Category Archives: Desserts

Double Chocolate Flourless Super Food Brownies

Double Chocolate and Almond Flourless Brownies

Double Chocolate and Almond Flourless Brownies

A flourless, chocolaty, rich, moist and fudgy treat.  But, this is no ordinary brownie, what I have for you here is a big dose of super foods disguised as a delicious decadent treat.  Avocado, almond and cocoa give you antioxidants, fiber and healthy fats, serving up a treat you can feel great eating.  I promise, you will not taste or even see the avocado at all, but it adds moistness and yes, fat, while replacing more traditional and less healthful fats.   Double Chocolate Flourless Brownies

I adapted this recipe from Elana’s Pantry Paleo Brownies, mine are no longer fully paleo as I’ve replaced Elana’s dates with brown sugar, which may actually be better for those following a low FODMAPs diet who have difficulty digesting certain fruits.  I also like that brown sugar is something most of us always have on hand, which makes this a recipe you can throw together easily without much planning, as long as almond flour is one of your pantry items and a ripe avocado is on hand! And speaking of avocado, I’ve swapped that for Elana’s coconut oil, which gives you a healthful fat plus some added fiber. 

Double Chocolate Flourless Superfood Brownies topped with raspberry sorbet

mashed avocado for double chocolate flourless brownies

mashed avocado

Since this recipe was already, gluten free and dairy free, I decided to give it a test drive going completely vegan by swapping out the eggs for flax.  I give you the recipe both ways, so if you have no issue with eggs and like the idea of getting a little extra protein and vitamin D, go with the eggs, otherwise, swap out the eggs for flax and get yourself a little extra Omega 3’s with your chocolaty treat. 

flax eggs

flax “eggs”

eggs, avocado and vanilla

eggs, avocado and vanilla

I’m no stranger to subbing flax for eggs in recipes, but until now I have never made the same recipe side by side, one with eggs and one with flax, and I have to say the results were interesting and a little surprising to me.  The egg version batter mixes up moister and bakes up with a little more rise, while the flax version actually bakes up a little bit moister, even though the batter looks drier before baking.  Either way, both versions are a treat I wouldn’t turn down and I will say there were no complaints from my family of tasters when two pans of brownies came out of the oven!

Side by Side flax eggs and avocado vs. real eggs and avocado

Side by Side
flax eggs and avocado vs.
real eggs and avocado

Since I did end up with two batches, I found they stayed perfectly moist and yummy for several days, just wrapped on the counter.  Although, I didn’t try freezing these, I think they would do well individually wrapped if you’d like to stash a few for a future treat. 

Double Chocolate Flourless SuperFood Brownies

Double Chocolate Flourless Super Food Brownies

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from Elana’s Pantry Paleo Brownies

Makes 16 Brownies

IngredientsDouble Chocolate Flourless Superfood Brownies

1 cup Almond Flour

½ cup Cocoa Powder (I use raw organic Cacao)

½ cup Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon Instant Espresso Powder

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

¼ teaspoon Salt – I use a heaping amount of Flaky Sea Salt

2 Eggs – I use Extra Large OR 2 Tablespoons Ground Flax + 5 Tablespoons warm Water

½ Avocado – well mashed

2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

½ cup Dark Chocolate Chips or Chunks – Bittersweet or Semi Sweet

Optional: extra Flaky Sea Salt for sprinkling on top

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish (I use coconut oil for greasing) OR line with parchment.

IF using Flax instead of Eggs, mix together the Flax with the Water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken up.

In a medium bowl, sift in the Almond Flour.  Note: As long as most of the Almond Flour gets through the sifter, it’s fine to dump the remaining bits that stubbornly won’t go through the mesh, right into the bowl.  Sift in the Cocoa Powder.  Next add in the Salt, Baking Soda and Brown Sugar.  Mix well, being sure to break up any of the Brown Sugar clumps.  Stir in the Chocolate chunks or chips.

In a separate bowl, mash the Avocado until it’s really smooth and creamy.  Add to that the Eggs or gelled Flax and the Vanilla Extract.  Mix well.

Add the Avocado mixture to the Almond and Cocoa mix.  Stir to fully combine.

Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and smooth out so it fits evenly in the pan.

Bake at 350 F for 18-22 minutes.  Now the hard part: best to let the brownies cool right in the baking pan for about 2 hours before slicing through.  Cut into 16 squares. Enjoy!

 

Recipe notes: 

partially sifted almond flour

partially sifted almond flour

 

I keep my almond flour in the freezer which tends to make it a little lumpy.  So I don’t end up with a brownie filled with unmixed lumps of almond meal, I like to sift it into the bowl. It’s definitely worth the effort even though I never seem to be able to get it completely through the mesh of the sifter, so I just toss in whatever remains behind, which adds a nice bit of nutty texture to the finished brownie.   

 

 

Double Chocolate Almond Flourless Super Food Brownies

Double Chocolate & Almond Flourless Superfood Brownies, yum!

 

Blueberry Almond Oatmeal Scones with Blueberry Mascarpone

Blueberry Almond Scones topped with Blueberry Mascarpone

Blueberry Almond Scones topped with Blueberry Mascarpone

It occurs to me that maybe I should have named this blog Lemon & Oats or Oatmeal & Zest, considering how many of my recipes here include both oats and lemon. So, here’s one more for you… Blueberry Almond Oatmeal Scones, and yes they even have lemon zest!  I really do love scones, probably even more than muffins or cookies, they make a tasty little breakfast treat or afternoon snack.  They are delicious on their own or even better topped with a little cream cheese and jam, like the mascarpone cream cheese jam I used here.  blueberry almond oatmeal sconesFor a more substantial breakfast, serve with a side of yogurt and berries OR as a “breakfast dessert” with your eggs.  Some people in my home have even been known to top theirs with a smear of peanut or almond butter, also quite tasty.  If you’re a traditionalist or hail from the British Isles, you may question my use of the term scone here, but to me these are my perfect Americanized interpretation with a nice crumby texture, not too moist and not too dry.  I use a lot less butter than many versions, but the yogurt adds extra moisture and a little tang, plus some protein to boot.  I love scones with all kinds of mix ins and though the rest of my family will almost always opt for chocolate, I prefer a mix of fruit and nuts, which often leads to multiple versions being made all on the same morning! Blueberries and almonds are one of my favorite combinations, they just work well together and lemon zest adds a little bit of extra flair to the flavor.  I use a combo of vanilla and almond extracts here, but you could easily go with all of one or the other if you prefer.  A quick and easy recipe perfect for any lazy weekend morning.  blueberry almond oatmeal scones

Blueberry Almond Oatmeal Scones

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Makes 16 scones

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

½ cup all purpose unbleached flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 Tablespoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup natural cane sugar

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Zest of ½ lemon

 

3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter – cut into small cubes

 

1 extra large egg

½ cup plain yogurt (Greek or regular is fine, vanilla would be ok too, just a little sweeter)

¼ cup milk of your choice (I use plain soy milk, but cow, almond, etc should work just fine)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

 

¼ cup slivered almonds

1 cup blueberries – fresh or frozen

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Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Cookies

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Cookies

These cookies have a rich chocolately flavor, reminiscent of a brownie with a moist cakey texture. The cocoa is just intense enough so you don’t really taste the banana and the coconut flavor is very subtle, but I really like it with the almonds.  For the almonds, I used the sliced ones with the skins still on and left them as is, if you prefer chop them up into smaller pieces, you could even chop up whole almonds if you like.  Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond CookiesFor the chocolate chips I like 60% or above cocoa and you could even use bar chocolate cut into chunks.  Vanilla extract was added for flavor but I think almond extract would also work well.  And there’s enough oats so you can feel healthy and indulgent all at the same time, yum….I can’t get enough of these, the only taster who was a bit luke warm on them is my five year old, normally lover of all things baked (that is cookies, muffins, pancakes, etc), I think I just needed to add a few colorful m&m’s and he would have been sold!

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Cookies, yum!

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Cookies, yum!

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Cookies

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Unbleached Flour

1/2 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

½ teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) of unsalted Butter

2 Tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

1/4 cup granulated Natural Cane Sugar

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1 Egg – I use X-large

1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 large ripe Banana – mashed

1/4 cup cocoa powder – I use a mix of Natural and Dutch Processed

1 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1/2 cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips – I use 60% cocoa or above

1/4 cup slivered almonds

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Lemon Chia Tea Cake

 

Lemon Chia Tea Cake

Testing this recipe has been like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears in trying to determine the perfect amount of lemon to use.  The household tasters just could not come to agreement. The first few times I made this with the juice and zest of just one lemon and it was really tasty with a very nice mellow lemon flavor.  BUT, I decided we just had to try upping the ante of lemon just to see…So the next time I decided to really go for it “go BIG or go home” and added in 2 whole lemons worth of juice and zest.  I didn’t change anything else in the recipe, even though the extra lemon added in another ¼ cup of liquid.  The result was intensely lemony, but not excessive and the extra juice made for a really moist cake, whereas one lemon made for a drier crumb but easier to get a nice clean slice out of, which is a plus for presentation.  Now at this point we came to some disagreement, my husband loved the extra zing of lemon, but my daughter (who still happily ate several slices) said it was just too much.  In fact Skyler described the taste as “violently lemony”, which sounded pretty bad to me, but to her teen age self that wasn’t a bad description at all.  To me the taste of the extra lemony tea cake was more like a big smacking kiss of lemon, the way may 5 year old plants a BIG kiss on my face.

Lemon Chia Tea Cake

So on to round 3, which was really more like round 5 or 6, but who’s counting, we’re just eating…Now it was time to split the difference and try it with the juice and zest of 1 ½ lemons, which required another trip to the grocery and me being late to pick up Skyler from swim team practice which ended 30 minutes early that day without my knowing, but hey she got some cake out of it even if she had to sit out in the rain a little extra time. I wonder does making lots of yummy food cancel out numerous late pick ups in mommy universe?  So Saturday morning, one more tea cake was made and this time I used 1 ½ lemons.  One taste and finally we felt this version was just right, nice and moist with a pronounced but not over powering flavor of lemon.  But, I will leave it up to you to decide what is the ideal amount of tart for You.  Lemon Chia Tea Cake

With all that said, I really do love lemon in SO many ways, however I’m not usually a fan of lemon in sweets preferring more of a savory twist on my lemon, but Skyler has been begging for months for me to make lemon poppy seed muffins and then I came across the Clever Carrot’s recipe for Lemon Poppy seed Cornmeal Muffins and since I love corn muffins and lemon I was sold!  As usual, I added a bit of my own twist to it with a little whole wheat flour, some extra cornmeal for added crunch and some coconut oil.  But then when it came time to add the poppy seeds, which I had every intention of using, I found that my ancient jar of poppy seeds had gone rancid, so rather than run out to the store in the middle of baking I tried to figure out a substitute and lo and behold, chia seeds came to the rescue!  Just make sure you add in the  seeds at the very last minute, otherwise they may start absorbing liquid and gel up, which is not what you want.Lemon Chia Tea Cake Batter

The first time around I did make these as muffins but then I decided to try it in a loaf pan and liked it even better (that much the whole family could agree on).  However you slice it, this is a very tasty treat, perfect for an afternoon with tea, served at brunch, as a late night snack or even for breakfast with a side of yogurt and berries.

Lemon Chia Tea Cake

Lemon Chia Tea Cake

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from The Clever Carrot’s Lemon Poppy seed Cornmeal Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)

½ cup corn flour

2 Tablespoons corn meal (adds a nice little crunch)

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

 

2 extra large eggs

2/3 cup natural cane sugar

¼ cup coconut oil – either softened or liquid

1 cup buttermilk

Juice & zest of 1 1/2  lemons (or just 1 or up 2, whatever you prefer)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon chia seeds, plus a little extra for sprinkling on top

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Oil a loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (flour through salt), plus the lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil.  Next add in the buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla. Whisk it all together.

Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.  Lastly add in 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds.  Pour it all into your oiled loaf pan and sprinkle the top with a few more chia seeds.

Bake at 350 F for about 40-45 minutes.  When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, remove from the oven and let cool in the pan, slice it up and Enjoy!

If you prefer muffins – bake regular size muffins for about 17 minutes and mini muffins for 10.  Makes about 15 regular or 26-30 minis.  Just make sure to oil your muffin tin well and skip the paper liners as I find the muffin sticks a lot more to the paper than they do to the pan.

Lemon Chia Muffin

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies with/or/without jam or chocolate

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookie

No butter, no eggs, no guilt, but sinfully delicious! This is Skyler’s all time favorite cookie.  Peanut butter and maple syrup make these soft and tender cookies melt in your mouth, perfection.

Perfect Peanut Butter with Chocolate and Jam Cookies

I adapted this recipe from Dreena Burton’s “Vive le Vegan and after years of making Skyler’s Favorite Peanut Butter Cookies, along came 9 years younger brother Evan, who thinks everything in life is better with jelly, including big sister’s favorite cookie recipe! So, as soon as he was old enough to know what was going on, he decided to up the ante and request/demand that his favorite condiment, raspberry jam, be added to the mix and lo and behold the Perfect PB & J Cookie was born. And…since we were already messing with Skyler’s perfect cookie world, why not mess just a little bit more and add in everybody’s favorite cookie condiment…chocolate! Really I don’t know what took me so long to put two and two and another two and two together, maybe it was the fact that Skyler loved the original version so much we were afraid to mess with success, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.  But now, even though the original is still a favorite, we never make peanut butter cookies without adding a little jam and a few chocolate chips to at least a few. PB PBJ and PB Chocolate Cookies

With or without the jelly or chocolate, these cookies are a family favorite and devoured by friends as well. A perfect after school snack for the kids and me! They are soft and a little bit crumbly, perfect for anyone who avoids eggs and dairy and delicious for all.

 Peanut Butter Cookies and PBJ and PB Chocolate

Perfect Peanut Butter OR PB & J OR PB with Chocolate Center Cookies

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from Dreena Burton’s “Vive le Vegan

 

Makes about 24-26 cookies

Ingredients:

¾ cup All Purpose Unbleached Flour

¾ cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 ½ teaspoon Baking Powder

¾ teaspoon Baking Soda

3 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar (I use organic evaporated cane sugar)

½ teaspoon Sea Salt

½ cup + 2 Tablespoon Natural Unsweetend Peanut Butter (do not substitute)

¾ cup Pure Maple Syrup (the good stuff, no Aunt Jemima or the like)

½ teaspoon Molasses

1 ½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

4 ½ Tablespoon Canola Oil (or other oil of your choice)

Optional Additions:

Raspberry Jam – (Strawberry, Apricot, Blackberry, etc, whatever your family prefers)

About ¼ cup Chocolate Chips – I use 60% Cocoa Chips

Directions:

 Preheat oven to 350 F.

 In a medium bowl, add in all dry ingredients and whisk until evenly combined.

 In a liquid measure, pour in the maple syrup, molasses, vanilla extract and oil. Then add in ½ cup of the peanut butter.  Stir thoroughly to combine.

 Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir well. Next add in the remaining 2 Tablespoon of peanut butter, but do not mix completely.  You want ribbons of peanut butter throughout.

Use 2 ungreased cookie sheets. Measure out rounded tablespoons of batter onto the cookie sheet, 12-13 per sheet.  Do not flatten the doughuncooked peanut butter cookie dough

If adding Jam – Using a finger or the back end of a butter knife, make small depressions into the center of each peanut butter dough ball. Add about ¼ teaspoon of Jam into the center well of each cookie.PB cookie dough with center depression

 PB cookie dough with jamPB cookie dough with chocolate

If adding Chocolate – Using a finger or the back end of a butter knife, make small depressions into the center of each peanut butter dough ball. Add about 3-5 chocolate chips into the center well of each cookie.  Note, that the chocolate chips will soften while baking but not completely melt together.  Once baked, while the cookies are cooling, if you like, swirl together the softened chocolate chips in each cookie’s center, using the tip of a butter knife or spoon, until you have one blob of chocolate, instead of separate chips or leave as is if you prefer, great either way.

 Bake for 10-11 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet.  They will fall apart if moved too soon.  After they have cooled slightly, move the cookies with a spatula to a cooling rack and Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookie

Recipe Notes: This recipe is Vegan, use Vegan chocolate chips to keep it that way or non Vegan if it’s not necessary for you. Full disclosure, I don’t use Vegan chocolate, my favorite for these and most other recipes involving chocolate, is Ghiradelli 60% Cocoa chips, they are a little bigger than your average chocolate chip and perfectly bittersweet.

A note about the peanut butter, I only use all natural peanut butter with no added sugar or any other ingredients but salt. Sometimes, I’ll make my own at the health food store which works perfectly here as well.

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