ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites

When Todd and I first decided to do an elimination diet to try to help alleviate his Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), gluten was the first thing to go. We wanted so badly for gluten to be a sort of scapegoat for his flare-ups. At the suggestion of a co-worker, we had high hopes that eliminating it would really help. However, the lack of gluten didn't make a different from him at all. Regardless, I am eternally grateful for that trial period. That's what really got us to look into diet and how it can affect RA.  What followed the gluten trial was the elimination of meat and dairy, two of the biggest dietary triggers for RA. Google "Rheumatoid Arthritis and diet" and that's what you'll find. Avoid meat and dairy. So, that's what we did. And boy did it help. Then, I discovered and I cannot tell you how instrumental that website was to our vegan journey and still is! I researched eggs, as essentially that was the only animal product we were consuming at that time. I had no idea how inflammatory they were and we eliminated them from our diet immediately. Being completely vegan relieved his worst RA symptoms incredibly. We were both so surprised at how substantially diet impacted him, with regards to the arthritis.

I became very interested in a vegan diet due to the benefits that myself and especially Todd experienced, that I began to research nutrition and food every free minute I had. That's when I really discovered the horrors that are inflicted upon animals, the environment, and surprisingly our own bodies with implementation of an omnivorous diet. I was shocked. 

*Reader Discretion Advised - Strong Language and The Truth* What scares me the most is how our food animal friends come to be on our plates. I can't even really admit that I turned a blind eye to it all, I just simply didn't have all the facts. I suspect that's how most people go through their dietary life and that's very upsetting. The meat and dairy industries work tirelessly to hide their transgressions. Plus, don't you know how hipster bacon is you guys!? I'm not sure about you, but I (along with the rest of the world) yearn for fried, decaying pig carcass strips on EVERYTHING.

At least try to make the connection. Or, read this story on how dead piglets are ground up into a "smoothie" and fed to their mothers. If you still want bacon armed with that little piece of knowledge gold...that's f*cked up. That's a blind eye. Hey, sometimes even I have to get all serious and bitchy up in here.

People! That's really happening. That's not vegan propaganda. Pigs are held in such monstrously, horrible conditions because of our insane demand for bacon and pork, that this is now what has to be implemented to keep other pigs from getting sick. If that completely disgusts you gastronomically (and hopefully ethically), sign the petition at the bottom of this post. Great, now I ruined my day. 

Anyways, I bet you're asking what in the hell my angry little story has to do with these brownie bites. Well, they are made with coconut flour. Which is gluten free. Yes, we're back to the very top of the post now. I can hear my dad now, "Get to the point, Katie." I tend to feel the need to explain everything. You see, the fact that gluten never bothered Todd, means that we have an abundance of different gluten free flours and coconut flour is just one of them. I absolutely refuse to waste them! So, I decided to set out on a coconut flour brownie adventure! 

Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites

I'm not even going to try and hide it, when I pulled these bad boys out of the oven and saw that they were all sunken...I was mighty sad. Then I thought...wait a minute...I just made strawberry jam a few days ago and these have bananas in them. Omg, I'm going to fill those sunken bits with jam! And the rest is brownie history. These super gooey brownie bites are made with coconut flour and no oil! Filled with your favorite jam, they delight! 

ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites 

Makes 11

Notes: These brownies are very gooey. That's just how coconut flour is, in my experience. 

  • Flax Egg:
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. water
  • Dry:
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp. vegan sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • Wet:
  • 2 ripe medium bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup cartoned plain coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 3 Tbsp. vegan chocolate chips
  • Topping:
  • jam, of choice (I used homemade strawberry - recipe below)

In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flax and water. Allow to rest in fridge until ready to use. 

In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. 

Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl, mash the sliced bananas very well with a fork. Add the remaining wet ingredients except the chocolate chips and stir until well combined. 

Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites

Add the wet ingredients and the flax egg to the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. 

Coat a muffin pan with a nonstick cooking spray. Divide the batter evenly, until the cups are about 3/4 full. My batter resulted in 11 brownie bites. 

Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites

Bake for 60 minutes at 375 F. Allow to rest in pan for 10 minutes after baking, then remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack to rest another 10 minutes. 

Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites

Pour jam into the top of the brownie bites before serving. 

Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites Listening to: Ok Sweetheart – Traitor

German Word of The Day: Flour --> Mehl (pronounced: mell or meel) I didn't know that one!

Good Deed of The Day: I shouldn't have to convince you to head on over to Care2 and sign the petition to ask the USDA to stop feeding dead piglets to their mothers. It only takes 5 seconds and you'll see me there!LiRecipe Card

[yumprint-recipe id='106']See the post on the Strawberry Basil Jam/Sauce, here.Produce On Parade - ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars

So dessert won last night. Well, kind of. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars

Todd and I are going on The Ski Train this weekend! It's an all-day train party ride (like a legit, real life train) that goes over 130 miles one way from Anchorage, past Talkeetna to Curry Ridge where it will stop and myself and hundreds of other cool cats will ski their little hearts out. Then we'll all pile back on, eat a bunch of food, drink a bunch of adult beverages, and enjoy the scenery on the way back home. Photos to come!

I am so psyched you have no idea. It's usually sold out instantly and you can only get tickets if you happen to be a member of the nordic ski club...which we are. Oh! And there's a polka band too! Yes, a polka band. We'll be playing lots of Apples to Apples and Carcassonne and probably polka dancing as well. I dunno, I hear it's a thing. My brother and sister-in-law will be joining us! It will be epic.

Anyways, I realized I needed to make something to bring with us and I knew these brownie bars would be perfect. They've got oats and black beans, flax seed too along with hazelnuts to keep us fueled up for the big ski. Plus they're freaking delicious, man. I only allowed myself to one yesterday, so we can take the rest with us! Picture me, on a train, in a corner scarfing down these bars with a mouth-fulla chocolate. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie BarsThese fudgy bars are reminiscent of brownies, not too sweet and packed full of healthy goodies. A nutritious energy bar that tastes like a brownie but boasts ample protein and complex carbs to keep you fueled throughout the day. Plus, they're done in a cinch and easy peasy. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars

Serves 10 

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 6 Tbsp. water
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 old-fashioned oats, dry
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • flake salt for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F and roughly chop the hazelnuts. Spread on a baking sheet and toast at 400 F for about 3 minutes or until fragrant. Be sure they don't burn! When done, remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven to 350 F.

Produce On Parade - Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars

Meanwhile, whisk together the flax and 6 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie BarsIn a food processor, add the chocolate chips and the oats. Pulse until roughly chopped, about 30 seconds. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars

Now, add the remaining ingredients excluding the flake salt. Don't forget to add the flax mixture! Process until fairly smooth, scraping down the sides as needed, about 3 minutes. Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie BarsAdd the toasted hazelnuts and pulse to combine. 

Coat a bread pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in the batter and spread it out so it's smooth and even. The brownie bars will not rise at all in the oven. Bake for 60 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. 

Remove from oven and allow to sit in pan until completely cool. Then, transfer to a cutting board, sprinkle with salt and additional hazelnuts. Carefully cut into 10 slices. Keep wrapped in saran wrap. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie BarsHealthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars


Is it Saturday morning yet?

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German Word of The Day: Hazelnut --> Hasselnuss (pronounced: hahsell-noose) Brownie is...just brownie, so I couldn't use that obviously. 

Good Deed of The Day: Um, so this petition is to stop the horrific dog meat trade in china and demand that they make animal cruelty laws. Yea. You'll definitely want to be a part of this one. Trust me. Imagine if your dog was stolen and caged, treated horrendously, then slaughtered and consumed. That's what I thought...sign this. 

[yumprint-recipe id='97']