Fudge Brownie Drops – Serves 5+

I had the whole weekend to work on my letter of intent for doctoral school but…  I had a craving for brownies which took over my Saturday.  Whoops, yet so worth it.  I had lots of fun creating this recipe using what I had at home and did lots of tasting during (too much).  Best part is that these brownies are gluten and dairy-free aka WINNING.  

Unsweetened cocoa powder packs a bitter but powerful taste and is a pure form of chocolate.  This powder is packed with antioxidants called polyphenols which are also found in another favorite item of mine — red wine.  Polyphenols are known to help reduce cancers as well as lower blood pressure and effects of aging.  Cocoa powder is a natural stimulant thus if you need an extra boost in the morning – sprinkle some into your coffee or oatmeal!  Lastly, cocoa powder contains a natural antidepressant called phenethylamine that mimics the natural ‘high’ experienced post exercise.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • 2 tbsp avocado, fresh
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (light)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 6 large medjool dates, mashed with the pits removed
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a blender combine the melted chocolate, eggs, coconut oil, and coconut milk, then pulse well.  
  2. Fold in the remainder of the ingredients – cocoa powder, coconut powder, almond butter, avocado, dates, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and salt.  Pulse well until all the ingredients are one uniform batter.  
  3. Try to refrain from tasting so you have enough to actually cook!
  4. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper and use a tablespoon to drop the chocolate batter.  Leave about a quarter sized space between each drop.
  5. Cook well for 20-25 minutes until you can insert a toothpick and remove it clean.
  6. Serve when trying to distract someone…  Works every time.  

xxx – Sarah

 

Garlic Peppered Asparagus and Brussels – Serves 4

Have you been getting enough greens?  According to the new 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines it is recommended to consume 2.5 cups vegetables/day and within the week the intake of dark-green vegetables is 1.5 cups/week for the typical 2000-calorie American diet.  However if you’re anything like me and you’re active then I highly recommend more!  

This recipe is a sure way to reach your quota of dark-green vegetables.  In fact, it’s almost impossible to stop with one serving of these vegetables.

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If you don’t already know asparagus have been deemed as a natural diuretic and aid in excretion of fluids.  This antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient rich vegetable can be found in various colors such as green, purple, and white…  Some of benefits possibly include blood sugar reduction/decreased risk of type two diabetes, prevention of cognitive decline, assistance with food motility during digestion due to its fiber, and lowering the risk of heart disease.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound asparagus; ends trimmed off
  • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts; root trimmed off then halved
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds; raw with shell removed
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic; minced
  • 1 tsp black pepper; crushed
  • EVOO – enough to douse vegetables

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Methodology:

  1. Preheat the oven to 415 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a bowl mix together all the ingredients listed above: Brussels sprouts, asparagus, pepper, pumpkin seeds, garlic, and EVOO.
  3. On a cooking sheet lay out the veggies.
  4. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes depending how crispy you want your vegetables.  Halfway through cooking use a spatula to move the veggies around so that they roast evenly.
  5. Serve with your protein and starch of choice.  As you can see I opted for a double portion of vegetables and paired with scallops (YUM x 100%).
  6. Happy bites y’all!

xxx – Sarah