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.

How To Not Choke On Your Resolutions

Are you a new years resolutionist? Are you one of the many who have committed to get bigger, better, faster, stronger this year?

New Years resolutions are great! But we’re already a week into the new year and who are we kidding, those goals are only meant to last two or three days, maybe four if you’re feeling ambitious, right? WRONG!

Let’s take a look at how not to fail our way out of the annual goal setting stage.

1) Step one- are you unhappy with something about your life?

  • Yes? You’re awesome, so let’s fix that!
  • No? Good for you! Keep on being awesome!

2) Large goals can be exciting to take on, but they are also much more intimidating and challenging. Break your goal down into smaller bite-sized chunks so you won’t choke on your goal…and die. It’s also beneficial to choose something that is specific and measurable like:

  • lose 2 lbs by the end of the month using healthy diet and exercise
  • cut out potato chips, or soda, or sugary cereals from your diet (just a couple of small changes at a time so you don’t go crazy and binge eat all the junk food)
  • limit eating fast food to once a week
  • not a big fan of exercise? try taking a dance class, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, or get a dog and walk it for 30 mins everyday!

3) Get going! Share your goal with family and friends to build support or if they’re skeptical and unsupportive, use their criticism as your drive to prove those cotton-headed ninnies wrong. You can always find tons of online support from sites like bodybuilding.com, or health and fitness blogs and communities. Find a friend who is really motivated to take on the journey with you! Workout buddies are the best, if thy aren’t the kind that cancel on you right before going to the gym or are sabotaging your diet 😦 with brownies and pie (unless they are these brownies!)

Are you already doing the fitness on the daily? What kind of goals are you looking to up your game this year?

Personally, I’d like to be able to do unassisted pull ups and more than one, in a row. Maybe like this:ImageAlso maybe some of these:

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So that I can ultimately do another one of these!

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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 🙂

These COOKIES are BANANAS! B-A-N-A-N-A-S, literally

‘Twas the night before Dad’s day and all through the house, I had not a single present, not even a new man blouse… I may not be the best at rhyming, but this tasty treat is too good to be true. I made it with love and a banana or two.

I’m super proud of these lines so don’t tell me they’re whack. Just make some of these easy cookies while you’re trying to get jacked!

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COONANAS, noun (ko͝o-na-na) definition: a cookie that is made from bananas

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup quick cook oats
  • cinnamon or brown sugar (amount depends on personal preference)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a medium/large bowl mash up two ripe bananas
  3. Add 1 cup of quick cook oats (you can add an egg white or a splash of milk if your mixture is too dry, or sprinkle in more oats if it’s too wet)
  4. Optional*** (you can add cinnamon, brown sugar, walnuts, almonds, dark chocolate chips etc. to boost your flavor depending on your sweetness and diet preferences)
  5. Drop and slightly flatten spoonfuls of banana dough onto a greased cookie sheet, Cook for 8-10 minutes until golden brown at the edges and voila! (makes about 12 cookies)
  6. Serve on a large plate in the shape of a smile face, for optimum enjoyment and cheer 🙂

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Don’t forget to test out your COONANAS before gifting them to someone else. Nothing says “I care and respect your healthy lifestyle, and you deserve the happiness of this tasty and nutritious treat,” like a COONANA

How was everyone’s Father’s Day? Did you do anything special, or give your dad something that tops my healthy and delicious COONANAS?Image