First things first….
The winner of the 12-pack of Deep Chocolate VitaTops is…
Heather of Get Healthy with Heather!
Didn’t win the giveaway? Sorry! But you can still receive 6 free Deep Chocolate VitaTops with the purchase of this 24-pack of chocolate VitaTops! Enter code EDCQ4Y7YQ at checkout! Expires 4.17.10!
Thank you, Vitalicious!! 😀
If you take a look around, it’s not hard to believe I LOVE avocados. What’s not to love about a delicious fruit packed with monounsaturated, heart-healthy fat? Swoon.
A few recipes recently caught my eye. These recipes include avocado used in nontraditional ways. Both were really good!
Black Bean & Avocado Brownies from Cara’s Cravings
1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/2 of a ripe avocado (60gm)
6 tbsp cocoa powder (30gm)
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons white sugar (75gm)
2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper.
Combine black beans, egg substitute, agave syrup, and avocado in food processor. Blend for a few minutes, until completely smooth. Add remaining ingredients and continue blending until fully combined, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Spread into parchment-lined baking dish. Bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the brownies comes out clean.
These are best if you let them sit overnight before slicing and enjoying! Yield: 12 brownies
Nutrition Information (per serving): 98 calories; 1.2 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 135 mg. sodium; 19.5 g. carbohydrate; 2.7 g. fiber; 4.2 g. protein
Result: These were good! Very creamy! I think I might do a 1/2 and 1/2 with the black beans and whole wheat pastry flour the next time, as they did have somewhat of a beany taste. But they are very chocolate-y! I know a lot of people love this recipe, so take this review with a grain of salt!
Tropical Avocado Smoothie adapted from How Sweet It Is
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1/2 cup milk or water (I used fat-free milk)
1/4 cup 0% plain greek yogurt
2 ice cubes
1/2 1 frozen banana
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 4 tablespoons Let’s Do Organic Reduced Fat unsweetened coconut
Add everything to the blended except for 1 tablespoon of coconut. Blend until smooth. Garnish with remaining coconut and sliced bananas or avocado. Serves 2 (approx. 10 ounces each)
Nutrition Information (per serving): 254 calories; 14 g. fat; 102 mg. sodium; 26.5 g. carbohydrate; 6 g. fiber; 8 g. protein
Result: DELICIOUS! Of course, I expect nothing less of Jessica, but as a lover of all things avocado AND coconut, I just had to try this. I love the spin on a traditional fruit smoothie. This version is packed with monounsaturated fats (Woo!), fiber (Woo!), and protein (Woo!). If it’s not sweet enough for you, add just a teaspoon or 2 of honey. While I didn’t need anything sweeter (the banana did the trick), I imagine the honey would sweeten it up perfectly!
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution
Holly sent me a cute email over the weekend asking if I was going to blog about Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. I hadn’t thought about it and I haven’t come up with much, but I know a lot of you are watching The Revolution. I loved Karla’s comment the other day when she said she was kind of in love with Jamie. I share in her crush. 😉
A few points:
- LOVE the dance at the school. Having attended a huge university with a hoppin’ quad, this is actually really feasible in the attention it drew.
- HATE how staged the relationship is between the radio DJ and Jamie. That “change of heart” was called from miles away. *eye roll*
- LOVE the kids and their stories. True or not, those are some powerful messages. Especially the young girl given 5-7 years to live. That is a reality, I see it. And it’s sad.
- LOVE Jamie’s choice of words. Especially the 4-letter ones. He pulls it off like on a Brit could do!
- LOVE the reality of the kitchen staff’s reaction to switching to healthier meals. Obviously kitchen jobs are not the best paying and switching from convenience foods to fresh, homemade foods is a huge labor shift for the staff. For the amount of money I assume they’re making, I wouldn’t be thrilled about that change either.
- HATE that french fries are considered a vegetable. THAT IS SO SAD! My jaw hit the FLOOR at that one
Overall, I’m really enjoying the show. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will make a huge impact on the town in the long-term and I’ve heard rumors that things went back to status quo after Jamie left.
Don’t forget to send in your Q&A questions to me at [email protected]! Nutrition questions or otherwise, I will answer! 😀
Question #1: Do you like avocados? What’s your favorite way to eat them?
Question #2: If you were leading a “Food Revolution”, what would your approach be? What do you think Jamie Oliver is doing well? What do you think he could improve on?
…and how are those DO What You DON’T challenge goals going?? 😉
I’m off to teach nutrition to a class of culinary students at a local technical college! Wish me luck! I hope they don’t need too much convincing that healthy food can be delicious, too! 😀
Have a healthy day,
I have never seen the Black Bean Avocado recipe, but I just printed it and plan to make them tonight, as I have all the ingredients. My co-workers are really going to think I’m nuts when I bring them in tomorrow! Thanks 🙂 Have a great day, and congrats to Heather – I was really hoping to win!!
You are so cool teaching a culinary class!!! I haven’t watched last weeks Food Revolution, so I had to skip over your review. Hope to catch up on it later this week.
Your review is very similar to mine. I LOVED the dance too!
I am so glad you liked the smoothie!! 🙂
I’m with you on how scripted Food Revolution is. It’s actually annoying me so much I might not watch it anymore. I like the idea, but I can’t get over how there’s a fabricated villain who just happens to get on Jaime’s side at the right minute. And it all wraps up nice and pretty. That funeral home scene? So stupid.
But that smoothie? Looks amaaazzing!
I love putting avocados in my smoothies!!! They make it so creamy!
Oh, fun. I love avocadoes! They taste so good made in to a pudding, but even just slicing one in half and sprinkling on sea salt is fine by me
Mmmmm, I LURVE avocados!!! That smoothie sounds really unique!
I am totally crushing on Jamie– I’ve loved him since The Naked Chef 🙂
Glad you got your chocolate fix with the brownies! I am loving watching Food Revolution. Like you I totally cringed at french fries being considered a vegetable, oy! But I love seeing the passion among the high school kids.
I should really try this smoothie. My favorite way to eat and avocado is just slice it up and sprinkle some salt on it! The brownies look good too!
Avocado in brownies?! I’m definitely intrigued. Good luck at your nutrition class; I know you will do an awesome job!
I’ve been wanting to experiment with a brownie recipe just like this for some time now! I trust that the avocado would be a good fat replacer, but I’ve always wondered about the beans. It’s an interesting idea…I’ll have to see if I find them beany.
I have a question for ya… I see all these recipes and want to make pretty much every single one of them. Right now husband and I are staying with my parents so we aren’t cooking at all… but I see all these ingredients that I don’t ever remember seeing at the store. Do you go to special organic places, or can most of these be found at normal grocery stores? I haven’t ever looked for them so it may be a dumb question… Thanks!!!
I love avocados! just plain with some sea salt or balsamic vinegar….but I do want to try those brownies 🙂
How are french fries a vegetable!?!?
Avocados in brownies!!! this is a must-try!
I like avocados, but maybe not as much as you do 🙂
I need to watch Jamie Oliver. oh nooo… don’t tell me the effect doesn’t last after he leaves???? so sad 🙁
I love Jaime’s show. He makes me smile 🙂
French fries ARE a vegetable, because they are potatoes. But starchy vegetables like potatoes, carrots, squash, etc. should be treated differently that other veg in that they should be eaten in moderation.
I have no idea how I would approach a “food revolution”. I do however like Jamie’s approach. He seems like such a sweet guy who is trying to do something SO important. I also LOVED the dance they did at the college, it had me rock’n out a little on the treadmill while I was watching it.
You made a really good point about why the food staff at the school may have been resistant to change. Thank you for pointing out that it may have been becuase of the money. I had not thought of that and was getting quite ticked off when they were so resistant to what Jamie is trying to do.
Have a great day Nicole!
I have seen black bean brownies before….but never with avocados! I LOVE avocados – my favorite way to eat them is in a wrap with Laughing Cow and/or Garlic Hummus. YUM.
It makes me sad that things kind of went back to business as usual after the show (so I’ve heard). I know (for some) it is a big lifestyle change, but as we all know, nutricious food CAN be good, too. I’m anxious to see how the show keeps up! And I want to marry Jamie. But my luck….he’s probably already married. 🙂
Good luck teaching your class….you will be great!
I lurve me some avocados – I like them in guac, in a salad, plain, as pudding (I like to blend with a little vanilla and splenda (don’t hate) and chill – tastes like maple walnut ice cream to me)
I agree with everything you said about the Food Revolution show. Dead on!
Also, I’m curious about your thoughts on the requirement of two carbs per meal for the school lunches. First of all, why isn’t the requirement for “whole grains” instead of carbs? And why two? That seems odd to me.
Those brownies look too good so I’ll have to pass as they’re on my banned list 🙂 I’ve had avocado in my smoothie and it was alright. think maybe I need a better blender as there were too many big chunks which weren’t as good biting into.
I’m with you on Food Revolution he is doing a great job, the DJ thing annoyed me 😛 But Jamie, Jamie rocks.
I am still flossing away, I was almost asleep last night and caught myself and flossed 🙂 it’s actually sinking in (I hope)
I totally agree with the “fight” being staged between Jaime and the DJ. Every show needs a little drama…. lol.
LOVE avocados. And will sometimes base my order at a restaurant solely on the addition of avocado to a certain dish. True story.
“LOVE Jamie’s choice of words. Especially the 4-letter ones. He pulls it off like on a Brit could do!” – haha this made me kind of fall in love with him years ago.. As a teen I was super excited to see a chef who swore all the time ;).
Avocados are fantastic and I love them in almost everything e(specially on salads and chilis).
I go in phases with avacadoes. Sometimes I like them and sometimes not. I guess you could say that they aren’t a food HAVE to have but will eat if one is around! Happy Tuesday gorgeous lady!! xoxo!
Oh the smoothie looks deeelicious! I love the creaminess of avocado! And the brownies look so different and fun! I’d eat them but I don’t know how Daniel would feel about the black beans…unfortunately. I won’t tell him.
I agree with your review of Food Revolution. I think Jamie is so admirable and his intentions seem pure and good. But the staging is really over the top with Rod. I think if I were leading a revolution I would do the same thing where I went to the schools and spent a week in each just analyzing the current menu, what the kids are eating, and then try to make small but important changes over time. I’d also host cooking classes to show how easy it can be to cook in a healthy manner.
I agree with your comments on the food revolution. You are right on with how I was thinking….
I like your observation/comment about the huge switch the kitchen staff has to make. I work at a school and the meals provided are not very appealing–to go from packaged/processed foods that can be heated up quickly to real food that actually has to be cooked is a huge shift. Most people would be opposed to a huge change in the way they do their job, so I can understand the frustration of the kitchen staff–but I think they are doing the right thing now for kids.
I love avocados–my favorite way is to mix up some guac or just eat sections sprinkled with salt.
I’m not a big fan of plain avocados but i love guacamole so that’s how I eat them.
LOVE the food revolution – The part when he made chicken nuggets for the kids omg I was dry heaving, so nasty! I was like “Are you kidding me!” when they said french fries were a vegetable, what the bleep?
I really enjoy that show but I could have guessed that things were going to go back to normal once he left…you have to WANT to change for it to stick!
You are the second blog today that is featuring a avocado smoothie! I need to give this a try like WOAH. I love having avocados with everything, especially with my mom’s rice and beans….yuuums!
Woo hoo i’m so excited to try the vitatops!! Thanks for the giveaway girlie 🙂
I love avocado and actually just cooked up some black beans. I’ll have to try out the brownies and see if I can trick my hubby.
I spent time on Sunday prepping for the week… Thanks so much for doing this challenge! I love that it’s keeping me on track.
Nice recipes. I have seen some that use avocado and the fat content (although good fat, but too much is still too much) gets out of hand and you have something very small with way too many calories per serving.
You heard things went back to normal after Jamie left? That is too sad.
I am hoping at least it will bring awareness, especially to all those tuning in.
I love avocado. That smoothie looks delish!!
french fries are considered a vegetable!!!! I WAS SO OUTRAGED WHEN I HEARD THAT!!!!! That’s flat out ridiculous!
I love avocados! Growing up we always had them around. I love it chopped up in my mom’s vegetable stew, especially when I pick up a bit of avocado, broth and yucca! Soo good!
I also like it plain on a tortilla with salt! Mmmm!
Great looking and unique recipes. I love the type of recipe that uses an ingredient you would never think to find in a conventional baked good e.g. hot pepper in chocolate truffles.
I want to try those brownies!! I LOVE avocado, but Ive never been creative with it. I love them in sandwiches with parmesan cheese. SO GOOD!!
I love avocados!! Andrew and I just picked up a bunch over the weekend. We’re planning to make a big batch of guacamole with ’em soon! 😉
Omg YAY brownies!! I love sneaking healthy stuff in to sweet treats…like those chocolate chip and chickpea cookies? AMAZING!!!
I need to watch that food revolution show…when the heck is it on??? I’ve been meaning to catch it!
Ok so here’s a question….Protein Powder. What should one look for or avoid? Generally I use it in smoothies…I put a cup(ish) of frozen strawberries and a cup or two of Trop50 OJ in the blender…then 1 scoop of Jillian Michael’s protein powder. Hers is like 100cal and…20? g protein. Maybe 12. I don’t know…but I blend that and have it post-workout or for breakfast.
So…pros/cons of protein powder? I don’t eat a lot of meat…so it’s an easy way for me to get protein in with my breakfast. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the powder and also what to look for in a powder! I’ve heard some are better than others but…I don’t know how to figure it out!
I love avocados but ususally just eat them in salads or sliced on sandwiches…but I’ve been wanting to make brownies/muffins/cake or something like that with avocado! Thanks for the recipe review! Congrats to the lucky winner!
I love avocados any which way!
I have to admit a lot of the Food Revolution has just shocked me… I mean fries as a vegetable, you said it that’s nutz! It scares me that kids are growing up this way
I’m intrigued by the Black Bean & Avocado Brownies. I was even more intrigued when I saw the calorie count.
Love avocados, guacamole is my favorite way of course.
I have to say, I am SUPER in love with Jamie as well. I am so frustrated with that town though! Why are they SO resistant to getting healthy?!?!? They remind me of my father. But that’s another comment for another day.
Love avocadoes! That smoothie looks awesome. My favorite way to eat them is on a sandwich with some turkey or in omelets.
I’ve been wanting to try Jessica’s smoothie too!! I love putting avocados in smoothies. My first try was actually Stephen’s idea.
Guacamole is probably my favorite way to eat avocado though.
I am so glad to hear your smoothie was delicious – I need to try adding avocado to mine.
Sadly, I am allergic to coconut so I need to try something different.
I have come across Jamie Oliver’s food revolution video in different places but haven’t watched it yet. It seems like I’ll have to do it soon.
Can you believe I just tried an avocado for the first time about 2 months ago!? Boy was I missing out! Next up is homemade guac!