Chocolate Pavlova {Vegan}

What the heck is a pavlova?  That’s probably what you’re thinking right now.  Well, my dear friends it’s a magically delicious dessert that tastes like a cloud.  A chocolate cloud, but nevertheless a cloud.  It’s basically a meringue cake.  To construct one, you start with a meringue base and then slather loads of whipped cream and berries on top and PRESTO your pavlova is done.  Personally, I’m obsessed with the chocolate ones, but the plain old vanilla ones are delicious too.   IMG_8934.JPG

IMG_8927Your next question is probably something along the lines of: But Kat, meringues are made of egg whites, how can a pavlova possibly be vegan?  One word: Aquafaba.  I talked a little bit about aquafaba in my You Had me at Chocolate Cake post and my failed attempt at making chocolate frosting with it.  Since then, I’ve discovered a world of even more possibilities with the strange liquid and have come back ready to conquer the baking world.  For those of you who don’t know what it is, or who didn’t read my post on it, aquafaba is simply put, bean juice.  It’s the leftover liquid that you have when you open a can of chickpeas and although it doesn’t sound all that appetizing or like it would fit into baked goods, this stuff is vegan gold.  When beat, aquafaba fluffs up just like egg whites and can be used almost identically.  The best part is that it doesn’t even taste like chickpeas (because, ew, who wants that in their brownies?)!

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So today’s pavlova contains 0 egg whites and all the magical bean juice known as aquafaba.  Trust me, you’re not even going to miss the egg whites.

Chocolate Vegan Pavlova

Ingredients

  • 1 cup aquafaba (about the amount left in one 15 ounce can of chickpeas)
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (if you can’t find any, you can always grind your own in a food processor)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • a pinch of salt
  • Toppings (strawberries, chocolate, blueberries, nuts, etc.)

FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM:

  • 1 15 ounce can of coconut milk refrigerated overnight
  • 2 tablespoons vegan powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 300 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Beat the aquafaba in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment for about 5 minutes or until peaks begin to form.
  2. Once whipped, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time while continuing to whisk until the mixture forms glossy peaks.
  3. In a small separate bowl, mix together the cream of tartar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, vinegar, and salt.  With the mixer running slowly add the cocoa mix to the aquafaba.
  4. Using a spatula, divide the meringue mixture onto the preprepared pan into four even circles.  It’s okay if they aren’t the prettiest at first, you can shape them with the spatula.
  5. Place in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 250 degrees.  Allow to bake for an hour to an hour and a half until the meringues make a nice thump noise when gently tapped.
  6. Once baked, turn the oven off and allow the meringues to cool completely inside the oven.
  7. While the meringue is cooling, open up the can of refrigerated coconut milk.  Pour out the liquid and scoop the solid coconut cream out into a medium bowl.  Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract (if using).  I personally think that the almond extract adds another layer of flavor that you don’t get without it, but it’s not required for this recipe.  With a hand mixer beat the ingredients until fully combine and the mixture appears to be the same consistency as whipped cream, about three minutes.
  8. Once the meringue is cooled carefully peel it off of the parchment paper and place it on a serving plate.  Spread a layer of whipped cream on top of it and sprinkle your desired toppings.  Place the next meringue on top and repeat.  Repeat this process until you have no meringue left.
  9. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Black Bean Brownies

Before you get all mad at me for being gone for almost a month (I know, I know, I’m so sorry), just look at these brownies.  If you’re still mad, keep looking until you aren’t anymore.  I mean, we’ve got tons of more important things to talk about then me being gone for a month (yikes, again I’m sorry), firstly brownies, and secondly- um did you read that last word? BROWNIES!

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So yep, I’m jumping on the black bean in brownies wagon.  I mean, why not?  They’re brownies- but with tons of protein, so they’re basically an expectable lunch, right?

Per usual, these delicious bites of heaven are vegan, as well as mouth watering.  They’re packed with protein and are only 55 calories per square.  If that’s not a major win, I don’t know what is.  IMG_8402
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Black Bean Brownies

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 25
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 flaxegg (1 tablespoon flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 8 by 8″ pan and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor blend the black beans, flaxegg, sugar, melted chocolate chips, and vanilla until mixed.  It’s okay if it looks like there are a few black bean chunks.  The mixture should somewhat resemble refried beans.
  3. Add the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt to the blended bean mixture and pulse until combined to form a batter.
  4. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 8-12 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting and enjoying

 

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Teff Flour Banana Bread

For me, bananas are one of the most conflicting foods.  I have no idea whether I like them or not.  I like them in some things like these killer banana pancakes, but other foods with bananas like smoothies make me want to gag.  Don’t even get me started on banana flavored candies, those things are so gross.

Banana bread, however, falls into the first category.  I love banana bread- no I worship banana bread.  Whenever I make it I almost always end up eating the entire loaf in one sitting.  Now you may be thinking that that’s okay because banana bread has a reputation for being pretty ‘healthy’.  This is false.  It’s often times loaded with tons of sugars and unhealthy oils.  It’s very deceiving.  IMG_8227

This is where my recipe comes into play.  It doesn’t have any sugar and yet it still has that classic sweet taste that all banana bread needs.  It also contains one of my favorite healthier flours- teff.

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You’re now probably thinking what the heck is teff flour, so here’s the rundown.  Teff is an Ethiopian grain that is packed with iron and minerals.  It’s supposed to do wonders for runners, which is just a bonus for me on top of it’s fantastic flavor.  You can cook the grain plain, which I do do sometimes, or you can use the flour to bake it into things like this banana bread.  Either way, it’s nutritious and delicious.  If the idea of teff flour freaks you out, you don’t necessarily have to use it for this recipe, but I would give it a try, you might just be surprised.

Teff Flour Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup teff flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 very ripe bananas (the browner the better)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup pecans, walnuts, chocolate chips, etc. (pecans are my favorite add in!)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a bread pan of your choice.
  2. In a medium sized bowl mash the bananas.  Add the maple syrup, oil of your choice, and milk, stirring until combined.
  3. Add the baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to the bowl and blend.  Sprinkle the two different types of flour on top and fold into the mixture until a batter forms. Throw in whatever add ins you chose and mix together.
  4. Fill the prepared bread pan and bake for 55 minutes – 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool for longer.  I absolutely love cutting a slice while it’s still a little warm and spreading a huge glob of cream cheese (I love Kite Hill’s) on top, but that’s just me.  Hope you enjoy!

Note: Recipe is adapted from Cookie and Kate’s Banana Bread

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Saturday Stroll #4

A couple weeks ago I woke up with the urge to walk.  When this happens normally I take Hazel on a nice stroll through our neighborhood and satisfy that craving.  But this time, said craving was taking place at 5:45 in the morning and I knew for a fact that Hazel was still snoozing away (she tends to sleep in until 7:30 what a diva).  So I did the first thing that I could think of, I snatched up my camera, laced up my shoes and headed out the door.

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The sun had just risen and the raindrops from the previous night’s storm shone in the morning light.  There were no cars on the road and the world was silent with only the sound of the birds singing their pretty song.  It was almost as if it was summer already. It was perfect.

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I know that I’ve been MIA lately, so I apologize.  Don’t worry, though, I’ve got plenty of recipes in the works for the coming weeks so you better get ready.  I hope that the following photos of my town at the crack of dawn will hold you over until next week when I will post a recipe.  You guys are gonna want to get ready for said recipe, it’s delicious and arguably one of my favorites that I’ve ever created.

But that’s next week, let’s stay focused on the morning at hand.
IMG_8031IMG_8055IMG_8078IMG_8072This picture is honestly my favorite out of all of the ones I took, the contrast between the sky and the shadows of the tree just make it seem so mysterious.  You guys will definitely be seeing it again sometime soon!
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The Best Single Muffin Recipe

I know I know, I posted a muffin recipe last weekend, but hear me out.  This muffin recipe is completely utterly totally different from the last one.  Well- maybe not that different but they definitely are not the same recipe.  For starters this recipe only makes a single muffin.  Yep, you read that right, no leftovers no overeating just you and your one single muffin.

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I decided to go with this type of recipe this weekend after desperately trying to find something that I could make for breakfast with only 1 tablespoon of butter in my fridge.  Needless to say, I need to go to the store.  But that’s off topic, let’s get back to the situtation right in front of us- breakfast.

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This muffin is perfectly fluffy with the perfect amount of crunch that the outside needs.  The blueberries I added as my filling meld perfectly into the mixture and create beautiful swirls of color.  This recipe would work well with just about any filling, but I have a special weak spot for blueberry muffins, which is why I chose them for this recipe.  Give me a sunny morning, a blueberry muffin, and I’ll be one happy camper!

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The Best Singular Muffin

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • a scant 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons blueberries (or whatever filling you prefer)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a ramekin with a single muffin liner and set aside
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, blueberries, and salt.
  3. In another small bowl mix the melted butter, sugar, milk, and sour cream.  Add this to the dry mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin liner and place in the oven for 5 minutes before lowering the temperature to 400 and baking for another 12.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before eating.

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Raspberry Lemon Glaze Muffins {Vegan}

Lemon seems to be the go to summer flavor.  I feel like there’s just something about the bright yellow citrus that just channels the warmth and sunshine that those seasons bring, so whenever I want it to be warm I like to include a little bit of the sunshine-y fruit in my baking.

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IMG_7903Today I was feeling like summer wasn’t going to be coming anytime soon so I snatched up a lemon from my fridge and set to work.  These muffins are super fluffy and taste like what I would imagine summer to taste like.  The raspberries perfectly accent the lemon glaze and add beautiful speckles of red throughout the muffin.

Since it’s Mother’s Day this weekend, I thought I would make something that’s portable so that you can bring it with you to that Mother’s Day picnic or when you’re visiting your mom at her house.  Muffins are also the perfect on the go breakfast.  Whip up a batch the night before and then grab one on your way out the door.  Maybe you’ve got a long drive ahead of you, these muffins have got you covered.  There really are no flaws to the logic, and they taste pretty dang delicious if I do say so myself.   IMG_7907IMG_7913IMG_7918IMG_7919

As with a lot of my recipes recently, these are 100% vegan, but you definitely don’t have to be vegan to make them.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that these muffins taste better then a non-vegan version would.  Yep, I said it.  The coconut oil used in place of a butter type substance adds a certain texture that I just don’t think you can get without it.  If you don’t believe me, make these muffins and see for yourself!

Raspberry Lemon Glaze Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 flaxeggs (2 tablespoon flaxseed mixed with 6 tablespoon water)
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 lemon’s worth of lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cupcake tin with 5 cupcake liners or spray it with nonstick cooking spray
  2. Beat the coconut oil and sugar together in either a stand mixer or with a electric hand mixer until combined.  Add the flaxeggs.
  3. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt.  The mixture will look a little bit like wet sand.
  4. Add the milk and raspberries and mix until a batter forms.
  5. Divide the muffin batter evenly among the five liners and then bake for 20 minutes until slightly golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.  Allow to cool before glazing.
  6. While the muffins are cooling combine the powder sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl.  If the glaze seems too runny add more powdered sugar.  If it seems to not be coming together very well add a couple drops of water.
  7. Glaze your muffins and enjoy!

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Breakfast Quinoa

I know, I know mangos and quinoa?  How does that go together?  Well it doesn’t really, but I don’t care.  I love mangos and I love quinoa and this morning I wanted both quinoa and mangos, so please forgive my odd choice of breakfast.IMG_7861

This recipe however, is not odd at all.  If you make just the quinoa, (and leave out the mangos if you have some unreasonable bias against them) then your tastebuds will be in breakfast heaven.  Quinoa is like a 10 times healthier version of oatmeal.  Well maybe not 10 times, but it’s definitely healthier.  Quinoa is just packed with omegas and protein and tastes oh so good.

I know that I say that almost every recipe is simple to make, but this one really is.  All you have to do is pour some ingredients in a pot and let it cook.  That’s it!  How hard could that be?

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I don’t know about you guys, but this recipe is now one of my healthy breakfast favorites. The perfect way to kickstart my day!

Breakfast Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut sugar (optional)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of each topping of your choice

Directions

  1. Pour the quinoa, almond milk, cinnamon (if using), and coconut sugar (if using) into a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Allow to come to a low simmer and then cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Pour the cooked quinoa into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings. I put raisins and pecans on mine, but this recipe works with just about any toppings.

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