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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Homemade Chocolate

Homemade Chocolate | ourfourforks.com

When I was living in Portland there was a farmer’s market around the block from where I worked. Missionary Chocolates, a vegan and gluten-free chocolate company, had a booth at the market and not a week passed where I didn’t try a new flavor. I was always so impressed by the simplicity of the ingredients in these chocolates. In thinking about making a Mother’s Day gift, it dawned on me that, although I’ve made truffles, I had never made solid homemade chocolate.

 

I was blown away by how easy these are to make; mix coconut oil, cocoa powder (or cacao) and your sweetener of choice and voila. Homemade chocolate. The chocolate can also be roughly chopped into chocolate chips for cookies, melted over ice cream or used for s’mores (all sugar-free, if you chose the stevia route).

 

Homemade Chocolate | ourfourforks.com

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Nutella Smoothie

Nutella Smoothie | ourfourforks.com

I had my first big blogger fail this weekend. I set out to make coconut quinoa granola with cooked quinoa and it didn’t work. It ended up tasting  good, but didn’t get crunchy (despite being baked for over an hour)  and completely fell apart in milk. Josh and I ate it as our second breakfast this morning, so all was not lost.

 

After a day trip to Gloucester, Josh and I came home wanting a sweet snack – a Sunday afternoon boost.  A healthy milkshake for a 60 degree (!) day. This nutella smoothie was the answer. Made with a frozen banana, this smoothie is vegan but tastes rich, thick and creamy. The roasted hazelnuts paired with the cocoa powder give it a nutella flavor that is reminiscent of healthy nutella in a refreshing smoothie form. The cacao nibs, while optional, add a fun crunch. Cheers to more warm, healthy Sundays.

 

Nutella Smoothie | ourfourforks.com

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Sweet Potato Brownies

Sweet Potato Brownies | ourfourforks.com

When I set out to make these sweet potato brownies I made a lot of rules. I was up for a challenge. I wanted them to be vegan, gluten-free and paleo, but I didn’t want to use nut flour. I wanted to use coconut flour for it’s fiber and protein content, but coconut flour usually needs to be supported with the structure eggs provide – which would, of course, make them no longer vegan. After several batches of failed attempts (later fed to some not so sober friends), I created something that met my criteria and tasted delicious.

 

These sweet potato brownies are vegan, gluten-free and paleo. They contain no eggs and are made with coconut flour, raw cacao powder and flax eggs, all fiber and nutrient dense ingredients. Soft, gooey, and moist, they still hold together like a traditional brownie and would be perfect topped with frosting, nut butter, ice cream or jam. They’re also amazing by themselves. And healthy enough to eat for breakfast of course.

 

Sweet Potato Brownies | ourfourforks.com

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Chocolate Pancakes with Irish Cream Syrup

Chocolate Pancakes with Irish Cream Syrup | ourfourforks.com

I used to hate St. Patrick’s Day because I hated March; cold, windy, too warm to snow but too cold to put away the winter jacket. But now I love March because of St. Patrick’s day. This has a lot to do with where I live: South Boston. The home of America’s second largest parade in the country, St. Patrick’s Day in Southie is the real deal tacky green celebration in all it’s glory. Drinks at 7am, green food for breakfast, and the Pogues blasting all day. Last year, Josh and I made Smitten Kitchen’s homemade bagels (with green cream cheese of course), but lately Josh has been on a whisky kick and I’ve always wanted to make homemade Baileys. Chocolate Pancakes with Irish Cream Syrup taste like gooey brownies soaked in Baileys. And, they’re healthy. And vegan and gluten-free. Just another reason to love March.

Chocolate Pancakes with Irish Cream Syrup | ourfourforks.com

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