Friday, September 10, 2010


There are only two things better than chocolate: homemade chocolate and chocolate-dipped fruit.
Because no one should feel guilty about indulgence.
Chocolate-covered strawberries. The perfect combination of fresh, healthy sweetness and the rich pampering of chocolate. This is a more-natural way to do it, a nice alternative to running to the store to purchase vegan chocolate chips and melt them over the stove. And a great way to incorporate coconut oil into your diet. Feel free to up the super-power by using carob powder instead of cocoa.

1/2 c coconut butter/oil
1/3 c plus 1 T cocoa powder (preferably dutch-processed)
2 T agave nectar or maple syrup
1 t mint extract, optional
Strawberries for dipping

Warm the coconut to a liquid by placing the filled measuring cup into a bowl of warm-hot water. Once melted, mix together all ingredients in a new bowl. Immediately dip strawberries into chocolate and place on a plate to set. If you are really impatient, or desire a cooler temperature, pop the plate of strawberries into the freezer for a minute or two.

Don't limit yourself to strawberries! The coconuty-taste really worked well with carrots too. Like a carrot cake with coconut frosting and a chocolate bonus.

For the extra-ambitious: in place of the mint extract, add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Let the chocolate firm up, then break it into pieces over vanilla dairy-free ice cream. This WILL blow your mind.

Under the sea, they'll be no accusations, just friendly crustaceans.
If you just want some good ol' favorites, pretzels, bananas, apple slices, and vegan marshmallows will all work great.

However, less can be more. The chocolate tastes great on its own. It was just my luck that I found this cute, marine-themed candy mold.

 They might be too coconut-y to be spread with peanut butter, but might be worth a shot. Or maybe some vegan cream cheese ... I am going to stop myself here before I get carried away.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Black Bean Brownies

Prior to today, I've never made a successful vegan brownie. They would just sort of boil away in the oven, and come out hard, not very appetizing. They would still smell good, tricking my whole family into thinking they were going to have dessert that night. I have been mean to them long enough, it's time they get what they deserve. Fortunately, today is Labor Day so everyone is home to eat them so I don't have to ration myself some and test my self-control.

Low-fat, gluten-free, no white sugar =
nothing to stop me from having another ... and another.

I knew had to try these Low Fat Vegan Black Bean Brownies when I read that they were "dense, fudgey, and ultra-healthy", because I'm a firm believer that cake brownies are oxymoronic and have no place in my kitchen. And recipes with black beans always get my vote.

I'm not going to lie, they do taste like black beans. But it makes it even more delicious. Don't take my word for it, do yourself a favor and head over to Happy Herbivore to get the recipe.

First, a warning: this are really fudgey! If you want a bit more floury, add more instant oats as noted. I did not use the optional sugar, and for the first time, I followed a recipe exactly instead of personalizing it (which may or may not be why my past attempts at brownies were flops), so follow the link for the recipe. Next time I think I'll fold in some walnuts for that nutty-fudgey love.