Do you guys watch Orange is the New Black? There are only a few made for TV shows I like: Breaking Bad, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. I love that show and can’t wait for Season 2! It’s a little confection that spins very human stories in a jailhouse setting. It’s uber compulsive watching. Anyway I diverge as usual from the food at hand. For MMH this spring season – sugar is the new Stevia. Sugar is ubiquitous. Even if you think you are not indulging you may be surprised by the unexpected Trojan horses that carry that little bugger.
For the past month and two weeks I have been completely sugar free, although fruit sources have not been eliminated entirely. This is the first time I have managed to do this for such a prolonged period and to be completely honest with you…falling off the wagon became a reality whilst creating a passover dessert. I cut a small slice of a dark chocolate ganache tart and quickly devoured it. The next day after a raging headache I decided that going back to my evil ways is most definitely not an option.
Over the past few weeks I have been experimenting to see if it is possible to make super tasty desserts without my friend “Mr. White’. Eating clean does not have to be boring, bland or lacking. Unfortunately it’s been pounded into our heads that sugar, dairy and refined flours need to be part of an exciting and thrilling menu. Cookies, cakes cheeses cream sauces the list goes on. So far I have managed to develop six weeks of amazingly diverse dinner, lunch and brekkie recipes without using any of these things. Do I miss sugar, dairy, coffee and refined flours? Sure. Do I feel better after not having them for prolonged period – a resounding yes!
Over the past year I suffered from headaches, bloating and joint pain that inspired this decision – most of these symptoms are now gone. I am fitter and have more energy. This period has permanently changed my culinary leanings. Does that mean no more chocolate fudge? Certainly not, all work and no play makes MMH dull. But it becomes more and more difficult to promote a lifestyle that makes many people, including myself, feel less than well.
Here is my first attempt at creating a dessert where refined sugar is absolutely NOT missed. If you have friends or family members that have diabetes, autoimmune issues, gluten egg and/or dairy sensitivity this may be a go to dessert for you. It does have a nut topping that contains coconut nectar that can eliminated, although it does add something special to this dessert as a whole. I am interested in your input. Let me know what you think about sugar and its prevalence in our culture. I personally think it needs to be put in its place and Stevia is a great start.
Aduki Bean Brownies with Cashew Coconut Fondant
1 can Eden Brand Organic Azkui Beans drained and rinsed (this saves making bean paste from scratch)
2 ripe bananas
4 sachets of organic non bitter stevia (you could use up to 6)
1/3 cup cocoa
5 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup of gluten free oat flour
3/4 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips
If you have been following MMH you know there is already a bean brownie recipe. This is an improvement on the original. I wanted something without refined sugar that was super chocolatey and moist. The original recipe was developed because my son has a dairy sensitivity. Over the past month I got to thinking – what about a recipe that contains minimal sugar….is it possible to make something that the kids will adore? Over the past year I have tried this recipe with eggs, without eggs, switching flour and sweetening methods. As you can see down below on test recipes one and two two the results varies considerably in terms of taste and texture. After a few misstep we finally have a winner. Stevia does not suit everything and I have found it tastes much better if supported by a natural sugar like banana. This recipe is super quick and easy and the results are magic.
We just got a vitamix but you can use a standard blender. Add beans, bananas, coconut oil, cocoa, salt and vanilla. Whip until uniform and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and fold in oat flour, baking powder and chocolate chips. Scoop into an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment and bake at 350 degrees until the batter looks dry (about 20 – 25 minutes). Do not over cook. Cool and remove parchment.
Cashew and Coconut Fondant inspired by Detoxinista
1/2 cup cashew nut butter
1/2 cup coconut butter
5 tbsp coconut nectar
I got this recipe from a friend on the internet for faux cadbury cream eggs (Detoxinista used maple syrup). It was soooo delicious that I knew it would make the perfect frosting for these brownies. Coconut nectar is amazing it has a glycemic index value of of 35 (low) as opposed to sugar at 60 , Agave at 42 and honey at 55. It retains much of its nutritional value. It is high in Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc and Iron and is a natural source of the vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and C. Sugar is sugar and I wanted to minimize it period – so I kept it light. Whip the ingredients together with an immersion blender. Spread on top of the brownies. You may have to pat the fondant down a bit to achieve a smooth look. Cut and serve knowing you have done your best to provide a healthy and nutritious treat. xo mmh