Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Brownies

 

black-bean-brownies

INGREDIENTS:
– 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
– 3 large eggs
– 3 Tbsp. canola oil
– 3/4 C. granulated sugar
– 3/4 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
– 1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– Pinch salt
– 1/2 tsp. coconut or peppermint extract, optional

 

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil or coat an 8 x 8-inch baking pan or dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. Place the black beans in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.  Add the eggs, oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, coconut/peppermint extract as desired, baking powder, and salt and process until smooth.  Add 1/2 cup of the chips and pulse a few times until the chips are incorporated.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips.

4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before slicing into 2-inch squares.

Protein Hot Chocolate

Protein Hot Chocolate

hot-chocolate-protein

Ingredients:

1 C. Water

2 Tbsp. chocolate protein powder*

1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

 

Directions:

Heat water until boiling. Mix in protein powder and cocoa. Pour in mug and garnish with milk froth and dark chocolate shavings.

*I used Shakeology protein powder, with 9g. of sugar and 18 g. of protein

Frozen Grapes

Frozen GrapesFrozen Grapes

  • 1 small bunch seedless red grapes (about 1⁄2 cup)

Rinse the grapes very well and let dry on a towel. Remove the grapes from the stems and place in a resealable freezer bag. Freeze for at least 2 hours or up to1 week. Serves 1 (1⁄2 cup).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen Grapes

Banana-Nut Pops

Banana-Nut Pops

  • 4 wooden sticks or short bamboo skewers
  • 2 firm ripe bananas, peeled and halved crosswise
  • 4 12-inch squares aluminum foil
  • 1 ounce 70 percent dark chocolate, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

Directions: 

Insert a wooden stick into each banana half. Place each on a square of foil. Place the chocolate on a plate. Heat the peanut butter in a small dish in the microwave oven until barely warm but spreadable. Coat each banana half with a thin layer of peanut butter; roll in the chocolate. Wrap each banana tightly in foil. Freeze at least 2 hours or up to 2 weeks. Serves 4.

Individual Ricotta Cheesecakes

Individual Ricotta Cheesecakes

  • ricotta-cheesecake6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
  • 3⁄4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest or 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites
  • Sliced strawberries or blueberries or all-fruit jam
  • Fresh mint leaves (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners. Combine cream cheese, ricotta cheese, honey, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk together until well combined; set aside. Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture. Divide evenly among the muffin cups. Place muffin pan on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven. Cheesecakes will be puffed but will fall as they cool. When the cheesecakes have cooled, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Just before serving, top with berries or jam (1⁄2 teaspoon jam per cheesecake). Garnish with mint, if desired. Makes 10 cheesecakes.

Breakfast Ricotta Cheesecakes:  Prepare cheesecakes as above, except omit the honey, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese to cream cheese mixture. Before serving, top cheesecakes with chopped tomato and chopped fresh basil.

Ricotta Cheesecakes

Grilled Pineapple

Grilled pineapple topped with plain yogurtGrilled Pineapple

  • 1 slice of fresh pineapple, 1⁄2 inch thick
  • 1⁄2 cup plain nonfat yogurt, cottage cheese, or ricotta cheese (optional)

Directions:

Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Place the pineapple slice on the heated grill pan and cook on both sides until grill marks form and the pineapple is heated through. Transfer to a plate. Top with yogurt, if desired. Serves 1.

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled Pineapple

Granola-Topped Peaches

Serving of yogurt and granolaGranola-Topped Peaches

  • 1⁄2 cup low-fat granola
  • 1 egg white
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped almonds
  • 4 ripe but firm peaches, halved and pitted
  • 1 6-ounce container of vanilla (or plain) low-fat yogurt (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Crush granola in a plastic bag. Transfer granola to a small bowl. Add egg white and almonds to granola; mix well. Arrange the peach halves, cut sides up, in a baking dish. Mound granola mixture on top of peach halves. Bake in preheated oven about 45 minutes or until the topping

 

 

 

 

Granola Topped Peaches

Baked Apples

Baked Apples

  • Baked Apples1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 large firm baking apples, cored but not peeled
  • 1⁄2 cup apple juice or apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Plain fat-free yogurt

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Stir together the nuts, dried cranberries, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside. Place the apples in a baking dish and spoon the nut mixture into the apples. Stir together apple juice and maple syrup; pour into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake apples, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until tender, basting occasionally with liquid in dish. Cool slightly before serving. Serve with yogurt. Serves 4.