Friday, April 23, 2010

Pumpkin Almond Butter Cake/Brownies

here we go with another one of those...

"i don't believe this is gonna work" recipes...

one look at the ingredients and you'd have to agree with me. it all sounds too gooey. i watched in shock and awe as it slowly became an actual cake.

as you can see, the first cake photo shown above looks a bit different than the second. i liked it so much the first time i had to try it again, but i had to try the true recipe. i fudged the ingredients the first time because i was in such disbelief that the goop in the mixing bowl was going to actually bake into something. the first batch i thought i just HAD to add some extra baking you can see, it DID come out quite a bit more cakey than the second batch. the second was by the book and turned out much more like a brownie. i think i like them both equally.

i was so excited to make this one i ran out to Whole Foods and bought some fresh ground almond butter. i had seen it there the last visit and i knew this recipe would make the long trek out there all worth it. i was right. i do suggest using fresh almond butter if you can get it. the almond butter used in the second batch was fresh, but a bit more loose than the first cake. i'm sure whatever you use will work out fine because the flavor of this cake is what it's all about. speaking of flavor...i thought the original needed a bit of cinnamon and, of course, a little kick from cayenne. i'm wondering if you might try a little cocoa powder? or go the pumpkin spice route?...whatever you choose, it does need a little something.

many thanks to Shelley at Primal Life. original found here and copied below with my notes.

Feel free to get creative with substitutions. Try other nut butters, other forms of squash, other sweeteners, spices, mix-ins, the possibilities are endless. I made several batches using either fresh squash that I steamed and mashed or canned pumpkin. I preferred the fresh squash to the canned pumpkin, but the latter worked perfectly well. Consider topping with applesauce and/or whipped cream for a delicious dessert.


1 cup almond butter

¾ cup mashed pumpkin or other squash, canned or steamed

1 egg

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp baking soda

for my first batch (the cakey version shown) i used 1 1/2 tsp baking soda and added 1 egg white along with the whole egg.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Healthy Pumpkin Walnut Muffins...made w/White Kidney Beans

i have to tell you...these are my new favorite breakfast muffins!

i'm always trying to find recipes that are...hmmm....let's say "figure friendly?" well, this one qualifies. it's made with white kidney beans instead of flour. of course i thought it wasn't possible. i came across a recipe for black bean chocolate brownies and tried those first. it worked, but not really a brownie in my book. i might have to experiment a bit more with the black beans. i'll put my lab coat on...i'm thinking some kind of Mexican/Spanish type of mole-ish side dish. i'll add a little cayenne and serve with some avocado ice cream?...hmmm....i think that could be a future post....

back to these yummy muffins...i don't know why, but i seem to think white flour is the enemy. don't get me wrong, i cook with it often. i usually end up having one bite or a small slice, but the rest go to the dessert lovers in the house or shared with eager friends. i recently, or should i say FINALLY, found some King Arthur's white whole wheat flour. haven't used it yet so no comments there. i'll try it this week. when i saw these muffins using white beans instead of flour i had to try them...again, in disbelief that it would actually work let alone taste good. i just didn't believe they could be cakey and lite. i knew they sounded healthy, but was this going to far? at what point do you sacrifice flavor for the health factor?....i've been known to take it a bit too far.
as you can see...these worked. i went by the original recipe for the first batch. well, i did add 1 scoop of protein powder and realized i shouldn't have. they were just a bit dry. MY BAD ! so for the second batch i thought i would add a little moisture, a little more flavor and a few more healthy ingredients. they came out way better than the first batch. this is a recipe i will make again and again. i've already stocked up on the canned beans.

adapted from Island Cook at

makes 12 reg. size muffins
preheat oven to 350 degrees
15.5 oz can of White Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed well
2 Eggs (i might have used Egg Beaters)
1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 T. flax
1/8 cup pysillium husk
1/4 cup oats
1 cup Splenda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
2/3 cup Fat Free Dry Milk
1 Tbs Vanilla(a little extra never hurts)
3 Tbs veg oil
1/2 Cup Walnuts plus more for the tops

In a food processor, puree the beans well. Add the eggs and cottage cheese and blend scraping sides and blending until it is smooth. Add the pumpkin and pulse in. Combine with all the other Ingredients in a mixing bowl or pulse in your processor if it is large enough, but don't over mix though. Spray muffin tin and fill...I'll bet mine were about 3/4 full. ...I used silicon baking cups because the first batch stuck to the paper liners. Sprinkle a few walnuts on top. Bake for 20 minutes and check with a toothpick.

These keep quite well. i kept them wrapped in the fridge and enjoyed them through the week. Just pop in the microwave to take the chill off.

Monday, April 12, 2010


lately i think i have been at a loss for words, but for this post i think just the few ingredients shown speak for themselves. i've been doing quite a bit of roasted vegetable purees, soups and sauces in the past few weeks, but i think this combo of banana squash, garlic, baby onions and lovely fresh tarragon was so pretty and rustic looking that i just let it be. normally it would be headed for the stick blender and pureed to a silky smooth golden soup/sauce, but i took one bite right out of the oven and thought best to leave this one alone. the first night i had it with crispy Duck a l'Orange. the duck recipe called for fresh tarragon so i thought i would carry the flavor into the veg. now i'm stuck on tarragon. it seems like the forgotten herb. maybe it's not forgotten, but i certainly don't see it used much. i really like what it adds to a dish so i bought another packet yesterday and i can't wait to sneak it into more things. i think i'll try it in some soda bread or an orange tarragon muffin?..what about a sweet savory shortbread cookie?...hmmm

banana squash...i love this squash. i just discovered it this winter. maybe you all have had it before, but it's a new one to me. might be the fact that the name alone scared me off....i don't eat bananas. don't like 'em, never have. i'm glad i tried it because i think it's most similar to fresh pumpkin in texture and flavor. we ran out of fresh pumpkins around here just a little too soon. as a matter of fact, there was even a shortage of canned pumpkin in the stores. i spoke to the manager at Bristol Farms and he said that Libby's was thinking of going seasonal with their canned pumpkin puree until the economy picks up. now i don't know about you, but how will this help or hinder the economy? is this going to make or break Libby's? another market, Gelson's, said everyone was buying it like it was going out of style. they still have a supply on their shelves even after i wiped them out one day. what if they run out? October is a long way away. I NEED MY PUMPKIN !...i make a protein pumpkin pie every week that i eat every morning for breakfast so the shortage make me nervous. i'm lost without my pumpkin fix.

so for now i will substitute my roasted pumpkin with BANANA SQUASH. i know most would say just use butternut squash, but that's a whole different flavor and texture. don't get me wrong...i DO love butternut squash, but it is a bit more sweet than the banana.


preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 large 1/4 of a banana squash
peel and cube. i like fairly big chunks

peeled garlic. 10-20? your choice. i like plenty for the garlic lovers. the "haters" can just omit them from their plate. they are left whole, so it does not really effect the cooking flavor until you incorporate them as puree.

10 baby onions

2 Tbsp finely chopped tarragon

salt and pepper

i like a little garlic salt

throw this all in a big baggie and drizzle in some olive oil

toss this around to coat everything

lay out on foil covered (easy clean up) cookie sheet

bake for 20 minutes and stir around. make sure all pieces are getting roasted. you might need to add a bit more olive oil. the squash seems to absorb, but don't go over board.

continue baking, stirring and checking every 10-15 minutes until fork tender.

ready to serve.

i like to make alot. leftovers are yummy throughout the week. easy to change up and serve them again as a thick puree for a side dish or blend with a little stock and make a fabulous soup.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...