Saturday, November 15, 2014

Black Bean Walnut Brownies

Black Bean brownies have been all the rage. These go one step farther, forgoing the extra flour and using walnuts to add extra protein and flavor. A well-rounded treat or a special afternoon snack with a glass of almond milk (or even better pair it with Strawberry Almond Milk or Greener than Grass Smoothie).

Gluten free and dairy free! And all that goodness!

If you are looking for chocolate chips that are dairy and gluten free, look no further! You can find Enjoy Life brand on Amazon. Check them out here.

My little peanut can't get enough chocolate - she takes after her mother. Here she is above showing off her brownie! Yum yum!

Black Bean Walnut Brownies

1 1/2 cup black beans (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup walnuts + 1/2 cup to top, chopped
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup chocolate chips + 1/4 cup to top
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt

1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor (I love my Cuisinart) until smooth (reserving the walnuts and chocolate chips to top).
2. Pour into a lightly greased 9x13" pan, top with reserved walnuts and chocolate chips and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Roasted Savory Spaghetti Squash

This is very likely the easiest and best way to prepare the humble yet amazing spaghetti squash. Although I do enjoy my spaghetti squash with marinara and meatballs that Auntie M makes, I wanted something simpler and without tomato. I was inspired by my Vegetarian Times magazine. This last month's issue starred a tasty-looking parmesan pasta and I thought it would be nice to have a tasty yet simple vegan way to prepare this. After some thought, I turned to my trusty mustard and thyme sauce, added a few extra herbs, rubbed it all over the inside of the squash and roasted until dinner-ready. I was super pleased with the results and knew I had to share!

Enjoy sweet readers!

Roasted Savory Spaghetti Squash
4 TB favorite Dijon mustard (grainy works great too)
3 TB safflower oil (or any high heat oil)
1/2 tsp each of  crushed and dried Sage, Oregano and Thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Spaghetti Squash

Sliced Almonds or crushed walnuts (optional)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Combine Dijon mustard, safflower oil, herbs, and garlic. Reserve half of sauce.
3. Cut a spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seeds, and rub/brush insides with Dijon sauce.
4. Roast for an hour or until squash is tender. Using a fork, separate the inside flesh from the skin. Drizzle with olive oil and remaining sauce. Top with walnuts or sliced almonds and salt to taste.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Strawberry Vanilla Almond Milk

The temptation to stop at a coffee stand and get a treat can be avoided with a couple recipes from home. This one is a keeper and super easy! Healthy and nutritious to boot! No preservatives and all natural ingredients plus you can skip adding extra sweetener because the strawberries sweeten it themselves.

Now have yourself a cup of healthy pink milk today! (You might already have all the ingredients!)

Strawberry Vanilla Almond Milk
2 cups water
2 cups frozen strawberries
1/2 cup soaked almonds (soaked overnight or 8 hours)
1/3 vanilla bean*
optional: 1-2 TB liquid sweetener of choice (I skip this)

1. Rinse almonds. Blend water and soaked almonds in blender. Pass through sieve or nut milk bag to refine out chunks (This is optional if the little almond bits don't bother you or you'd like the protein, skip this).
2. Add nut milk to blender and remaining ingredients. Blend on high.

*I order these plump and juicy vanilla beans from amazon.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Carob Oat Energy Bars (Nursing Friendly!)

New moms need all the energy they can get! Having a new baby, figuring out nursing, and eating healthy can take its toll. Heck, even getting in the shower seems impossible some days. But if you're properly fueled, this beautiful thing called mothering will seem a little easier. Having snacks/treats like these prepared ahead of time in the freezer is super handy. Plus all the foods in this recipe are nursing-friendly!

* If you or someone is allergic to nuts in your family and you are nursing, substitute sunflower seed butter for the almond butter. *

I dearly missed chocolate while nursing my first child. Like so many other infants, chocolate would upset her tummy so I refrained from having it. I found carob to be an interesting replacement - sweeter and contains no caffeine. I like the roasted carob powder from Mountain Rose Herbs but it is also available on amazon or at your natural grocery store.

If your breastfed infant is gassy, this article "Nourishing the New Mom" from Nourishing Meals (authors of Nourishing Meals: Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes for the Whole Family - one of my favorite cookbooks) can be very helpful. It gives a list of good foods to eat and foods to avoid while breastfeeding. Also try drinking fennel tea (as I write about here) can be very helpful or have a cup of sweet potato fennel soup!

I hope you enjoy these no-bake carob oat bars. We found them to be quite tasty!

Carob Oat Energy Bars (No-bake, nursing-friendly, dairy free, vegan optional)
3 cups oats (gluten-free certified if gluten intolerant, available on amazon if you don't know where else to look)
1 cup raisins
6 TB roasted carob powder
6 TB coconut oil
3/4 cup almond butter
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
1 TB Vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

1. Line a 8x8 with parchment paper.
2. Combine oats, raisins, and salt in a bowl.
3. In a saucepan over low heat, melt maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and almond butter together. Add carob powder and mix in.
4. Pour over oats and raisins. Mix thoroughly and pour into 8x8 pan. Smooth with a spatula and refridgerate until solid. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Also a scoop of protein powder (unsweetened) can be added for an extra boost!

I buy all my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Good Morning Sunshine Carrot Sunbutter Smoothie

Good morning sunshine!

Today is the day... the day when my son is due. I know its just a day they predict and really has no bearing on when baby is born but our daughter was born on her due date so we have this preemptive hopeful feeling. Will it be today? Tonight will I get to hold my son in our arms? We are waiting with anxious hearts, little one.

Celebrate these lovely hot days with a yummy smoothie and enjoy the sunshine this weekend before school hits!

There are two ways to make this smoothie - with orange juice or with fresh oranges. Both are delicious and taste like a rich Orange Julius with addition of sunflower seed butter. Feel free to add a little vanilla protein powder if you need the boost or some strawberries for extra Vitamin C.

Carrot Sunbutter Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 large orange, peeled
2-3 large raw carrots, peeled
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
1 1/2 cup unsweetened milk of choice (I used almond vanilla)

If using orange juice:
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup unsweetened milk of choice
1 frozen banana
2-3 large raw carrots, peeled
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter

Saturday, August 9, 2014

30% off 3 Books on Amazon

I love me some book deals. And I just had to share through midnight (PST) tomorrow August 10th, purchase at least three Books on Amazon and use code BUY3GET30 for 30% off (up to $10). This does not work for ebooks. You can read all terms and conditions here.

UPDATE: This code seems to have changed to BUY3GET20 resulting in a 20% off. However some customers are having luck using the code then emailing amazon customer service with a link to the above terms and conditions that state 30% off and getting reimbursed.

Still one more month for summer reading! Or a great time to get some early textbooks. Never a better time to get some nice new cookbooks! There are some great finds out there nowadays like:


Or you could catch up on all the new bestsellers turned movies:

And while you're at it, also make some scented leather bookmarks, directions on the blog.

Happy Reading!

(Purchasing through above links may help support Sweet Roots and I do thank you for all the support.)
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