Mini Chocolate Banana Cream Pies

Chocolate Banana Cream Pie | ourfourforks.com

Banana “ice cream” has been a dessert staple for me since I put it between vegan snickerdoodles a couple weeks back. Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of frozen treat season, so when Vega sent me some of their maca chocolate to experiment with, I knew I wanted to pair it with banana “ice cream” somehow. The result: vegan frozen mini chocolate banana cream pies.

 

Each vegan mini chocolate banana cream pie has four layers: a date and walnut crust, banana “ice cream,” dark chocolate and coconut whipped cream (finished off with some more chocolate). They are small and healthy enough to eat without feeling guilty, but nourishing and decadent enough to leave you satisfied.

 

Chocolate Banana Cream Pie | ourfourforks.com

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Chocolate Brownie Granola + A Smoothie Bowl

Chocolate Granola | ourfourforks.com

Somewhere between my usual plain protein-deficient oatmeal (a longtime breakfast habit I’ve tried to break) and eggs with sweet potato (what I eat when I’m trying to be healthier), lies the smoothie bowl. I began making smoothie bowls with protein powder because I could pour it on top of my oatmeal – without having to give up my oatmeal entirely. I quickly became addicted. For weeks Josh and I ate oatmeal smoothie bowls (over 20 grams of protein per bowl!) before I realized that something crunchy would better compliment the thickness of the smoothie than oatmeal does.

 

Chocolate granola is something I’ve been wanting to make since I finally bought and tried cacao nibs a few weeks back ( and subsequently used in a Nutella Smoothie and Homemade Chocolate). I’m always a little intimidated by the amount of oil, sugar and oats used in typical oatmeal, so this version is a bit lighter. I’ve replaced half of the oats with a current obsession: puffed brown rice (recently used as flour in Vegan Snickerdoodles), the sugar with maple syrup and most of the oil with… black beans. Inspired by black bean brownie recipes (like this one and this one), I made a healthy brownie batter that acts as the wet mixture for the granola. The result is a rich chocolate granola that is perfect on it’s own in a trail mix, with milk (non-dairy or grass-fed dairy), yogurt or, of course, this protein smoothie bowl.

Chocolate Granola | ourfourforks.com

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Vegan Snickerdoodles with Vanilla Banana Ice Cream

Vegan Snickerdoodles | ourfourforks.com

Josh and I got into a really bad habit this winter, which went something like this: have drinks with friends, come home and have a cookie competition against one another. Josh would make the real deal with gluten-full flour and refined sugar while I concocted a gluten-free, vegan alternative. We would try one another’s cookies and Josh usually won. Until one night he didn’t.

 

The night I won I had improvised by blending some puffed rice cereal into a flour. The cookies were gluten-free and vegan snickerdoodles, made with oat flour, puffed brown rice flour, coconut oil, honey and cinnamon. The puffed brown rice flour gave the cookie a lightness that usually escapes gluten-free baked goods and I was hooked.

 

Here is that night’s version re-created when sober. For Easter yesterday, I whipped up some dairy-free vanilla banana ice-cream to make them into ice cream sandwiches for the holiday. Feel free to use real dairy ice cream or skip this step all together and eat the cookies plain.

 

Vegan Snickerdoodles | ourfourforks.com

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