I'll be honest, I wouldn't say that brownies are my favorite dessert, but when I eat them, I like them to be 1) thick, 2) dense and dark choc flavored, and 3) healthy. These pumpkin brownies are everything my brownie dreams are made of - chocolatey, creamy, mousse-y. . .
You're probably reading the recipe title and thinking: Why take such a simple recipe and mess with it? Do they taste like veggies? What's the texture like? Will anyone know there is pumpkin in there?
Adding the vegetable means you're feeding your body all the nutrient-rich benefits that come from pumpkin with every bite. For this recipe, I was determined to make a flavorful, paleo pumpkin brownie, and while the protein powder was added for an extra boost of nutrients, I used my Pumpkin Spice flavor, and holy moly you guys - so. freakin. good. Took them to the next level!
The Power of Pumpkin
The rich orange color of pumpkin means that it's packed with beta carotene, an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A once consumed. Vitamin A helps to keep our immune system in shape, preserves vision (similar to carrots!), and keeps our skin looking great. Additionally, pumpkin is pact full of fiber, making it more satiating; it's full of potassium, too (key to keeping our bodies hydrated and organs running smoothly).
What About the Other Secret Ingredients
Oh you guys should know by now that if I'm sneaking some added "goodies" into my treats, I'm gonna use more than one! Besides pumpkin, yep, you read it right - avocado and banana have paid a visit. Avocados are one of my favorite foods. They're an excellent source of healthy fat, protein, and give such a creamy texture. As for the banana, whenever baking, I love to use natural sources for sweeteners. This is great for adding a sweet flavor, without using refined sugars. You'll notice that banana and maple syrup are the only things sweetening this recipe up, and honestly you don't even notice that there's "no sugar added" (which is my preference in treats!).
Let's whip up these pumpkin brownies!
Paleo-Friendly Pumpkin Brownies
Yield: 9 | Total Time: 45 minutes
Paleo-Friendly . Gluten-Free . Vegetarian
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup banana (approx. 3/4 banana)
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
1/2 cup cacao powder
2 Tbsp Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein (Pumpkin Spice) *optional
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 °F.
Step 2: Line an 8x8 pyrex or brownie tin with parchment paper.
Step 3: In a food processor, combine avocado, pumpkin puree, banana, maple, and vanilla. Blitz until creamy.
Step 4: Add in cacao powder and protein powder. Blitz. Add in your eggs, one at a time, and blitz.
Step 5: In a separate bowl, combine coconut flour, arrowroot powder, salt, and baking soda.
Step 6: Combine dry ingredients with wet, and blitz until smooth.
Step 7: Transfer to your pyrex, and bake for 35 minutes (give or take, dependent on your oven).
Step 8: Once they are baked, allow to cool fully before cutting into - I actually placed mine on a plate and popped them in the fridge for about an hour, and then came back to cut them! Not necessary, but made them easy to cut and less messy as they have a mousse-like texture.
Note: Be sure to store these in the fridge, they're super moist, you'll wanna keep them fresh!
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*This post was written from my research through the Dr. Axe website. Images are a mix of my own and from Pinterest. For a discount on my favorite Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein, head to store.draxe.com and use code: GIGIIKENT for 20% off your first purchase!
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I was so excited when Ancient Nutrition came out with their new line of Organic CBD Hemp products this year! Their new line of USDA Certified Organic CBD Hemp products feature their beloved tasty drink mixes and oils - you won't be able to resist upgrading your morning routine.
I was grateful to recently have received a few of these CBD products: Organic CBD Hemp Golden Chai drink mix, Organic CBD Hemp Cinnamon Oil, and Multi-Collagen Ultra in Vanilla Chai flavor!
I've been incorporating AN into my daily routine for about 3 years now. I started with their Bone Broth Pre-Workout and from there, I hopped on the Collagen train and have been hooked ever since. They always provide unique flavors that are so versatile for either simple drinks, or add-ins to your fave healthy treat recipes!
Peanut Butter CBD Cookies
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup coconut sugar
1 scoop Ancient Nutrition's Multi Collagen (+CBD and MCT) in Chai flavor
Step One: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
Step Two: Mix together all ingredients. Roll into balls, place on baking sheet. Flatten and apply your fancy fork marks.
Step Three: Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
Enjoy! Store in an airtight container on the counter, freeze to save for longer!
Have you ever gone through a period of time where you make Friday night specifically "Pizza Nights" ? Obvi girl 🙋🏼♀️🙋🏼♀️ same!
If that's the case, make these on your next 🍕 Friday — Sweet Potato Flatbreads.
Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Flatbreads
5 large eggs
1 sweet potato, baked and peeled
1/4 c water
1 1/2 c almond flour
3 tsp coconut oil
Step 1: Place all ingredients, except flour and oil, in a food processor. Blitz slowly at first, then gradually increase.
Step 2: While blitzing, remove the lid and begin to add in the flour.
Step 3: Pour mixture into bowl and set aside while you heat up a non-stick skillet over med heat.
Step 4: Add coconut oil. Using a ladle, pour out a small portion of batter, spread evenly. Allow to cook on first side about 2 minutes, then flip.
Step 5: Cook another 2 mins, and then place on baking sheet. Top with your fave pizza toppings! I chose fresh arugula, tomato, greek olives, and vegan cheese that I just rolled into "mozz" balls.
Easy, Gluten-Free bread recipe that's delicious, moist, perfect for sandwiches, pb toast, or by the slice!
Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
1 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil, or 4 Tbsp butter
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp coconut sugar, or honey
3 1/4 cup Bob's Redmill Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour
2 tsp active dry yeast
If you have a bread machine.
Step 1: Add all ingredients, in the order listed, into a bread machine loaf pan.
Step 2: Place pan in the bread machine and select "gluten-free" mode, then start. If you don't have this setting, override the program and allow it to knead for 16-20 mins. After 3-5 minutes of kneading, gently scrape down the ingredients stuck on the sides of the pan with a spatula.
Step 3: Using GF setting - The bread machine will take care of the rest including the rise and baking, It will beep when done, about 2 hrs and 15 minutes from the start. No GF setting - allow to rise for 1 cycle (GF bread only needs 1 rise, and no punch down), then 1 hour for bake.
If you don't have a bread machine.
Step 1: Add all ingredients, in the order listed, into a mixing bowl.
Step 2: Use a stand-up mixer with the kneading attachment, or simply use those muscles to knead the dough until homogenous. This will get sticky, my friends.
Step 3: Gently transfer dough to a greased baking pan. Cover with a kitchen towel, leave in a warm place and allow to rise for 1 hour. Once it has about doubled in size, it's time to bake.
Step 4: Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake bread for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. If it's browning on the top too quick, cover with foil, and return to continue baking until cooked through.
When I was in Girl Scouts, I can remember we had planned this "Spa Day" with the girls so we could earn some sort of a Self Care badge. The mums came together and helped us set up different stations where each of us could be pampered. For example we did nail painting, hand massages, foot baths, etc. And then we also included a potluck-style luncheon that featured healthy foods and treats. One of the mums made these "tea sandwiches" which consisted of: bread, butter, cucumber, and sea salt. At first, I was like. . .um, what? But once I gave them a taste, they were sooo refreshing! The combo of cooled cucumbers + sea salt + creamy butter. OMG.
My point of sharing that story - because this bread is SO delicious for Cucumber + Butter Sammies. I'll share the easy recipe below, and you let me know if you give them a try & what you think!
Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups (240 g) Bob's Redmill GF 1:1 Baking Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups (215 g) organic coconut sugar
1 cup (160 g) dairy-free chocolate chips
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Step 2: In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, coconut sugar and chocolate chips. Set aside.
Step 3: Whisk oil, water and vanilla together in a measuring cup, then add to the dry mix. Stir together by hand until a dough forms, about 2-3 minutes. The dough will look very dry at first. Keep mixing until a dough forms and can hold together when pressed into a ball.
Step 4: Let the dough rest at room temperature for 10 minutes while the dough fully hydrates. Don't skip this!
Step 5: Scoop cookie dough into 24 balls. Bake for 11 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. If you have more dough, repeat until all used up. Enjoy!
Store in a glass container on the counter for soft texture and freshness.
I'm 50/50 a savory and sweet person when it comes to brekkie. Sometimes I'm a lover of oats + fresh fruits, and other times I just want eggs + avocado. What about you?
This scramble is plant based and protein-packed. Did you know that soy contains all 9 essential amino acids? Please don't be sacred off after reading the word soy. Knowledge is key here. Soy is not the bad guy. Stick to Non-GMO options or whole soybean products rather than overly processed ones. . . more to come in a another blog post.
Tofu Scramble Recipe
130 g firm tofu
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp non-dairy milk
spices (turmeric, 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast, curry powder,
smoked paprika, sea salt, black pepper)
Drain the tofu and place in a bowl to crumble with a masher or fork. Set aside. Heat oil in a pan over med-high heat. Add in whatever vegetables you like (I chose mushrooms and tomatoes). Cook for 2-3 minutes, to until softened. Add in tofu. Stir. Add in the rest of your ingredients, minus the spinach. Cook for about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir through the spinach leaves to wilt. Season with sea salt and pepper, and serve on GF toast or your fave bread!
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Previously when I cook a whole chicken, I use my slow cooker and it's an 8-hour slow roast process. This time, however, I thought I'd try it just in the oven; the cook time alone, was a huge improvement. Instead of 8 hours, this took only an hour and a half. I was able to start my morning routine, as well as have a phone call with a friend. By the end of the chat, my timer was beeping done, and my apartment smelt like a Thanksgiving feast!
It can be so easy to just snag a whole roasted rotisserie chicken from the market when grocery shopping, which we are guilty of doing, no lie. But after cooking my own for awhile now, I've realized there are so many benefits to passing by the pre-cooked "winner, winner, chicken dinner".
First, it's definitely more bang for your buck this way. Usually a rotisserie chicken is about a pound or more, but when I cook my own, it's usually 4.5 - 5 lbs. And the price is the same (if not close)! 1-1.5 lb chicken vs. a 4.5-5 lb chicken for between $9-10. . . You decide! We make chicken salad for lunches, and also enjoy plain with veggies for dinner.
Second, I love that I am the one controlling what's going on the chicken, as well as organic or natural/antibiotic-free. This is so so important. I'd rather take my time with this cooking process and know that I'm using avocado or olive oil, plus yummy organic spices. When you buy rotisserie from the store, often they might be using canola oil or the like, and beyond that you don't know if that's non-GMO, etc. Cooking oils can be very un-trustworthy nowadays.
Lastly, because you know all the ingredients, it'll make you want to homemake your own yummy gravy or better yet, save all of your bones/skins and create your own bone broth! I don't know about you, but this is so much more fulfilling. To get just the right crispy skin, brown color, and drippings. Whats more, I feel like it's almost a "right of passage" into #adulting to be able to cook your own whole chicken, at least once. Is that just me?
Anyway, give this a try. This recipe I will repeat over and over again. It's just that simple, and perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Easy, Whole Roasted Chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 90 minutes
4-6 lb whole chicken, neck and giblets removed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/4 tsp seasoning from my cousin's company Braised Bones (turmeric, chili powder, etc.)
1/2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp arrowroot powder, or cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup dry white wine
Step One: Preheat your oven to 450 °F.
Step Two: Remove the neck and giblets from chicken, it's usually packed inside. Rinse your chicken with cold water, inside and out. Dry well with paper towels.
Step Three: In a small bowl, combine olive oil with spices. Rub half of your spice mix under the skin of the breast side and back side. Rub the remaining spices on the outside of your chicken. Using kitchen twine, lightly tie the legs and wings. This makes for a more uniform cooking.
Step Four: Place your chicken breast side up in your le creuset dutch oven, or oven safe skillet/roasting pan. Place in your preheated oven and immediately reduce the heat to 375 °F.
Step Five: For cooking time, you'll want to roast for approximately 20 minutes per pound, or until the temperature of the breast meat registers at 180 °F.
Step Six: Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes in the pan. After cooling, remove to a cutting board and let rest an additional 10 minutes before carving. Reserve drippings in the pan to make your gravy.
Step Seven: While the chicken is cooling on the cutting board, defat your pan drippings by skimming the top with a spoon and reserve only the solids in the pan. Place over medium-high heat, and add 1/4 cup white wine. Reduce this by about half.
Step Eight: Combine the arrowroot and water in a small jar, shake until well-combined. Add this mix to your reduced drippings and heat until the gravy has thickened. Serve your carved chicken!
Paleo Zucchini Brownies
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup grated zucchini, squeezed to remove extra moisture
(*no need to peel before)
1/4 cup chocolate chips
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 F and line an 8x8" pyrex with parchment paper and non-stick spray. I use both for a cleaner cut later on.
Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and maple.
Step 3: Whisk in coconut oil, almond butter, and vanilla.
Step 4: In a separate small bowl - mix together almond flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
Step 5: Next, add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir until combined. Add in your zucchini.
Step 6: Pour batter into baking dish, and sprinkle with chocolate chips if desired.
Step 7: Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick/knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cool before cutting. Store in the fridge so they get fudge and more delicious!
Low carb, refined-sugar free, gluten free, double chocolate. . . need I say more? They're so good and you won't even know there's veggies in them!
Sweet Potato and Kidney Bean Burgers
1 can "no salt added" kidney beans
1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated
1 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp water (chia egg)
1/2 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
1 tsp each of: smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin
salt & pepper, to taste (+ chilli powder if you like heat!)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 2: Make your chia egg in a small bowl and set aside until gel-like.
Step 3: Add all ingredients to a food processor, except chia egg.
Step 4: Once chia egg has thickened, add that into the food processor and blitz until a smooth batter forms.
Step 5: Make about 1/2 cup-sized patties, and place onto prepared baking sheets.
Step 6: Bake until crispy and golden on both sides. (15 minutes per side depending on your oven)
Step 7: While the patties are baking, prepare a big green salad filled with fresh veggies and your fave toppings to go along with your burgers!
Vegan Baked Zucchini + Summer Squash Fritters
3 medium zucchini, grated
1 Tbsp ground flax
3 Tbsp warm water
1/3 cup radish, diced
(or yellow onion if you tolerate onions)
1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with coconut or avocado oil. (Don't use olive oil as it becomes toxic to the body when heated at high temperatures.)
Step 2: Line a large bowl with a nut milk bag, fill it as you grate the zucchini and summer squash. Sprinkle the now grated veggies with sea salt, toss, and set aside.
Step 3: In a small bowl, mix together the flax and warm water (creating a flax egg), and set aside to thicken.
Step 4: Squeeze grated veggies, to drain out all excess water. Now combine all ingredients and mix to incorporate.
Step 5: Dough will be sticky, but form into a patty and spread out onto your prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway.
Serve hot or cold on a salad, with side dishes, by itself, etc. So yummy and fresh tasting -- these were a family favorite the first time I made them!