Easter Weekend Baking – Garbanzo flour et al!

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Baking makes me happy and it’s Easter weekend, so it’s time for Celebrating, even though we’re doing it at a distance…

I started my morning by going to Wal-Mart. I thought it was going to be easy to walk in, get the ingredients I needed, come home and bake to my heart’s content, but I was surprised to see that there was quite a long line outside the store, while a security guard allowed people in, as others walked out with their groceries. It’s the new normal….

Having not made banana bread in quite a while, I decided to make two different kinds, so I put a “secret ingredient” in one of the banana breads with walnuts; the second banana bread has macadamia nuts and chocolate chips….can’t wait to try a little piece of both.

Then while the banana breads were baking, I thought why not make the black bean brownies once again? Super easy, fast and pretty nutritious, as there is no flour involved, I whipped up the ingredients in the food processor, and when I took out the banana breads out of the oven, in went the black bean brownies for a mere 18 minutes.

In the meantime, put clothes to wash….yes, it’s a busy Saturday. Then thought…..it would be great to have some homemade cookies, as I haven’t made oatmeal cookies in such a long time, so rummaging through my cupboards, came up with a new recipe using 3 different kinds of flours. For the very first time, I used 1/2 cup of garbanzo bean flour, alongside 1/2 cup of apf and 1/2 cup of coconut flour, and 1 tablespoon of arrowroot to the dry ingredients.  Found a bag of orange infused cranberries, leftover walnuts, which I crushed into small pieces with the can of black beans, and put it all together, and if I say so myself, turned out pretty good! These cookies do have gluten but on a much lower scale had I just used all purpose flour. Definitely putting this recipe in the cookbook!

Happy Easter…can’t wait to cook Easter dinner tomorrow!

A Memorable Brunch – enjoying the additional last day of February 29th, 2020

I love inviting people to join me in a good meal.  Something good happens when you put great people together around a table for a meal.  There is laughter, encouragement, stories, pictures, and even fashion shows….yes, it was an Event of all Events….brunch started at 11 and guests didn’t depart till almost 7pm….the Brunch of all Brunches! And so much fun, enjoying my friends, some of which I have known for over 25 years….that’s the best part.

And the food….yes, I woke up early, so I could pop the scones in the oven…made three different kinds – blueberry-lemon, 3 cheese, and almond-pistachio scones…..I give a huge shout out to Sally’s Baking Addiction! (www.sallysbakingaddiction.com) I had not made scones in a while and ended up using one of her suggestions to Grate Frozen Butter! Yes, I did not understand that concept until I used it, and tried the scones and me, oh, my…it makes a Huge Difference! Though I did end up using almond milk instead of heavy cream and they still turned out pretty good.

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I took 2 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s organic Superfruit spread and beat it with one 8 oz. package of cream cheese, and that became a way to elevate the taste of the scones, as I did not add much sugar to them – I actually used Swerve instead, so they were not uber sweet. The cream cheese mix just added a layer of sweetness to the scones, and that really made the cheese scones shine, as they were sliced in half, with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese in the middle and a dollop of the cream cheese – talk about scone sandwich heaven! Delish.

But there was more than just scones to share….I made two different kinds of quiches – a spinach quiche and a veggie quiche.  Out of the two, I adore the spinach quiche, as it’s about 1 1/2 lbs of spinach!

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Why do I love quiche? Let me count the ways! You can have quiche for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All you need to do is heat it up and in less than a minute, accompanied by a green salad or fruit salad or a croissant, or a scone, you have a quick delicious meal that satisfies.

This is a crust-less quiche – I started making quiches without crust a few years ago, as it helps to decrease the amount of calories. Here’s the recipe for my spinach quiche:

Chop one medium onion, and cook on stovetop till translucent. Use a dash or two of sea salt and freshly grated black peppercorn as per your taste; I added a heaping tablespoon of real bacon bits. When I drained the spinach, I mixed those ingredients together.  In a separate bowl, I used 5 eggs mixed with almond milk, and an estimated two tablespoons of heavy cream, alongside 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.  Mixed all the ingredients together, placed in the ceramic pie plate, and into the oven it went for 1 hour and 15/20 minutes at 350.  You will want to not open the oven during this time, so save this for last, as typically I will bake everything first, and put the quiche to bake last.

This was so yummy….I love spinach!

You can use the same basic ingredients and then add whatever veggies you have – for the other two quiches, I used a pint of chopped portabella mushrooms, onions, bacon, and fresh broccoli, as well as shredded 3 kinds of different cheeses.   The quiches were accompanied by a green veggie salad and a fruit salad.

 

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Last but not least, I made chocolate cupcakes, using coconut oil, Swerve and maca in this outrageously light and fluffy concoction that paired with a hot cup of coffee made my tummy happy!

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I dipped the chocolate cupcakes into a hot bowl of chocolate ganache, using Venezuelan and Colombian dark chocolate, alongside a bag of Trader Joe’s chocolate chips and using almond milk to melt it all together. After visiting Whole Foods last week, a small packet of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut and Almond Butter caught my eye, and as I was looking to take the ganache to a different level, I added it in and made sure it was well incorporated. I sprinkled a little bit of organic coconut sugar on top…..I had one this morning and it was really delicious with a hot cup of Café Bustelo.

I love brunch, as there are innumerous options of what to make that can later become easy meals to put together.  What did you do on February 29th?

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Amazingly Decadently Delicious Black Bean Chocolate Brownie Recipe!

I see you drooling! Yes, and I did as well when I took out of the oven after only 18 minutes to absolutely revel in the amazing aroma of deep dark rich chocolate brownies….made from, yes, that’s right BLACK BEANS!

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I have my moments when I want something delicious and decadent…..but not highly caloric. Yes, you can have your brownie and eat it too, without having large amounts of sugar……I was amazed how delicious this came out, as I used Stevia instead.

As a neighbor and her diabetic husband are coming over for dinner, I opted to find something that I could create that wouldn’t create a spike in his blood sugar. I wanted to have a dessert…a memorable dessert that would be yummy, without leaving an impact….and just had to go looking for the recipe, as I know that I made this before, but never with Stevia.

Here’s the adjusted recipe:

1 can of drained black beans

2 tbsp. dark cocoa – use the best quality that you can find

1/2 cup ground oats – I just used the old-fashioned oats I had in the cupboard and ground them

6 packets of Stevia – the small single serve kind – this works out to be about 2 tbs. of Stevia

1/2 cup coconut oil – I buy mine at Trader Joe’s

2 tsp. vanilla – aka, “un chorrito” – get the best kind you can find and afford

1 tsp. baking powder – use the kind without aluminum

1 cup or as many chocolate chips as you like – preferably the darkest chocolate

Take all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, and process them in a food processor until well integrated.   I added in about 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips at the end and pulsed till they were well incorporated.

Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a small l 8 x 8 Pyrex dish and then spread out the mix , with the remaining chocolate chips on top.  Place the Pyrex in a 350 degree oven for a measly 18 minutes, and then wait, yes, WAIT until it is at room temperature.  You will enjoy the amazing aroma of the chocolate wafting through your home and the anticipation until you take that very first bite….

You can dress it up or leave as is….for those that are not diabetic, you can create your own Brownie go to town dessert, serving vanilla ice cream over an inch of brownie….or marinade some fruit and then pour the fruit over the brownie….even macerated strawberries and grapes on top of this brownie would go well to freshen it up a bit. You can create your own edible masterpiece, combining any fruit to this uberly delicious dessert.  Just remember to leave some for tomorrow……