/cornstarch (I completely omitted this one)
  • 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and blend all your dry ingredients and pumpkin puree in a large bowl. Add the milk, oil and vanilla extract and stir until smooth. Pour the mixture into your greased pie pan and pop it in the oven for about 35 minutes!

pumpy piePull it out to cool. post bake

After it’s cool, put it in the fridge to set for an additional 6 hours for the best consistency.

You really can have your pie and eat it too! Share your favorite fall recipe in the comments below so I can try it out 🙂

Legs and Eggs – Egg Bake Recipe

I workout So after this leg day workout that included, static squats, one legged lunges, calf raises, leg curls, leg extensions, human can crusher presses and more leg curls, oh yeah and this cardio>>>https://vine.co/v/hvabHT7ATvt

Anyways, after I demolished that leg workout, *insert sassy booty pic here* I went home to eat a post workout meal that matched my super squatastic appetite. Seriously though, do what these pictures say and you will taste the greatest egg based creation known to humankind.

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. The F stands for fabulously hot food and bodies, or Fahrenheit if you are a scientist.20130917-212921.jpg2. Spray a little 8X8 pan or whatever you have with cooking spray, or oil or butter or some sort of greasy material. 20130917-212942.jpg3. Find all the ingredients you are craving, or if you want it to actually taste good, lots of tasty veggies, 7 eggs, some kind of meat like turkey sausage, turkey bacon, turkey ham, that kind of thing, also some cheese if it fits into your dietary plan. AND BREAD> I only needed to use one piece of whole wheat bread because you rip that sh** right up.20130917-212958.jpg20130917-213009.jpg4. Take your 1-2 pieces of bread and rip it into lots of little pieces that cover the bottom of your pan, mostly. Good enough.20130917-213019.jpg5. Cook up your meats.20130917-213030.jpg6. Cut up all your veggies and mix them in a medium large sized bowl. No mixer required, hands work well 🙂20130917-213043.jpg7. Add in your eggs! I used 6 whole eggs and one additional egg white with about a tbsp of milk to make it light and fluffy. Again if you want to use mostly egg whites, don’t be afraid to make your own modifications based on your needs.20130917-213050.jpg8. Stir it up, with a fork or a spoon this time, unless you like the icky sticky egg hands. 20130917-213058.jpg9. Pour egg and veggie mixture on top of your bread shreds. Then add cooked meats on top as well as salt and pepper. Stir it up and top with some cheese (if you like the cheeses) you can leave cheese out and it won’t ruin the recipe! Unless you are from wisconsin in which case it ruins your wisconsin reputation. JK! Carry on.20130917-213115.jpg10. Cover with tinfoil and put it in the oven for 30 minutes. I used a pot cover, since we didn’t have tinfoil and it still turned out EGG-selently. Take the cover off after 30 minutes and sprinkle some fresh cheese over the top then give it 5-10 more minutes to cook those huevos all the way through.

20130917-213141.jpgClearly I was too hungry to take an after picture, but it made four servings approximately and it was thoroughly delicious and easy enough for even me with my baking inability not to ruin.

What’s your favorite post workout snack?