Vegan Carob Brownies

Made with whole grains & healthy fats!

I’ve seriously been craving chocolate recently, but with my caffeine sensitivity it’s just not a practical choice. Chocolate gives me major jitters, bad skin, & messes with my sleep. Luckily, I really love baking with carob. It doesn’t replace the taste of chocolate, but it has a lovely roasted/sweet/nutty flavor that is unique, delicious, & really satisfies chocolate cravings!

Ingredients: 

2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour (I used King Arthur)

3/4 cup Roasted Carob Powder (I use Australian Carob Company)

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 cup Extra Virgin Avocado Oil

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 cups Cane Sugar

1 cup water

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350°

In a large bowl, beat together your oil, sugar, vanilla extract, & water with a hand mixer

In a second large bowl, stir together your whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, and carob powder

Pour the bowl of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients

Use the hand mixer to combine until there are no lumps left

Pour the batter into a 9×13 baking pan and evenly smooth

Bake for around 22 minutes (I like mine fudgy in the center, but keep an eye on them and bake to your doneness preference!)

Let them sit for a few hours before enjoying for their consistency to be ideal

Enjoy on their own or with a scoop of ice cream!

Whole Wheat 2-Banana Muffins

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You only need 2 bananas!

I don’t know about you, but any time I’m in need of a good banana recipe, it’s when I’ve gotten down to those last couple of brown and spotty ones.  I rarely have a whole big bunch on hand as I’ve usually eaten the first few as a snack or in my oatmeal.

Voilà!  This recipe makes between 6-8 muffins depending on how large your bananas are.

Ingredients:

2 bananas (just on the verge of being too ripe…starting to get some brown speckles)

Just under 1/2 cup sugar (I used cane sugar)

1 cup white whole wheat flour (such as King Arthur White Whole Wheat)

1 egg

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (almost melted)

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

A pinch of salt, around 1/4 teaspoon

1 teaspoon baking soda

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Add your muffin liners to the muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine your bananas & the sugar with a fork, then whisk together once combined.

Whisk in the egg, melted butter, & vanilla.

In a smaller bowl, stir together your dry ingredients: the flour, baking soda, & salt.

Add the combined dry ingredients to the wet ingredients & whisk until batter is evenly combined.

Add the batter to the lined muffin tin. Fill them just below the tops so they have room to expand

Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (I always choose to undercook ever so slightly)

Enjoy!

 

Notes:

While they’re delicious the day of baking, beyond the first 24 hours I recommend storing these in the fridge.  When ready to eat, pop in the microwave for 10 or 15 seconds, top with butter if you so desire, and they’re back to their “just out of the oven” soft warm form!

Whole Wheat Caramel Pretzel Blondies

Whole Wheat Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies! I’m all about salted caramel. It’s truly one of the best flavors out there! The secret to these blondies is the caramel syrup. It’s meant as a coffee flavoring syrup, but when poured over the top of these blondies it gets all soaked in over 24 hours & makes them perfectly moist!  


Ingredients:

1 & 1/4 cups crushed mini pretzels

1 cup light brown sugar, slightly packed

1/2 cup cane sugar2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 & 1/2 cups flour (I use King Arthur Flour White Whole Wheat!)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup Joe’s Organic Syrup – Caramel Syrup 

Pinch of sea salt

 


Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9×13 pan with butter or your preferred ingredient.

Take your mini pretzels, add them to a sealed ziplock bag & crush them. I use the bottom of a can on an angle! The pieces should be very small. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat the butter & sugars on a low setting until combined. Add in the eggs & vanilla extract.

In a small bowl stir together the flour, baking soda & salt with a fork or whisk.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using either the low beating setting or stirring.

Stir in the broken pretzels with a spoon.

Spread the batter into the greased pan & bake for around 23 minutes OR until the edges are just turning golden. I usually keep mine on the undercooked side. 

Let fully cool.

Slowly pour the caramel syrup evenly over the blondies. Sprinkle a TINY pinch of sea salt over them evenly as well. 

Ideally they should sit for about 24 hours until the syrup has completely soaked into the blondies as you don’t want the liquid sitting on top. It’s worth the wait!

Enjoy! 

Carob Cookie Dough Blondies

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Anyone else not able to eat chocolate?! My hormones are so super sensitive that caffeine of any kind is off the table for me.  One thing that I’ve had the hardest trouble letting go of is chocolate chip cookies, blondies, & brownies.

This blondie mix from Namaste Foods is so delightful to make with carob for the ultimate healthy dessert.  It’s so versatile.  If you want to bake it with butter & eggs you can.  If you’re vegan & want to use oil & their fabulous egg replacer they’re just as delicious.  I opted for the oil & egg combo with a chopped carob bar to replace the chocolate chips.  Oh man!  They taste like cubes of cookie dough & I can’t get enough of them!

Bonus!  Their mixes are free of the 8 most common allergens!  This mix is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, peanut free, tree nut free, & more.

 

Ingredients:

1 box Namaste Foods Blondie Mix

1 cup canola oil

3 eggs

1/2 cup hot water

1 carob (or chocolate!) bar chopped into fine chunks

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine eggs, oil, & hot water.

Whisk in blondie mix until all lumps are gone.

Grease a 9×13 inch pan with a little of your oil.

Bake for around 35 minutes (slightly underdone for cookie dough texture).

Let cool & enjoy!

Cocoa Banana Marble Breakfast Loaf

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Who’s feeling dessert for breakfast?!  This vegan loaf is the consistency of a light pound cake, with hints of chocolate & banana on top.

If you do not eat chocolate or caffeine, you can easily substitute in carob powder for the cocoa to get a similar flavor.  Make sure you head on over to Karen’s Naturals for some of their tasty and versatile freeze-dried bananas (& more)!

 

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2/3 cup of a protein-filled plant milk, such as Orgain Protein Almond Milk

1/2 cup Earth Balance Soy Free Margarine 

1 1/2 cups cane sugar

3/4 cup So Delicious Plain Coconut Yogurt 

2 tablespoons (at least) cocoa powder

1 handful of Karen’s Naturals Just Bananas

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on low to combine the Earth Balance & sugar. Slowly beat in the yogurt.

In a second smaller bowl, combine the flour & baking powder, then beat the mixture into the large bowl.

In a third smaller bowl, combine the almond milk & vanilla, then beat the mixture into the large bowl.

Remove a little of the batter, about a ½ cup, to another bowl and mix the cocoa powder into it to make a small amount of chocolate batter.  Chop up a few of the Just Bananas to taste, and stir those into the chocolate batter.

Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

Pour the vanilla batter into the pan. Then add the chocolate batter on top of the vanilla. Use a toothpick or knife to marble the chocolate in.

Bake for around 50-60 minutes, checking until a toothpick comes out clean.

Store the loaf covered in the fridge after the first day, & eat within about 5 days.

 

Notes:

-If you find you prefer a higher ratio of chocolate to vanilla, simply scoop out a larger quantity of the batter to mix with some additional cocoa powder & Just Bananas.

-If using a larger quantity of Just Bananas, compensate by adding an extra splash of plant milk to keep them from absorbing too much of the batter’s moisture as they are freeze-dried.

Enjoy!

Iced Lemon Cake

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I am such a huge fan of all things lemon.  Our wedding cake had three tiers; Vanilla, Cinnamon, & Lemon.  The lemon was the winner by a landslide in our book!  My grandmother-in-law also makes the most fabulous Italian lemon cookies.  I was eating them by the dozen over our holiday visit in December!

For my husband’s birthday, I whipped up this simple lemon cake that doubles as dessert or breakfast.  The glaze is a perfect textural combo with the light cake-y texture.  You can easily sub in your favorite egg & butter substitutes.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups cane sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I love King Arthur’s)

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon zest

For the glaze:

I cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

 

Directions:

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low, combine the butter, sugar & lemon zest.

Beat in the eggs.

Beat in the lemon juice.

In a separate small bowl, stir together the flour & salt.

Slowly beat the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.

Grease a 9 inch square pan with a speck of butter & pour the batter in.

Bake for around 35 minutes…Keeping an eye on it until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

For the glaze:

Simply stir together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, & the lemon zest in a small bowl.

Wait until the cake has cooled to spread the glaze evenly across the top.

To let the glaze solidify, it’s best to let it sit & harden for a few hours.

Enjoy!

 

 

Maple Granola Clusters; For Red, White, & Blue Parfaits

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As a former New Englander, I’m very picky when it comes to maple syrup! Only the good stuff please! Catskill Provision makes THE tastiest syrup that is all natural & perfect for baking.

If you prefer making your own granola like me, maple syrup is a perfect binding ingredient to get those great clusters we all love. This granola base is perfect for adding in any of your favorite accompaniments like dried fruits, nuts, seeds, or chocolate!

It tastes amazing plain as an on-the-go snack, tossed into oatmeal or snack bars, or in these Red, White, & Blue Parfaits! Happy 4th of July everyone!

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Ingredients:

½ cup pure maple syrup

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

¼ cup light brown sugar

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

a sprinkle of sea salt

1 egg white (optional if you’re not vegan) – It helps bind extra large clusters!

Add-ins of your choice – I went with chopped sliced apricots & cinnamon-roasted pumpkin seeds – You could also used almonds, peanuts, raisins, dark chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, dried apples, or walnuts!

 

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees.

Stir the oats, add-ins, salt, brown sugar, syrup, & olive oil together.

If using the egg white for extra clusters beat 1 egg white in a separate small bowl until frothy, then gently stir into granola mixture until evenly coated.

Spread the mix onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. (The paper makes it much easier to break the clusters apart after cooling.)

Bake for about 1 hour, or until golden brown & no longer wet.

After letting it cool completely, use your hands to break apart the sheet into clusters as small or large as you like!

For Red, White, & Blue Parfaits take a small glass and alternate handfuls of granola, greek yogurt (I use plain since the granola & berries are sweet, but use any variety you like!), & blueberries/strawberries/raspberries/blackberries. (I love the strawberry/blueberry combo.)

Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

I’m a big believer in using whole grains whenever possible in my baking.  It outranks all-purpose flour in its fiber content, vitamin content, & its more stabilizing effect on blood sugar.  I honestly feel like they give my baked goods a richer taste as well, & am a life-ling convert!

I can never get enough of fall flavors year round, & this pumpkin bread is such an easy way to transport me back to my favorite season.  Whether it’s for an easy breakfast on the go, an afternoon coffee-time companion, or an after-dinner treat, this bread is the perfect way to pack some vitamin A into your day!

Ingredients:

3 cups whole wheat flour (I really like the organic “white-whole wheat” variety from King Arthur Flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs (or your favorite vegan substitute)

2 cups canned pumpkin

1 1/2 cups canola oil

Just under 2 cups of cane sugar (or other variety of your choice)

1.5 or 2 cups of chocolate chips (depending how chippy you like it!) . If you’re not a chocolate fan, it tastes just as delicious plain!

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl

Beat the wet ingredients together in a large second bowl

Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients

Stir in the chocolate chips

Split the mixture between 2 greased loaf pans

Bake for between 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean

Enjoy!

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Mint Chip Fudge Brownies

Happy Valentines’ Day to all!

If you’re looking for decadent chocolate you’ve come to the right place!  If you were ever a fan of mint chip fudge or ice cream, these will be right up your alley.  The brownie layer on the bottom is chocolatey and dense, and the mint chip icing on the top hardens into a silky sweet fudge layer.  You’re going to love them!

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Ingredients:

For the brownies:

3/4 cup canola oil

just under 1 cup light brown sugar

just under 1 cup white cane sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon peppermint flavor (I use the one from Simply Organic made from sunflower oil and peppermint oil)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups cocoa powder

a sprinkle of sea salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the icing:

1 stick butter (or 1/2 cup shortening for a dairy-free version!)

4 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1/8 cup water

3 teaspoons peppermint flavor

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup chocolate chips

 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Grease a 9×13 glass pan

Beat the canola oil, brown sugar, and white sugar together on a low setting

Beat in the eggs on a low setting

Beat in the peppermint flavor and vanilla on a low setting

Beat everything together on a higher setting and then stir in the chips

Move into your pan and bake for around 25 minutes (start checking them around 20 minutes so you don’t overcook them)

After you have removed them from the oven and let them cool, you can make & add the icing:

Let the butter get to room temperate, and then beat it into a light consistency

Slowly beat in the powdered sugar

Beat in the water

Beat in the peppermint flavor and vanilla extract

Stir in the chips

Spread overtop of the brownies

Optional but suggested: Move the brownies into the refrigerator to solidify into a fudge-like consistency /// Then before eating, either remove them for a few minutes if you do not like to eat them cold, or enjoy right out of the fridge!

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