Sunday, August 17, 2014


This flourless dessert is so ridiculously delicious, so moist, and so full of decadent flavor that you have no problem missing all the fattening ingredients that usually make a dessert taste like heaven. Amazingly, the base of this brownie-like cake is ground chick peas and it is really good for you. How many desserts can you say that about? So why not go wild and top it with a dollop of fresh shlog (whipped cream) and a drizzle of chocolate syrup!

Just a side note about sugar... Cooking healthy for my family has always been about substituting healthier ingredients in my favorite recipes. Because of my gluten intolerance, I have learned how to do without white flour and turned my quest into a fun science experiment trying out different 'flours' made out of nuts, healthy grains like quinoa, or even chick peas. Sugar, however, has not been an easy ingredient to swap. If I were cooking just for myself, I would just eliminate it altogether and deal with the taste...but that is not what I am all about. My food has to taste good to my family and friends. It is what make me happy. I love to cook and I love to bring a smile to everyone around my kitchen table.
     A recent episode on Dr. Oz brought to light a problem of using agave as the 'new' sugar. For the last couple of years, I have used it in my recipes with delight, even finding large bottles of it in Costco! Along with everything else that they first claim is good for you, agave turned out to be just as bad as white sugar by quickly spiking your blood sugar. And here I tried so hard to change over traditional recipes that depended on the consistency only real sugar can give to a batter.
      The new recommended sweeteners to use (at least for this week!) are coconut palm sugar which says right on the bag that it is a low glycemic food, and the all natural sweeteners such as honey and pure maple syrup which actually have beneficial nutrients. The following recipe successfully uses a combination of coconut palm sugar and maple syrup.

1 cup rolled oats
2 cans chick peas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup pure pumpkin purée (save the rest of the can in a container in the refrigerator because you will be making this again and again!)
2 tsp. vanilla
1+1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. fine salt
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a brownie pan (9x12).
  • Gently pulse the rolled oats in a food processor with a bottom metal blade to break up the grain. Not necessary to reduce it to a flour.
  • Drain and rinse the chick peas in a fine mesh colander and add to the food processor. Run the motor again to break up the chick peas. It will not purée smoothly, but break up into smaller pieces and cling to the sides of the bowl.

  • Now add the rest of the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and run the processor until all combined and puréed. It will be a very thick batter.
  • I transfer the batter to a large bowl, scraping all the deliciousness out of the processor and off the blade. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Pour batter into brownie pan and smooth top with spatula. Bake for about 30 minutes on the center rack. Top will crack as it bakes. Test with a toothpick in the center for moist crumbs.

  • After cake cools, cut into squares like a brownie. For a special presentation, top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. I also freeze the squares in a Ziplock bag for perfectly portioned and healthy treats! Credit: This recipe is adapted from ""

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