ALMOND BUTTER & BERRY JELLY BARS – GF/DF/PALEO/VEGAN

If you haven’t already noticed, I have a real love for nut butter and jelly. It’s a childhood thing, or so I tell myself! 

After a week of looking after my younger, sweet-toothed baby sister, I became increasingly frustrated by the lack of lunchbox snacks that I could make her in the morning or buy her from the supermarket. 

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some great brands out there offering healthy snacks for the youngsters, but everything the little one reached for whilst we browsed the local store was A. entirely processed and B. filled with refined sugars. 

What I wanted to find her was something delicious, naturally sweet and filling. Fruit of course does the trick to an extent, but fruit just isn’t that cool when your ten years old (the day will come!).

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BLACK BEAN AND AVOCADO BROWNIES

This time last week I was blending up a batch of these bad boy, black bean and avocado brownies at Soho House in Dean St, for a room full of health enthusiasts. This morning, I have another batch in the oven, sending wafts of chocolate goodness through the house. To say these are amazing, would be quite the understatement.

These chocolate brownies are a bit different, in all the right ways. I constantly have clients coming to me, asking me what they can eat at 3pm or what options are there for healthy desserts. And as much as fruit is a good option, it doesn’t always quite cut it.

So I developed this brownie recipe for that reason. These black bean and avocado brownies are:

  • High in fibre
  • Rich in GREAT fats
  • Full of protein
  • Gluten, Grain and Dairy free in case you suffer from intolerances or allergies
  • Refined sugar-free
  • DELICIOUS

Don’t get me wrong, using grass-fed full-fat butter in brownies is fine, but using avocado as the fat source in brownies is GREAT. What the avocados give, other than a creamy gooey consistency to the brownie, is a fantastic hit of essential monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, potassium and iron.

Adding in black beans instead of flours makes these naturally gluten-free. The black beans provide a good source of complex carbohydrates, fibre and protein – which will keep you fuller and satiated for longer.

I have opted to use coconut sugar in these brownies. For me, I love the caramel flavour that coconut sugar gives baked goods, but you can sub for any sugar you like. Coconut sugar contains inulin which is a fibre that helps glucose absorption aka low GI. In other words, it will stop your blood sugar levels peaking super quickly. Inulin is also a pre-biotic which will help stimulate the good bacteria in our guts.

A note that sugar is sugar, and that whatever sugar you choose, it will still be converted into glucose in the body. However, pairing it with fats, fibre and carbohydrates, plus choosing a lower GI sugar, means that the sugar will have less of an impact on your blood sugar levels. Plus this recipe has a total of 2/3 of a cup of sugar (150g) compared to normal brownie recipes which have roughly over double the amount – 375g!

These brownies take 10 minutes to whip up – but a blender is essential! Leave to cool completely before eating, if you can resist.

 

 BLACK BEAN AND AVOCADO BROWNIES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 eggs – or 2 x vegan flax eggs*
  • 1/2 of a large ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup (40g) unsweetened cocoa/cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (gluten free if you are intolerant/allergic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (150g) coconut sugar/maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup (60g) unsweetened chocolate chips

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan (or line with baking paper).
  2. Place all the ingredients except the chocolate chips into a blender. Process until the ingredients form a smooth batter. If the batter is WAY too thick and won’t process then add in a teaspoon or two of water, but don’t go overboard! The batter needs to be thick to achieve gooey brownies.
  3. Fold in 1/3 of the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top.
  5. You can add in nuts for crunch or swirl in peanut/almond butter.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until knife inserted in centre comes out somewhat clean (not too dry as the brownies will continue to cook when they come out of the oven). The top of the brownies should begin to crack.
  7. Cool pan completely on wire rack, then cut and eat!

*2 flax eggs = 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed and 4.5 tablespoons of water. Mix them together and let them rest to thicken. Use 1:1. as a substitute for eggs.

For further guidance on how to eat to control your blood sugar levels or to inquire about consultations, pop me an email – clarissa@clarissalenherr.com

 

PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY BANANA BREAD

 So I have a thing about banana bread. And I have a thing about peanut butter. A serious thing. A bit of an obsession…

After accidentally whipping up double the amount of chia seed raspberry jam (recipe to follow soon!) I scrambled through my kitchen to find a way to use some of it up. Piling up some eggs, ripe bananas, half a pot of crunchy nut butter and some blueberries and tada – PB&J Banana Bread epiphany.  

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