Avocado Brownies – sort of

So here’s the thing, I happen to have an obsession with brownies, an unhealthy obsession to them if I’m honest. Whenever I spot them in a cafe it’s almost impossible to not have one and I’ve baked so many different variations – let’s see there was the scrumptious plain chocolate onesraspberry and biscuit ones, some featuring butternut squash, ones with mint and then there were the Oreo ones and the marshmallow ones, basically anytime I see an interesting recipe for brownies I have to give them a whirl. This obsession is not always great because of course gooey, chocolate brownies are not altogether good for you now are they? Plus how can anyone have just one homemade brownie? It’s basically an impossibility, well for me anyway. If you can do, then yay to you. I would be jealous but you know I’m too busy eating my fourth brownie of the day!

Anyway recently I discovered a recipe on the wondrous Pinterest for brownies that were healthy and only 27 calories a pop! Amazing right? I mean imagine the guilt free brownie scoffing that could ensue at just 27 calories a brownie?!?! It’s my ultimate dream! What makes them healthy I hear you say? Well you replace the butter and sugar with other ingredients, namely yogurt, Stevia and avocado. Yes avocado – don’t worry you don’t get the flavour of the avocado it’s purely for texture. Let’s be honest that would be a bit weird wouldn’t it? Needless to say I had to make them straightaway (or at least once I found all the ingredients, Stevia is not that easy to find FYI). My only issue with these brownies? Well there not really brownies. They’re more cakey than that and quite solid – there’s none of the gooey middle you get (and want) in a brownie in these. Don’t get me wrong they are nice, once heated in the microwave and covered in custard, but they’re not really brownies – at least not in my book. You should definitely make them, but treat them like a healthy cake and you’ll be much happier!

So here’s the recipe, which of course you can find over on the awesome blog Undressed Skeleton, which is chocked full of awesome looking food!

1 avocado – 3 eggs – 1 cup wholemeal flour – 1/2 cup cocoa powder – 1/3 cup hot water – 1 tbsp vanilla extract – 6oz fat free vanilla yogurt – 5 packets of Stevia – 3 tbsp dark chocolate chips – 3 tbsp agave nectar

Beat the avocado, eggs and yogurt until there are no avocado lumps, next add the vanilla extract and Stevia and beat until fully combined.

In a different bowl combine the water and cocoa together to form a paste (I needed to add a bit more water to get the right consistency). Then add to the avocado mixture and mix well.

Finally add the flour and combine again before pouring into the pre-greased brownie tray

Sprinkle with chocolate chips and cook on 180 degrees for 20 minutes.

If you make them I’d love to hear your thoughts, I’m intrigued to know how you ate them and if you’d class them as a brownie or not…

– Fi xxx

Originally posted on The Adventures of Fi on 20th January 2014.

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Apple and Blackberry Crumble

The other day when I was stood in the fruit section of Sainsbury’s I had the sudden desire to make a crumble, I have no idea where this desire came from as it’s been years since I’ve had a crumble and it’s always apple crumble that I choose. Anyway with the dreadful weather outside I decided to embrace the comforting thought of crumble and I set about making one. After trawling the internet for a delicious (and easy) sounding crumble I came across one that’s meant to be healthy – although at 450 calories a serving (according to My Fitness Pal) I’m not wholly convince on its health merits.

The original recipe can be found here, and below is my version (my version generates enough crumble for four people).

Ingredients:

  • For the filling:
  • 1 large Bramley apple
  • 1 punnet of blackberries (150g)
  • 85g Demerara sugar
  • a squeeze of lemon juice

For the topping:

  • 115g plain flour
  • 85g butter
  • 25 g Demerara sugar
  • 40g porridge oats
  • 10g mixed nuts and seeds (I used walnuts, pumpkin seeds and almonds)

And to make this lovely winter warmer, simply do the following:

  • Peel, core and chop the apple up into chunks and then mix with a couple of drops of lemon juice
  • Throw the blackberries and apple and sugar mixture into your baking dish and mix up so the ingredients are spread out evenly.
  • Rub the butter and sugar together until you have breadcrumbs.
  • Add the rest of the topping ingredients to the breadcrumbs and stir together
  • Sprinkle over the fruit filling so there are no gaps
  • Place in the oven for 45 minutes on 200 ̊C until the fruit is cooked and the juices bubble through the crumble topping
  • Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before serving with a massive dollop of COLD custard or ice cream. Hot custard is wrong and therefore not allowed.

So there we have it, the crumble recipe that is *healthy* and the only thing that got me through the first few days of January 2014. What a lifesaver!

– Fi xx

Turkey burgers

Last weekend we went away to visit friends and on our first night there we were standing aimlessly in the supermarket aisle trying to decide what to cook for dinner. [It must be noted here that all of are are notoriously bad at making decisions.] But then Fi, noticing turkey mince out of the corner of her eye shouted: let’s make turkey burgers! It turned out that she had seen a recipe on Classy Clutter earlier in the day, which sounded amazing and was therefore at the forefront of her mind (it would have been in yours too had you seen the picture – look at them!).

Grilled Turkey Burgersource

The rest of us jumped at the idea of turkey burgers, partly because it meant we didn’t have to make a decision and also because Fi makes the BEST beef burgers so we all knew we’d be in for a treat. And we were. They were totally delicious and I’m sure they will become a staple in our future dinner decisions.

Here’s what you need:

  • 500g turkey mince
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices of bread-crumbed
  • salt and pepper

Here’s what you do:

  • The recipe couldn’t be any simpler, basically add everything together and mix well, get you’re hands in there and make a mess!
  • Once mixed divide your mixture into equal sized balls – we made eight – before flattening them and placing them on a floured plate.
  • Now grill the burgers on a medium heat this took about 20-25 minutes for us but it really does depend on your oven.

We served these with some homemade sweet potato wedges and a vegetable mix of onions, peppers, mushrooms and tiny tomatoes. You could of course add cheese and buns as well as all the usual burgers sides. The flavours of the turkey are so simple, but also perfectly succulent and juicy, that you can be more adventurous with all your toppings. We didn’t go the whole hog on the Classy Clutter recipe as we hadn’t got the time for the BBQ sauce but we will definitely be giving that recipe a trial soon!

Lau xxx

Butternut Squash Chocolate Brownies – yes really!

Chocolate brownies are one of my vices, whenever I’m out and there’s a pudding option, I’ll always go for the chocolate brownie – especially if it involves lovely vanilla ice cream! There’s something about those chocolate chewy morsels that just make them addictive in my mind. I adore them. So when I saw this recipe for healthier brownies, which contain butternut squash – yes really! – I was intrigued enough to make them. I mean if I’ve found a brownie that’s only 50 odd calories each, then just imagine how many of those I could eat a day!!

To make 30 odd brownies you will need:
400g butternut squash (peeled and chopped)
100g dark chocolate
4 eggs
200g golden caster sugar
100g cocoa powder
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp baking powder

  • Put the butternut squash into a heatproof bowl and splash with water, cover with cling film and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes until it’s soft and cuts like butter
  • Drain off the excess water add the chopped chocolate to the bowl
  • Stir to combine and then use a hand-held blender to create a purée
  • In a seperate bowl whisk the eggs and sugar with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, then fold in the cocoa powder, plain flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt
  • Next fold in the chocolate squash purée and transfer to a greased and lined square tin
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes on 180°C until the brownies have set
  • Leave to cool in the tin for at least an hour before cutting into squares and eating!

The one thing to note about them is that they are quite cakey, and aren’t that chewy, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I like variation in my brownies after all!

– Fi xx

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Bean enchiladas

We’ve only recently become fans of beans, up until a couple of years ago we both hated them, I think it was something about the texture that freaked us out! Anyway once we’d discovered we actually liked beans we went on the hunt for more recipes and this has quickly become a staple in our house. Not only is it totally delicious but it’s really quick and incredibly cheap to make. So it’s the absolute perfect meal to have mid week, on the lead up to payday!

This recipe is for 4 people and all you’ll need is:
1 tsp olive oil
2 carrots, grated
2 onions, chopped
2-3 tsp chilli powder
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g cans pulses – we use kidney beans and green lentils
6 small tortilla wraps
50g extra-mature cheddar cheese grated

Fry the onions and carrots for 5-8 mins until soft.
Sprinkle in the chilli powder and cook for another minute.
Add the tomatoes and pulses and bring to the boil.
Turn down the heat and simmer for 5-10 mins, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens.
Remove from the heat.
Spread a spoonful of the bean chilli over a large ovenproof dish.
Fill each wrap with a few tbsp of chilli mixture and roll up.
Place into the ovenproof dish.
Spoon the remaining chilli on top and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
Grill or bake for a few mins until the top is golden and bubbling.

Enjoy with some salad or just by itself, delicious!

– Fi