Friday, March 2, 2012

Monkey Style Vegan Brownies

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Lately, I have been focussing on trying to reduce sugar and other processed sweeteners from my diet.  This has led me to revamp my original vegan brownie recipe to get rid of the sugar and bring in the bananas :)  I made these last night for dessert and they turned out great, so I decided to share.

3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ancho chili powder (to amp up the chocolate flavor)
3/4 c. ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 c. unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
Serving size is one 2x4 inch brownie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.  Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Add in all of the we ingredients and whisk until incorporated.  Once incorporated, stir in the chocolate chips.  Pour the batter into the baking dish and smooth into an even layer.    Bake for 15-18 minutes until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the baking dish.

Once the brownies are done baking, place them on a wire rack and tent loosely with foil.  The trick here is to keep them as moist as possible.  Let the brownies cool for 15-20 mins before eating.  Make sure to store these in the refrigerator since they have banana in them.  I like to put my brownies in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to warm them up before eating.  These brownies are moist and fudgy with the perfect level of sweetness and the slightest hint of banana.  Makes 8 huge brownies.

J.R. and I were both busy in the kitchen tonight and didn't realize that our cats (mainly Champ) had found a roll of toilet paper and proceeded to do their best to destroy it.
J.R. presenting the evidence, you can also see bits of
toilet paper all over the living room floor
in the background.

Champ's mug shot with exhibit A.  He is also not supposed to be on the table and he knows it.  So this is his, "oh crap, I'm caught!" face.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Going Bananas for....Bananas

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I have been seeing a new trend popping up online where people take frozen bananas and puree them into banana ice cream.  It looked interesting so I decided to give it a try and fell in love.  Here is my technique for how I have made this simple treat my own:

1 c. frozen banana slices from ripe bananas (brown spots are a good thing here)
2 T. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. ancho chili powder (optional)

Slice the bananas into 1/4 inch coins, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer and freeze until solid.  I like having bananas at the ready, so I usually slice up an entire bunch of bananas and keep them in a bag in my freezer.

Add the bananas, cocoa powder, and ancho chili powder in a food processor and let it rip until the mixture reaches an ice cream consistency.  Sometimes the bananas will clump into a ball in the food processor.  If this happens, just squish them down with a spoon and continue processing.

That's it!  I like mine topped with toasted almond slices.  My husband likes his with marshmallows because he says it takes like rocky road ice cream.  The best part for me is that the banana ice cream is so reach and creamy that a half cup serving is more than enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

*2 servings not including almonds

Fun Fact:
Banana peels have many useful uses
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