Vegan Double Chocolate Brownies

Vegan Double Chocolate Brownies

Vegan Double Chocolate Brownies

My friend Kim introduced me to the Dandelion Communitea Cafe, a restaurant that calls itself ” your local, organic, eco-friendly eatery”. While not being too local to me, the rest fits them perfectly. They have the most delicious assortment of vegetarian, vegan, soy free or gluten free foods that I have seen. In addition to the healthful soups and wraps, the have yummy deserts. One of which, is, a vegan brownie. After eating one, I decided that my recipe collection needed this added to it. I already had a pretty good brownie recipe that I could start with. I just needed butter and egg replacements. I already new I could use applesauce to replace the oil and flax seeds to replace the eggs. However, that combo let me with some less than stellar brownies. That will not do, so back to the drawing board. After some reading, I decided to use chia seeds for the eggs and then, with much concern, I went with avocado for the butter replacement. You know what? This brownie rocks! It has a nice cake like texture without being too dense, too fudgy. If you didn’t already know that avocado was in it, you would never guess! This post is picture proof that you won’t end up with green brownies.

vegan brownies

Pretend you see sugar and baking soda in here.

You’ll need 2 ripe avocados, whole wheat flour, chia seeds, cocoa powder, vegan chocolate chips, vanilla, sugar, baking soda and powder and some salt.

First, if your chia seeds are not already ground, you’ll have to grind them. I use a coffee grinder that I found at a thrift store. Put 2 tablespoons of chia in the grinder.

chia seeds

Put the seeds into the grinder.

Snap the cap on and grind.

grinding chia

Whirrrrr.

All done.

ground chia seeds

ground chia seeds

Is it necessary to grind the seeds? No, not really. They’ll still gel up, but you’ll just have a little crunch in your brownies. Pour the ground chia in a little dish add 6 tablespoons of water, then mix it up.

Egg replacers

Egg replacers

Let them sit while you make the batter. They’ll set up into a nice, thick gel.

Preheat your oven to 350º.  Get both ripe avocados. Cut them in half, remove the pits and scoop the pulp into your mixer bowl.

avocado

Place pulp here.

Get a fork and smash the heck out of them.

smash pulp

Smashed up

Scrape the pulp off the sides of the bowl and attach the beater to the mixer.

scrape pulp

Scrape it down

Here’s that sugar that was missing from the ingredient photo. You’ll need 3/4 cup.

cane sugar

3/4 cup of sugar

Add the sugar, chia eggs and vanilla extract to the avocado in the mixer bowl.

add eggs sugar

There’s the chia seed eggs.

Mix this for about a minute. Then, add in the salt, baking soda and baking powder.

salt, baking powder and baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of each

Add in the whole wheat flour and baking cocoa, too.

dry mix

The dry ingredients.

Mix this until it’s well combined, about a minute.

add the vegan chips

add the vegan chips

Fold in the 1/3 cup of vegan chips. (nobody is looking, toss in another handful of chips. shhh, our secret.)

fold in the chips

What avocado?

Line a 9 x 9 inch pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

Parchment lined pan

Parchment lined pan

Spread the brownie batter out evenly in the pan.

Spread the batter out

Spread the batter out

Bake at 350º for 30 to 35 minutes. Test the brownie for doneness with a couple of toothpicks. Stick them in and if they come out clean, it’s done. If something gooey is stuck to the pick, test again in a different spot, just to make sure you haven’t hit a melted chocolate chip. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then lift the brownie out, using the parchment paper. Remove the outer paper and set the brownies on a wire rack to cool some more.

let cool some more

let cool some more

Remove the last paper and cool completely.

let cool completly

let cool completely

Remove to a cutting board and cut into 12 pieces. Or, if your a brownie nut, cut it into 9 honking big pieces. Yeah, that’s better. Put a spoon of powdered sugar into a small sieve and tap the sugar over the brownies.

We call this= Making it snow!

We call this- Making it snow!

I take a little cocoa powder and sift it over them, too.

Vegan Double Chocolate Brownies

Vegan Double Chocolate Brownies

See, they’re not green from the avocado. They’re delicious from the avocado. Those little green things are packed with fiber, potassium, folate, magnesium, vitamins K and C. The chia seeds have omega 3’s and 6’s and calcium. Plus, theres all the fiber in the whole wheat flour (use whole wheat flour, please). This, my friends, is a healthy brownie. Yes, I said it – healthy!  It’s delicious, too. Make these!

Vegan Double Chocolate Brownies

Vegan Double Chocolate Brownies

Vegan Double Chocolate Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
A delightful, chocolaty, healthy treat with a surprise ingredient!
Ingredients
  • For the egg replacement:
  • 2 Tablespoons ground chia seeds
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • For the brownies:
  • 2 whole ripe avocados
  • ¾ cup natural sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup baking cocoa
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour – I used a soft white.
  • ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup vegan chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 º
  2. To make the egg replacement – place the 2 tablespoons of ground chia in a small dish. Add 6 tablespoons of water and stir to combine. Let mixture gel for 5 minutes before using.
  3. Halve the avocados and remove the pit. Spoon the avocado pulp into a medium sized bowl. The work bowl of your mixer is perfect for this. Mash the avocado on the sides of the bowl, using a fork. Scrape the sides down. Add in the sugar, egg replacement and vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
  4. Next, add in the baking cocoa, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix at medium speed for 2 minutes or well combined. Some green flecks will be visible. Fold in the vegan chocolate chips.
  5. Line a 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking oil.
  6. Spoon batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean and the brownie surface appears dry and not glossy. Test brownie for doneness in several places to ensure that the tester did not go through a melted chip. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Using the parchment paper as handles, remove brownie from pan to wire rack and cool completely. Remove parchment paper and cut into 12 regular sized brownies or 9 come to momma sized brownies. Dust with powdered sugar and cocoa before serving, if desired.

Funny thing happened during this photo shoot. I went to go let the cat out and came back to this. It’s not safe to leave these brownies out.

Who did that?

Who did that?

 

Smooth Move Smoothie

Smooth Move Smoothie

The Smooth Move Smoothie

Let’s face it, sometimes you just need to do a cleanse. Clean out the system and flush the toxins that accumulate in our bodies. This little, green, cleaning machine will do just that. It ain’t pretty but it works. It tastes good, too. The blueberries add in just the right amount of sweetness. The spinach and cucumber add the fiber. The fiber is what we’re after and this packs it in. Let’s get started, shall we?

You need one packed cup of washed baby spinach, one 5 to 6 inch cucumber, 1/2 cup of blueberries, 2 tablespoons of fresh mint, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, one cup of ice and water for thinning it out. And a blender, you’ll need a blender.

smoothie ingredients

the ingredients

Remove the stem ends of the cucumber and chop it up. Leave the peel on for that extra fiber. Unless it’s waxed. If waxed, peel it.

chopped cuke

I hate waxed produce.

Pile it all in the blender, starting with the ice. You want the ice on the bottom because that’s where the blades are. This way, it grinds the ice and forces it up through the blender, letting the softer, more easily blended stuff fall down. If you packed the spinach on the bottom, it would most likely clog up, making you tamp the rest down to blend. Got it? Good.

smoothie stuff

Ice in the bottom.

Now hit the power button. You remembered to secure the lid first, didn’t you? Nobody wants to scrape spinach off the ceiling. If the smoothie seems too thick, thin it with some more water.

Spinach smoothie

Your colon will thank you.

Bam! You’re done. Pour it into a glass, add a slice of cucumber, sprig of mint and a couple of berries. Pretty it up some. This is your friend. It will do nice things for you.

Enjoy!

Smooth Move Smoothie

Smooth Move Smoothie

Smooth Move Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: beverage
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A fiber packed smoothie, high in Vitamins A, K, folate and nutritious chia seeds. This smoothie will get you moving.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup baby spinach - packed
  • 1 medium cucumber, stems removed and chopped
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh mint
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup ice
  • ½ cup water, more if necessary
Instructions
  1. Blend chia seeds, blueberries, mint, cucumber, baby spinach, water and ice in a blender until pureed and smooth. If smoothie is too thick, thin with more water until it's your desired consistency.
  2. Serve immediately. Garnish with a cucumber slice, mint sprig and additional berries, if desired.

 

Triple Berry Chia Smoothie

Triple Berry Chia Smoothie

Triple Berry Chia Smoothie

This smoothie is berry good for you! (see what I did there?) It’s got vitamin A for healthy vision, vitamin C, for healthy everythings and vitamin K, for healthy bones and blood. By the way – here’s a little health tip for you. If you are prone to bruising or one of your kids is playing sports and getting banged up – go to the health store and buy a container of Vitamin K cream. This stuff is remarkable in lessening the duration and pain of bruising. Now, back to this very delicious smoothie!

The ingredients:

Triple berry indregients

Use organics when possible.

You’ll need 1 cup of strawberries, stemmed and quartered, 1/2 cup each of blueberries & raspberries. 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseeds. Use the ground kind, because they are easier to digest. 1 teaspoon of chia seeds. And, finally, 1 cup of ice.

3 berry chia smoothie

Soon, my pretties, soon.

Starting with the ice first, dump all the ingredients into the blender.

smoothie with berries and chia

It’s blending time.

Snap on the lid and power it up.

smoothie with berries and chia

Little specks of blueberries & chia seeds.

Pour it into a nice glass, garnish with a big strawberry and drink a toast to your health!

3 berry chia smoothie

Sláinte!

 

Triple Berry Chia Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A berry filled smoothie packed with Vitamins A, C, K, Manganese, and all the nutrition of flax and chia seeds
Ingredients
  • 1 cup strawberries- stems removed and quartered
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1 cup ice
Instructions
  1. Blend chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and ice in a blender until pureed and smooth.
  2. Serve immediately. Garnish with additional berries, if desired.

 

Strawberry watermelon chia smoothie

Summer time means that your market is bursting with all manner of fresh fruit. Sometimes it can be hard to eat the recommended 2 to 4 servings of fruit and the 3 to 5 servings of vegetables we’re supposed to, each and every day. A serving is usually 1 cup full or in the case of leafy greens – 2 full cups. That’s a lot of chewing! Smoothies are the answer to our dilemma. You can maximize your use of fresh fruits and veggies while available AND get in those servings that you need. Also, since this smoothie is under 150 calories, you can feel good drinking it.

Strawberry watermelon chia smoothie

Pretty smooth.

Now, for the short version of smoothie making. What you need –

Strawberry watermelon chia smoothie ingredients

2 full servings of fruit!

You need 1 cup of strawberries, cut off the stems and slice into quarters. Or just chunk them in the blender whole. I won’t tell. Working on the red fruit theme, 1 cup of cubed, seedless watermelon is necessary. Add in 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds – I used golden flaxseeds, and 1 teaspoon of chia seeds. Yes, those chia seeds. The chia seeds of the Chia Pets fame. Cha-cha-chia! Oh, you know you said it, too! Turns out, these little things are good for you.                                                                                  The info from this website -“Chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds’ lipid profile is composed of 60 percent omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids — specifically, of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. The omega-3s in chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol.”  So, eat up!

Strawberry melon chia smoothie

Coming right up!

Into your blender, start with 1 cup of ice. Then, dump the rest of the ingredients in. Secure the lid in place and push the power button. Watch the pretty swirly colors.

Strawberry melon chia smoothie

It’s like the Tilt a Whirl!

As soon as it’s blended to your preference, pour into glasses and serve. It’s that easy.

Strawberry melon chia smoothie

Fruit is your friend.

Strawberry watermelon chia smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A vitamin C packed smoothie, rich in omega-3s, fiber and all the health benefits of chia seeds.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup strawberries- stems removed and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1 cup ice
Instructions
  1. Blend chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, watermelon, strawberries and ice in a blender until pureed and smooth.
  2. Serve immediately. Garnish with additional berries, if desired.
organic strawberries

Fresh Driscoll’s organic strawberries