Thursday 26 February 2015

World's Healthiest Blondies

Ahhh the blondie.

As I mentioned in my World's Healthiest Brownies post... these needed to happen. A HEALTHY BLONDIE?!?! OH MY GAAASSSHHH,

This was crucial because #1 despite my chocolate preference I actually like blondies just a smidge more than brownies. I know, sacrilegious!

And #2 so many healthy blondie recipes include CHICKPEAS. Now don't get me wrong. Home girl loves me some chickpeas. I am Middle Eastern after all and apparently we love hummus. I actually never ate hummus growing up but if the people say we love hummus then I'll be damned to disagree.

BUT too many beans/peas/legumes make my tum tum extremely unhappy and for whatever reason I always seem to over do it. Like with the black bean brownies I made. I think I ate them all. I also made chickpea blondies and while they were delicious they were kind me. Maybe I made them wrong, but I decided to make up my own anyways. ALSO there are these bean chips called Beanitos that I am obsesseeedddd with.


But they are pretty pricey and make me...well. They are made of beans, okay? Do the math!

So beans and I just...we can't be all the time friends. Only some of the time friends. Why are we having this discussion?


Because of these!!!!!

These are moist, sweet (but not too sweet), fluffy, soft, dense...and just...sooooo good. They have a caramel type flavour thanks to the coconut sugar which I really love. They are wonderful.

And you can leave out the chocolate chips. I have done that before, too. I just prefer them with :) are seeing this, right?

The densely packed delicious molecules? You know...delicious molecules. Totes a thing. I know this to be true.

Monday 23 February 2015

World's Healthiest Brownies


So I didn't blog last week. This was partly because I spent my weekend just participating in life and thus did not photograph/write any posts.

But MOSTLY it's because on Valentine's Day the one thing I wanted most in this world was pizza delivered to my HOUSE. And all the gluten FREE options around me are...well...not so good. Either really bland, really dry, really really hard and crunchy in a bad way or a combination. SO I was like yeahhh Happy V-Day to meeee let's get some GLUTEN-FULL PIZZA.

Well first, it was insanely pillowy and delicious. It smelled and tasted like heaven on earth. HOWEVER my body very quickly became HELL on earth. The whole week my body and stomach were a hot mess.

So I just needed to heal my gut a little bit before I started waltzing around my baking palace all weekend like I usually do.

How did I get here? OH YEAH:


Not undiscovered territory to say the least. And certainly not a dessert that this little blog has forgotten.

I made Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies. Candy Cane Brownies. Pumpkin Patch Brownies. Raw Vegan Protein Brownies.

And I love all those recipes, of course. Or why would I have made them?!

But here is the thing. We need to reel it in. REEEEEL IT IN, FOLKS!

When I think of a brownie I think of a dense, fudgy and delicious bar of chocolate amazingness. Swirls and cheesecakes and all that is great. But I want a simple and dense brownie. I like cakey brownies, too. But come on...this is what we mean when we are talking about a real brownie:

In my test recipes I never included walnuts. But how could I not?! They are so classically suited to be nestled in a dense and delicious brownie.

These would go great with coconut whipped cream or a big scoop of non-dairy ice cream. Or dairy ice cream. Or frozen yogurt. OR chopped up and thrown over top of some protein soft serve?!?! Yes....yes I believe that would work!

Pictures aren't doing these precious beauties justice -- but I promise you they are DELISH.

They aren't too fragile so you can pack them with you places and they taste...well...Just make 'em. Make 'em and chomp on to your brownie lovin' hearts content.

These will stay good at room temperature for a few days, too. Or freeze them and have brownies whenever you want!

Do you see the exploding chocolate chips?!?! The best part!!!

Friday 13 February 2015

Healthy Valentines Day Desserts {Recipe Round-Up}

Okay. So Valentine's Day is on Saturday. I know. Don't freak out. CALM DOWN, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS SPARKLY AND COVERED IN EDIBLE GLITTER!


Edible glitter isn't edible. For real. Who looks at a cupcake covered and glitter and thinks to themselves...yeah...that's gonna go down reeeeallll nice. ANYWAYS.

I thought I would post all my healthy Valentine's Day dessert recipes from this month in one place. You can, of course, make any recipe 'Valentine's Day-ish' by some simple tweaks -- so by all means -- do you, boo boo. Do. You.

I think dessert is important all year round. I think that's a moot point by now. BUT. Valentine's Day especially! And I happen to be a HUGE fan of the tradition of chocolate.

And like I have said before -- It by NO means has to make you feel bad or mopey. I have always celebrated by buying my mom small presents or home made things and creating little gift boxes for family. You can have holiday spirit without buying into the romantic hocus pocus mumbo-jumbo bologna.

If I had to pick an ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE....Well...I wouldn't. Because I love them all. But those Raspberry Cheesecakes were bomb. Make those. No wait ...make them all.. NO WAIT....Let's go through them all and you make your own choices because you are a consenting adult.

1. Healthy Vanilla Bean Cut-Out Cookies 

2. Healthy Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies 

3. Raw Vegan Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chocolates

4. Healthified Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

5. Chocolate Covered Strawberry Protein Squares

6. Circus Meringues (With 1/2 the Sugar) *Use Pink/Red For Valentines Touch!*

There you go! There's something in there for everyone. The fat-free friend. The vanilla bean lover. The chocolate fanatic (x2 of course). The gym rat. FOR ALL BAE'S.

Hope you enjoy your Valentine's Day. If you're going to stay in and binge eat on desserts and wine -- making sure they're a bit better for you will make YOU feel a bit better ;) Until the next morning. Only aspirin can help you then, boo boo.

I personally am going to share some treats with the fam jam. Because they have put up with me for so long and all my tears and complaining -- they deserve some love!

Happy Valentines Day, 


Wednesday 11 February 2015

Circus Meringue Cookies {With 1/2 the Sugar!}



Where the meringues are CRUNCHY AIRY AND FULL OF DELICIOUSNESS but still low in calories and FAT FREE!

That will be five tokens, sir. Madam. Sir and Madam. Child. Boy. Cat? WHOEVER YOU ARE!

Meringues have long eluded me. With their million different flavour possibilities and glossy peaks. When I first started to go about the journey I had a few questions that go against the gold-standard grain of meringue making:

1. Do I have to use fresh eggs? What if I don't want to waste the yolk?  Solution: Yes. Carton egg whites work. YES. 

2. Do they have to be at room temperature? What if I am too lazy or need to make them and forgot to warm the egg whites (re: I am lazy) Solution: YES. I USED COLD EGG WHITES FROM A CARTON. THE BLASPHEMY. 

3. Do I really have to use all the sugar? Will it ruin them? (re: I got the ratios wrong and used half the sugar by accident)  OOPS. Half the sugar??? Meaning each cookie is only THREE FREAKING CALORIES?!??!?!? YOU CAN EAT ALL 40 COOKIES FOR ONLY 120 CALORIES....WAIT.... WHAT?!


And it worked out PERFECTLY. Yes these take some time. About 2 hours in the oven at a lowwww temperature. Why? Because we are essentially dehydrating the cookies. And if you have ever dehydrated something it takes a long time at a low temperature.

The bonus? The cookies look as beautiful coming out of the oven as they do going in. Not a darn thing changes!

Some tips:

  • DON'T expect the same texture as with a high sugar meringue. These were not glossy and silky like they normally are. They are more foamy. 
  • DO wash everything REALLY WELL. Any residue of oil or butter and your meringue won't whip
  • DO mix the colour at the beginning with the egg whites OR  gently afterward. Or stripe your bag, like I did
  • DON'T over whip. The meringue will deflate and that's no bueno -- you want all that beautiful air in there
  • DON'T take them out too early. After 90 minutes check to see if they are done. They should be firm to the touch -- if they aren't or if they stick to the parchment they are not ready!
  • DO let them sit for a few minutes to cool -- this will help them come off easier
  • DON'T let the batter sit out too long. Make. Pipe. Bake. Quick times.
  • DON'T get these wet! Keep them away from humidity in general. Just like circus cotton candy these will melt and become sticky yucky messes. Keep in an airtight container when you aren't serving them!

Monday 9 February 2015

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Protein Squares

When I was trying to figure out what protein bar flavour I should try next I was at a loss.

I tried to think of Valentine's Day. I feel like I've covered most of my bases with these cookies. And these cookies. And these brownies. OH and these raw vegan chocolates.

But one thing that came to mind that reminds me of coming up...was chocolate covered strawberries!

How quintessentially Valentine-y!

How to make them into a bar though..Hmm...puree some fresh strawberries (which I had to bundle myself and trek into the dangerous tundra of Canada and get from the local supermarket where every Tom, Dick and Harry was conveniently also shopping - EXHALE).

Okay...soo...fresh berries...puree them...Add them to my protein bars...but let's switch it up and make these more light and refreshing. Almond and coconut butter...and hemp? YEAH HEMP! Because I bought a huge bag from costco.

Some choco-swirl..because we have to cover out strawberries in chocolate, DUH.


Only it WASN'T. I added too much almond milk -- and in the initial version I tested I put a layer of jam in between the bars and the chocolate and it squished out.

To save them I tried to put them in the freezer which was overfilled and it squished all the bars into a pile of mush. Then I proceeded to smash them onto the floor and they went into the compost bin.

It was grrrrreat. And pretty much encapsulated how I feel about the...upcoming,,,, a nutshell. Blind psycho chocolate rage. Yep.

Anyways I adjusted the recipe and re-did it with better success....BUT much to my chagrin they weren't the same lovely shade of pink as the first batch.


SO If you wanted bars that were red or even pink you could throw in a few tablespoons of beet juice to your puree. As you can see....I didn't. And it's pretty pale. As in not pink or red at all. But I felt like adding food colouring to vegan protein bars with healthy ingredients felt odd. I know that they do have natural food colourings on the market but I personally don't own any. could grind some freeze dried strawberries into the bars to add to the colour...Er...but I didn't have those either :(

So as long as you are okay without them looking pink....skip the colouring. I found it shocking that an entire cup of fresh berries did not alter the colour at all -- but you know!

And red colouring in general usually requires A LOT of food colouring. Like Red Velvet cake? Yeah. That's usually a WHOLE FREAKING BOTTLE! Crazy.

Let's have a look at the recipe -- the one that won't cause you to run into the streets screaming bloody murder. Unless you wanted them pink. Then I am sorry :'(.

Friday 6 February 2015

Healthy Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies

Last week I shared my Healthy Vanilla Bean Cut-out Cookies. And they were delicious. REALLY DELICIOUS. Hopefully you found that out for yourself though!

It's been snowy and dreary over here in Canada-land. Not that there is anything wrong with the snow. We got a snow day on Monday. I didn't even know adults got snow days. That was an informative experience!


You know how I feel about chocolate by now. I would hope. I am obsessed. And when it comes to roll-out cookies I just had to make a chocolate version for those fellow chocolate lovers out there!

The best thing about these cookies is they don't have to be for Valentine's Day! Cut-out cookies are perfect for every occasion! And these hold their shape beautifully making them ideal for decorating.

You don't have to use icing. You can use chocolate. Or nothing at all and just cut them into fancy shmancy shapes.

Or forgo the whole V-DAY thing altogether. Story time: one of my first Valentine's Day (I think my very first, actually) experience was in High School (shocker) and my ... friend.... at the time stood me up even though I bribed a co-worker to work late for me that day so I could get cut first and go home.

He then later told me the reason was that he got arrested and was too embarrassed to say because not only was he arrested but also did not have the money to buy me a present.

Which I thought was endearing. What else would a 17 year old do! My hate for the holiday was further compacted by the 'candygrams' you could send people. They would be delivered during class and I never got one. And you would also judge the people who did like -- HEY YOU SENT THAT TO YOURSELF. WHY DIDN'T I GET ONE. I'M COOL. RIGHT?! RIGHT?!?!

Ah well. Love stinks.

Back to important meaningful things like COOKIES AND COOKIE CUTTERS.

Which -- fun fact -- I think I have a million cookie cutters. I found this out when I was looking for Valentine's Day themed ones.

And I love them ALL. I can't see myself parting with any of them. Every one is unique. Like snowflakes. Which apparently aren't unique. I keep sharing this fact because I feel like I have been lied to my whole life.

I am sure you are asking... HOW MANY HEARTS CAN YOU NEED?

As many as will fit in my storage that's how many! DUH.

I think that goes with everything to do with baking, for me. I accumulate so many cool little doo-dads. And they all serve a purpose. You should see my sprinkles bucket.

Yes it's a bucket. Full of containers upon containers of different kinds of sprinkles and confetti's and dragees and nonpareils!

I have a problem. But enough about my problems -- you're here for COOKIESSS!

Monday 2 February 2015

Healthified Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

These raspberry cheesecake brownies are the last recipe I created on the day that shall not be named. The day when no pictures turned out and my neighbours all heard my wrath.

The day when expletives flew from my mouth quicker than I could apologize for them.

Was it because they were bad? NO. The brownies were dense and chewy and the cheescake was sweetened perfectly with bits of raspberry swirl.

BUT THE CAMERA ISSUES. Dear Lord. Sometimes I wonder how profession photographers do it. I nearly had an aneurysm simply trying to sort out some photos of brownies, cookies and raw vegan chocolates.

This is the sort of stress that ironically can only be cured by aforementioned brownies. 

Now these are healthified although I did use organic sugar in the cheesecake if only for the one reason being I didn't want the colour to change too much. Feel free to make these with stevia in the cheesecake layer (I buy the big bagged stuff that you can use for baking) and that will work just fine, too.

They were really fudgey and delicious. And sadly none of that really shows. So you will have to make them and show me, okay?!?

Enough of my pity party -- let's have a look at the recipe, yah?