Oil Free Chocolate Hummus

I love chocolate. Rich, dark, creamy decadent chocolate. Guilty as charged. As a whole foods, plant based eater, I still like (and eat) chocolate. I’m human––and I’m guessing you are too. I’ve found a great way to satisfy that chocolate craving with fewer calories as well as adding some nutrient dense goodness.

Have you seen Chocolate Hummus in the grocery store yet? Our Publix sells it for almost $4.00 for an itty-bitty container. I even spotted it this morning at Aldi for $3.49. I picked it up, put my readers on to see the ingredient list and quickly placed it back in the cooler. The ingredients included coconut oil and tahini and I knew those were definite no-no’s. As soon as I got home, I knew I could make my own and now I can share with all of you!

 

Oil Free Chocolate Hummus

  • Servings: varies
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Ingredients:

  • 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates that have been soaked to soften (reserve the water)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 T. pure maple syrup
  • Unsweetened, plain almond milk
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Directions:  Add rinsed and drained chickpeas and the drained dates to the bowl of a food processor (reserve the soaking liquid from the dates) and blend until very smooth. You may have to stop and scrape the sides a few times. I added about 4 tablespoons of the date water to the mixture to get it to the right consistency. Next, add the cocoa powder, extract and salt and continue to blend. Add in the almond milk by the tablespoon if you need to. I added 2 tablespoons and then gave it a taste. I wanted mine a little sweeter, so I added just 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and blended again. Transfer to a serving bowl or a container and store in the refrigerator. Makes about a 2 cup serving.

Perfect as a dip for pretzels or fruit. I dipped some strawberries in mine and they were delicious.

 

Strawberries and chocolate are a favorite combination of mine. Back in my (non vegan) days, I was well known as the chocolate covered strawberry lady. I used to make them for parties or as a hostess gift. But, now, I’ll trade the high calorie chocolate for this!

You could spread on graham crackers or even apple slices. It’s a guilt free treat with no oil added and sweetened with just dates (and maple syrup if using). Healthy and nutrient rich and a lot less expensive than store bought.

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Decide to make your own? Tag me in your Instagram picture @heidicooksplants and let me know how you like it.

See you in the kitchen soon,

Heidi

 

 

I scream, you scream,

we all scream for “NICE CREAM”! I am back in the kitchen today with, yet again, another banana recipe. This time, I am featuring the frozen bananas that keep accumulating in my freezer. I keep a supply ready to make smoothies, but I haven’t been making them very often. In trying to clean out my freezer a little, I discovered a great frozen dessert option involving said frozen bananas.If you are trying to lose weight or maintain a weight loss, this is a great way to enjoy a frozen dessert and have it truly be a guilt free treat.

A few weeks ago, I watched one of my favorite You tube videos featuring Ann and Jane Esselstyn. They did a segment on the Yonana machine and demonstrated how easy it was to make “nice cream” with frozen bananas and other frozen fruits. It looked fabulous and I quickly went to the Yonanas website to look at the machine. It’s BIG! And I don’t know about you, but I absolutely have no room whatsoever for another kitchen gadget. Especially one that has pretty much only one function. In the past, I have watched other  videos showing nice cream recipes. Most of those involved using a standard food processor. I  did try using my food processor, but I was never really happy with the results. So, I tested out a few batches with my Nutri Ninja. My Nutri Ninja is really the workhorse of my kitchen. I use mine almost daily for blending dressing and sauces and now it is my go-to for making delicious, creamy, amazing nice cream.

Nice cream

  • Servings: 1
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Ingredients:

  • One banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1-3 T. unsweetened plain almond milk (depends on how thick it blends)
  • 1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-2 T. pure maple syrup
  • 1-2 T. fresh ground peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1 t. vanilla, almond or mint extract

Here’s how I made this decadent looking banana, chocolate and peanut butter nice cream. I placed one frozen banana in the ninja cup. (Make sure you slice the bananas before you freeze them). Next, I added 1 T. of unsweetened plain almond milk, 1 tablespoon each of unsweetened cocoa powder, maple syrup and fresh ground peanut butter. (I may have snuck in an extra tablespoon of peanut butter).  A personal note about peanut butter. I honestly feel that the fresh ground peanut butter you can get at the grocery store tastes the best. It is the only kind I buy now. Set the ninja up and hit start and you will have a creamy, rich, chocolatey dessert in about a minute.  If the mixture is too thick or doesn’t blend well, then add a little more almond milk. If you don’t want to enjoy your dessert right away, you can place the nice cream in a container in the freezer and have it anytime.

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Creamy, chocolatey deliciousness

You can use other fruits along with the banana to make other flavors. Try adding some frozen strawberries for a more fruity treat or mango for a tropical dessert. You can find a lot of recipes for nice cream on Pinerest or other recipe sites. You’re only limited by your imagination (and frozen fruit supply!)

Leave me a comment and let me know how your nice cream turned out. See you in the kitchen again soon,

Heidi

Chocolate Chip Banana Snack Bars

Why do I always end up with a bunch of (ripe at the same time) bananas? Seriously, I pretty much eat a banana every morning, but it never fails that no matter how many I buy, there are always the last few in the bunch that are too ripe to eat by the end of the week! Which brings me to today’s kitchen project.

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I know that my last couple of blog posts have been sweets, and I really wanted to try something else, but these ripening (as we speak) bananas on my counter were just calling out to be turned into something delicious.

I opened up the pantry and looked at what I had to work with and here’s what’s cooking today:  Chocolate Chip Banana Snack Bars. I made them oil free, dairy free, and gluten free (if you choose to use gluten free oats).

But first, a quick word about the chocolate chips. I have always bought the Enjoy Life Brand of dairy free chocolate chips. They are very good, but also on the pricey side; typically $5.99 for a bag.  I found these at Walmart in the Jewish food aisle and they’re only $2.74 for the same size. They are dairy free, vegan and kosher. That’s definitely a win-win for me!dscn0213-e1537392448848.jpg

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 C. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 C. almond butter, softened
  • 1 C. oat flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 2 C. rolled oats (gluten free if preferred)
  • 2/3 C.  dairy free chocolate chips

I combined the bananas, applesauce, maple syrup and almond butter in a small bowl and stirred to combine well.  In a large bowl, I whisked the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. I then added the wet ingredients to the dry and stirred well to combine. Next, I mixed in the whole oats and the chocolate chips.  Once well mixed, I poured the batter into a parchment paper-lined 8 inch square pan. I placed the pan in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. They should have a nice golden brown color.

 

 

I’m hoping that these freeze well. I think my daughter will enjoy these when we visit her next month at school.

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If you’ve got some spotty bananas on your kitchen counter, give these a try. You will not be disappointed. They are chewy, chocolatey and healthy, too. And we all know that’s a really good thing!

See you next time in the kitchen!

Heidi